As comic book and animation fans know, it’s impossible to keep the Dark Knight down. Cartoon Network surely does. Tonight it starts “Batman; The Brave & The Bold’s” second season at 7:30 pm (eastern) with the episode “When OMAC Attacks!”
“Actually Cartoon Network held back four episodes of the first season,” notes series co-creator James Tucker. “So, technically, the one airing tomorrow is not a second season show. I don’t know when they’ve scheduled the second season. The four shows you’ll see over the next month—‘When OMAC Attacks,’ ‘Mayhem of the Music Meister,’ ‘Inside The Outsiders’ and ‘Fate of Equinox’ –are the last shows of the first season.”
Not that it should really matter to B&B fans. Tucker, whose work with WB Animation goes back to the days of “Animaniacs,” admits getting the show off the ground was relatively easy compared to past start-ups.
“I think we got past the growing pains fairly early compared to my experience on other shows,” Tucker admits. “With ‘Justice League” it took nearly the first whole season to get past the growing pains. My first season on ‘Legion’ had plenty of growing pains. ‘Batman: The Brave & The Bold’ wasn’t as tough a nut to crack.
“Mainly, it was getting everyone up to speed on what to expect, especially the audience. Getting people not to compare it to what they’d seen before and just sit back and enjoy what we were trying to do was the main thing. I was pretty much comfortable with this show. It’s not like there’s a definitive episode on ‘Brave & the Bold.’ Each episode just tried to be completely different from the one before.
“The only formula is structural. I definitely wanted the show to be different from anything else we had worked on. So the idea of having a stand-alone teaser that is separate from the main episode of the show, the way we do the title cards, certain actions and the visual style to the show are set. The guts of the show is up for grabs. It’s all depending on who the guest star is. The learning curve was a lot shorter than it had been before.”
As always, the series opens up with a short vignette featuring another hero from the DC Universe, only in this case it’s two; Hawk (Greg Ellis) and Dove (Dee Bradley Baker).
“There’s a lot of similarities between this one and the one we did on ‘Justice League,’” says Tucker. “I wasn’t really conscious of it until we finished it. Ours is goofier in a lot of ways, the humor is broader. Stan Berkowitz wrote both scripts.”
Then things get down to business with OMAC (Jeff Bennett), General Kafka (Ellis), Brother Eye (Bradley) and for an interesting twist, Equinox (Oded Fehr).
“I came to Kirby late in comics,” says Tucker, who still goes to his comic shop every Wednesday to get his latest fix. “When I was exposed, it wasn’t his Marvel stuff. It wasn’t even his early DC comics like New Gods. It was his later DC stuff, like Kamandi and OMAC. Those were the things that just jumped out at me. The weird visuals of OMAC #1 is just stuck in my brain. It starts right at the cover; the big Mohawk and everything. We also tried to match the Kirby style in the episode. We use Kirby in many of the episodes.”
Otherwise, it’s back to business for Tucker and fans on “Batman: The Brave & The Bold.”
“It’s not like we’re starting out with this huge, epic second season episode,” says Tucker. “That will be just another episode. The idea is there is no break in the energy; the show is just rolling right along. I don’t run the network. I just make the shows. I just squeeze the lemons. I don’t make the lemonade.”
NEXT COLUMN: Actually, the huge, epic episode comes next week with ‘Music Meister.’ That’s when we not only talk again with Tucker, but picked up some quotes from the people who wrote the music, the Dynamic Music Partnership, James Arnold Taylor (Green Arrow) and John DiMaggio (Aquaman & Gorilla Grodd)..