Producers Sam Register (‘Teen Titans’) and James Tucker (‘Justice League Unlimited’) hosted a panel at the San Diego Comic-Con on Friday to show off footage of the upcoming Cartoon Network series ‘Batman: The Brave and the Bold’.
Show story editor Michael Jelenic (‘The Batman’), directors Brandon Vietti (‘Superman Doomsday’), Ben Jones (‘Teen Titans: Trouble In Tokyo’), Michael Chang (‘Teen Titans’), voice director Andrea Romano (‘Superman Doomsday’) and the new voice of Batman, Diedrich Bader (‘Surfs Up’, ‘The Drew Cartey Show’) were also on hand to field questions from eager Batfans.
James Tucker started off the panel by discussing the inspiration behind Batman’s more kid friendly look, “Right now we have the darkest Batman ever (referring to the recently released ‘The Dark Knight’ movie). I think it’s a hard R. So, we decided to go to the left of that.”
Sam Register added, “James said, ‘What if we took the Adam West title sequence and gave it some balls?” This comment was met with an eruption of laughter, followed by applause.
James also described classic artist Dick Sprang’s influence on the character design, “Dick Sprang’s Batman was always moving. His punches were like ‘POW!’ And that’s the Batman I wanted to do.”
Editor Michael Jelenic described some of the differences between ‘Batman: The Brave and the Bold’ and the more recent incarnations of Batman, “There’s no Alfred, no Commissioner Gordon. But, we pull in characters from the DC Universe.”
At this point, a trailer for the new series was shown. The vibrant clip featured Batman along with Plastic Man, the Blue Beetle, and Green Arrow fighting various villains.
When they returned, Sam described the process of deciding what direction to take Batman in by saying, “I think ‘Batman: The Animated Series’ is the greatest Batman ever made.” Sam continued, “We knew we couldn’t do dark again. We had to do Batman away from Robin, and anywhere but Gotham. We know how Batman reacts to Robin. How does he react to the Blue Beetle? How does he react to the Red Tornado?”
Andrea Romano was quick to point out, “We’re not making Batman a stand-up comedian. But, he does have a sense of humor.”
When actor Diedrich Bader was asked what it’s like to play Batman, Diedrich laughed and said, “I wake up every morning and say, ‘I’m Batman.’ Which is good, because in my household I’m Alfred.”
Andrea then took a minute to list some of the voice talent being brought on board for the series.
James Arnold Taylor as The Green Arrow
R. Lee Ermey
Tom Kenny as Plastic Man
John Di Maggio as Aquaman
It was at this point that Diedrich joked, “The Penguin will be played by Dick Cheney.”
When discussing the enemies that were going to be appearing during the Q&A section, it was said that they would be steering away from the classic rogue’s gallery and focusing on lesser known villains like Gentleman Ghost, Kite Man, and Zebra Man.
Other tidbits that were revealed include a crossover with an A-list DC character that is a ‘fan favorite’.
A certain crazy clown nemesis of Batman will not be making an appearance. However, the Flash and the Black Canary may be making their presences known. Also, the Justice League will not be appearing as a group, but certain members will be making guest appearances (after all, it’s a buddy show).
The final question gave the crowd the warm fuzzies when a youngster asked what the new Batmobile can do. He was assured that he wouldn’t be disappointed.