As made plain in the stunning and stylish title sequence that we first glimpsed earlier this week, one of the most exciting things about Warner Bros. Animation's forthcoming Beware The Batman series is its art direction and design. Really, that's always one of the most exciting dimensions of all the DC Comics superhero cartoons that come out of the venerable Burbank, CA studio, but I'm particularly eager to see Beware The Batman in action because of the contributions of Shane Glines.

One of my absolute favorite cartoonists working today and a frequent presence in ComicsAlliance's Best Art Ever (This Week) feature, Glines is a WB mainstay whose character designs have appeared in Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League, The New Batman Adventures and Batman Beyond, but his work for Beware The Batman looks like his most adventurous yet. Working under series developer Glenn Murakami (himself no slouch in the art department), Glines designs for Commissioner James Gordon demonstrate the artist's fidelity not just to the fundamentals of form, shape and line, but also the conveyance of real emotion; a skill that he studies intently in the work of past masters whom he honors at his Cartoon Retro blog (which is essential viewing for fans of mid century illustration, cartoons and pin-ups).

As you can see in these Gordon portraits, Glines and the Beware team are taking a design route more severe than even Bruce Timm's iconically angular looks for Batman: The Animated Series and its various spinoffs, but one that's obviously effective in expressing the essence of this version of the classic Batman cast member.

Here are some more examples of Glines' work with some super-ish characters you might recognize, depicted in styles that are distinct from each other and yet still distinctly Shane Glines.  You can see even more of his stuff in these awesome art books from Brand Studio Press.