Batman's Animated Evolution

Today on ‘Yellow Spandex,’ Kya Quinn kicks off our Batman series with a look at the Caped Crusader’s animated evolution.   It took a surprisingly long time for Batman to make his animated debut. It wasn’t until 1968 and the popularity of the live-action Adam West Batman, that the Dark Knight earned his own animated series. Produced by Filmation in 1968 as part of the Batman/Superman Hour, Batman and Robin made their first animated appearance. The animation in this show was not great, but that didn’t stop the Filmation Batman series from rebooting in 1977 with The New Adventures of Batman. Meanwhile, Batman and Robin were helping Mystery Inc. in The New Scooby Doo Movies, which was really just a warmup for the Super Friends.   In the ‘90s, DC Comics embarked on a revolutionary journey that led them to the brilliant DC Animated Universe. The brainchild of Bruce Timm and Paul Dini, the DCAU started off with a bang, Batman: The Animated Series. Where do we even begin? From the brilliant Mark Hamill Joker to the debut of Harley Quinn, BTAS and the DCAU have become an integral addition to the DC Universe. After a new look for The New Batman Adventures, Batman was ready for another team-up with the Justice League. In Justice League and Justice League: Unlimited, more than just Robin partnered with the Batman. Wonder Woman, Superman, Aquaman, Cyborg and more teamed up with the Dark Knight in the JLA and JLU in the last days of the DCAU.   After the DCAU ended, Batman got a brand new series from the creator of Jackie Chan Adventures called, The Batman. It was a decent take on the character, nowhere near as bad as some of the DCEU Batman v Superman stuff, but it paled in comparison to Batman: The Animated Series. Now, Batman: The Brave and the Bold was an incredible old-school take on the character - moving him away from the Dark Knight into the smiling, campy version of 1950s Batman. Sadly, the Brave and the Bold didn’t last, and it was replaced by the ugly CGI series Beware of the Batman. Unfortunately, that’s the last Batman animated series to date, although he’s been in some other team shows like Teen Titans, Teen Titans Go! and Young Justice. His newest incarnation is in Justice League Action, and after JLA is over, who knows what’s in store for Batman? Hopefully Kevin Conroy can do a decent Ben Affleck Batman impression.

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