Mar 25th 2007 By: Shawn Mayo
I finally finished watching the Season 1 DVD for Justice League Unlimited the other day (yea, I know, I'm a bit behind). When I was done, I thought about a Top 5 list of my favorite cartoons based on, or inspired by, comics. Not original, sure, but hey, it's my list so I figured, what the heck. When I started thinking of my favorites, I realized Batman was in three of my Top 5 and he would have been in all five except a few series I counted as one even though they went through various incarnations during their run. From there, I tried to think of all the cartoons that have included Batman in some form or another. So, my Top 5 list went from Top 5 cartoons to Top 5 Batman cartoons to a list off all cartoons featuring Batman.
Doing extensive research into this (translation - I spent five minutes at wiki.com) I found a bunch of cartoons featuring Batman. Among the most well known include:
Batman: The Animated Series (1992)
Justice League (2001)
Super Friends (1973)
The Batman (2004)
The New Adventures of Batman (1977)
The New Batman/Superman Adventures (1997)
Batman Beyond (1999)
Some of the above went through several title changes during their run. For example, Batman:The Animated Series later became The Adventures of Batman and Robin while Justice League evolved into Justice League Unlimited. Super Friends seemed to change its name and line up every season. Rather than list all the names a show used during it's time on the air, I chose to stick with what people would most likely recognize. And yes, I know Batman and Robin appeared in an episode or two of Scooby Doo back in the early 1970's - I try to keep that memory suppressed.
Finally, now that I had my list, it was time to decide which show I thought best portrayed Batman compared to his comic counterpart. Batman:The Animated Series immediately came to mind as the one that truly "gets" Batman as he's written in the comics. However, I think the end of episode 3 in Season 1 of Justice League does a great job of showing Batman's true character. It's titled "Secret Origins" and is the third episode of the pilot story. The team is putting their hands in to show a commitment to this newly formed team. Everyone is in except Batman - he's standing apart from the others. Batman declines formal inclusion - he is, after all, a loner. His response to joining is pure Batman:
"I'm not really a people person. But, if you need help.. and you will... call me."
This one statement perfectly captures his persona . He trusts no one, has absolute confidence in his abilities yet understands there will be situations that will require him to work with others.
So, there it is, my list - in no particular order - of Batman cartoons. I'm sure I missed some and appreciate if anyone can fill in any missing titles.