151 – DC Animated Series

The Mythcreant Podcast
While Marvel’s films have become a juggernaut of critical and financial success, DC’s films have been … less so. But live action isn’t the only way to watch DC characters save the day. This week we invite Ari back to discuss the high bar set by animated shows of the DC universe. We describe why they succeeded when the live action films have largely flopped, whether superheroes might work better as cartoons, and how Superman doesn’t have to be boring.

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Opening and closing theme: The Princess Who Saved Herself by Jonathan Coulton. Used with permission.

Show Notes:

Wonder Woman

Justice League

Justice League Unlimited

Batman the Animated Series

Superman Animated Series

Teen Titans

Batman Beyond

Lego Batman

The Ancient Magus’ Bride

Slade is actually Deathstroke, not Deathshot.

Young Justice

Batman the Brave and the Bold


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  1. N

    TL; DR: I agree that the live action movies could learn a lot from the animated shows.
    Personally I feel one of the best Superman moments was in Young Justice Season 2 when the heroes are assaulting some villains’ den and someone sets the timer on a bomb. The heroes obviously start clearing out, but Superman stays behind to convince the villains that the bomb isn’t a trick and they should actually escape too because there are too many villains for Superman to carry all of them to safety. These are villains who were just trying to kill Superman and his friends (and also probably take over the world while they’re at it) and would definitely try again even if he saves them, and he knew that, but he still couldn’t bring himself to let them die.
    The Justice League Unlimited Series also has this storyline where Superman and Batman are incapacitated by being mentally trapped in the fulfillment of their heart’s desires. So Superman dreams of having a family with a reporter on a farm, except it’s Krypton instead of Kansas, because as much as he loves the Kents, he also wishes that Krypton had never been destroyed. Batman’s fantasy is the night his parents were killed, except in his head, his parents don’t die and his father beats up the thug instead. And then both of them have to destroy their dreams themselves in order to get back to reality (Batman does this partly by growing slowly horrified that his dream father won’t stop hurting the thug).
    So, yeah, there is definitely a way to make characters like Superman complex without making them too dark or too light.

  2. Saumya Kulp

    I was thinking next you could do the books by Rick Riordan; specifically their diversity.

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