The Majesty of Continuity — DCAU Podcast 1 (Trial Run)

Please consider this podcast a rough, trial run. In my excitement, I recorded it before I even rolled out of bed this morning; such is the power of the DC Animated Universe. Because my groggy brain missed some things and made a few errors, I want to clarify a few things below.

The DCAU ran from 1992 until 2006 and included such titles as:

  • Batman: The Animated Series (later episodes branded “The Adventures of Batman & Robin”)
  • The New Batman Adventures (continuation of Batman: The Animated Series feat. new art style)
  • Superman: The Animated Series (with B:TAS crossovers labeled “The New Batman/Superman Adventures”)
  • Justice League
  • Static Shock
  • Justice League Unlimited (continuing after the events of Starcrossed)
  • Batman Beyond
  • The Zeta Project (I’ve recently discovered that this relates to Batman Beyond, apparently, but we don’t talk this series. I never saw it, so I can’t say much, but I’m given to assume it isn’t legacy grade. It was canceled after two seasons. I really should watch it to form my own and better opinions.)

The titles above are listed in watch order.

Further, the main points I want to hit on are:

  • The DCAU is one of the most ambitious created universes in all of fiction and one of the most well executed, to boot.
  • The DC Cinematic Universe (and even the Marvel Cinematic Universe, for all it’s triumph) falls very greatly short of the DCAU’s legacy.
  • The DCAU created continuity primarily through it’s long memory and artistic/casting decisions. It never forgot a plot point and frequently brought plot points from older series into their newer series. Further, even seemingly insignificant instances or visuals from previous series come back to haunt the cast.

For additional consideration, please note:

  • The feature-length film “Batman: Mask of the Phantasm” is set during Batman: The Animated Series. It is a cult classic film that, until the limited run of “Batman: The Killing Joke” (not DCAU) limited run, was the only Batman animated production to receive a box office release.
  • OP music from B:TAS and Superman: TAS has become iconic in its own right.
  • The DCAU has spawned multiple pieces of iconic media, including such episodes/arcs as:
    • World’s Finest (Batman/Superman crossover)
    • Starcrossed (finale of Justice League)
    • Apokolips…Now! (S:TAS finale)
    • The Once and Future Thing (Justice League Unlimited time-travel centric crossover with Batman Beyond)

At one point, I ramble about Batman keeping kryptonite on him at all times during the events of Justice Leage and about his need to know his teammates weaknesses. After the events of S:TAS in which Darkseid turns Superman on Earth, it becomes very clear that Batman needs to be able to pull the rug out from under his superpowered cohorts if it becomes necessary. This is another piece of continuity, but I was not clear in outlining why it mattered. There is an episode of Justice League in which this concept is further explored.

Next time I record a podcast, I’ll have a more coherent and well-formatted outline. This time, however, my outline was written at like 12:30 AM last night, so it wasn’t the most organized. Still, I think this DCAU podcast wasn’t terrible for a first attempt. In the future, please expect a more professional , accurate, and cohesive narrative. I care too much about this (probably too much) to be half-hearted about the subject.

I’m considering recording comprehensive podcasts on individual, iconic episodes and on themes, such as the relationships depicted between John and Shayera, Bruce and Clark, and Bruce with his various love interests over the course of the series.

3 thoughts on “The Majesty of Continuity — DCAU Podcast 1 (Trial Run)

  1. Awesome, I’m glad you’re rediscovering your passion, I just decided to finally get around to rewatching some of these as I was very young when DCAU was a thing so I wanted to see if it lives up. I’ll happily confer with you and your expert opinion.

    I think you’re already making some great points, I just wanted to point out that the Batman: TAS opening was I believe Danny Elfman’s theme from the ’89 Batman which is really cool but Shirley Walker did most of the TV scores and she did a great job.

    It makes me sad, because they won’t make them like this anymore and not like cartoon were better in my day kind of way (that’s lame and I think there’s still some great stuff out there today). But just the “action cartoon” being eradicated for being “too violent” and I worry times will not be too kind to the beloved Bruce-Timm art style as it had like 3 body types and you could have a field day with a derogatory feministic stance dunking on it.

    I do think there’s some value in these cartoons so I hope I’m not encouraging you too much but I am eager to see what you’re gonna say about them.

    Like

  2. Should continue doing podcasts alongside your blog shoujo. Doesn’t matter whether it’s about DCAU, anime, Asian drama or that crap kpop. You have a knack for it.

    Liked by 1 person

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