'Batman: The Animated Series' comic is just in time to remind us how fun the Caped Crusader is at heart
The announcement of a sequel 'Batman: The Animated Series' comic reminds us that Batman isn't exclusively a dark character
It's a good day to be a Batman fan as there are announcements aplenty for those who want a little something old, and those who want a little something new.
The first look at Robert Pattinson's 'The Batman' has been revealed, showing us a sleeker, younger Batman than the latest Ben Affleck version that we are going to have to get used to in the lead up to Matt Reeves' new 'Batman' film. For fans who would rather just enjoy the past, however, DC has announced that 'Batman: The Animated Series' will be getting a sequel in the comic book form, with Paul Dini and Alan Burnett returning to write the series.
We know little of what kind of Batman movie Robert Pattinson will be starring in. Batman is a multifaceted character, suitable for a range of stories covering everything from psychological horror to gothic detective. One thing that has been left out of all the recent live-action adaptations is how much fun the character can be — in ways that don't compromise on the dark nature of Batman himself.
When people put "fun" and "Batman" together in the same sentence, they are usually thinking of the quintessentially campy Adam West version of Batman. However, the original animated series had fun to spare and its Batman stories were all the stronger for it.
Good stories are all about balance, and recent films have leaned so deeply into the "dark" of "The Dark Knight" that 'Batman v Superman' brought it all the way back to camp. What was a shared tragedy between two DC icons will instead live forever in hilarious infamy as an entire generation of fans will forever joke about "Martha".
'Batman: The Animated' series perfectly balanced its humor, its fun, its darkness and its heart, which is what made it such a masterful series. At the heart of Batman is a lot of silliness and trying to sweep that under the rug takes Batman farther and farther away from everything that makes it compelling. The Joker exemplifies this — the line between what makes him fun and what makes him terrifying is blurry, and it is on that blurry line that Batman stories thrive.
It's hard to find a single Batman fan who doesn't feel like the animated series is one of the most definitive takes on the character. Reeves' film, whatever it might shape up to be, could definitely use some pointers. In the meanwhile, however, there's always the new comic.
'The Batman' is set to release on June 25, 2021.