Has any one person meant as much to the DC Universe over the past 25 years than Bruce Timm? When the animator and TV producer co-created Batman: The Animated Series with Eric Radomski back in 1992, he and his team at Warner Bros. offered a fresh take on an iconic character, finding a balance between the breezy fun of the ’60s Batman and the darker Dark Knight of the ’70s and ’80s. Timm then went on to co-create one of the more entertaining versions of Superman in another animated series, debuting in 1996; and in 2001 he carried the lessons from those two shows into Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, which together comprise some of the best superhero television ever made.
Batman the Animated Series
It was only yesterday that I mentioned that there's a Batman statue to suit virtually any need you have, no matter which incarnation of Batman you most prefer. That said, I think we can all agree that you can never, ever have enough tributes to Bruce Timm's smooth, art deco design for the Dark Knight from Batman: The Animated Series.
As a result, I'm pretty excited to see Kotobukiya's latest statue, an animated style Batman that's going up for pre-order today. And really, while it would probably be enough to just make a statue that captured that look, Kotobukiya has gone the extra mile with their interchangeable parts, making this the first Batman statue that can give you a thumbs-up. Seriously.
Back before the turn of the decade, DC Collectibles was still going by the name DC Direct and had just launched a new statue series, Cover Girls of the DC Universe. Kicked off in 2009, the statues were based on the artwork of Adam Hughes, and featured characters like Black Canary, Catwoman, and Zatanna as full 3D recreations from Hughes' covers from the comics at that time. The statues were some of the most sought after collectibles on the market, as each had a limited run of anywhere from 5000-8000 pieces. After about a half-dozen pieces the line ceased, and as you can imagine, the secondary market demand skyrocketed. Many of those Hughes-designed pieces still fetch absurd prices, which is why it was a bit of a delight to see DC Collectibles would be re-releasing the Adam Hughes Wonder Woman statue as part of its new Designer Series.
Ever since he made his debut in 1940's Batman #1, the Joker has been the arch-criminal among arch-criminals, the one villain who can truly lay claim to being Batman's nemesis. As a result, he's made quite a few appearances across other media, serving as the antagonist in movies, television, and even a handful of video games.
Now, with Jared Leto set to take the role with a new interpretation rooted in questionable tattoos and on-set method-acting antics, it's time for us to finally sit down and figure out where we stand. For that, we turn to you, dear reader, as we ask that you cast your vote to tell us which mass media Joker performance is the undisputed best!
Q: My DC Universe is mostly the DC Animated Universe. If I love Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League Unlimited and Young Justice, what DC comics should I pick up?
A: Now this is a tough one. For a lot of readers --- including me, a kid who already liked Batman a heck of a lot but was completely unprepared to have his mind blown when Batman: The Animated Series hit the airwaves in 1992 --- DC's animated projects have been the gateway to the comics. But there's a pretty big problem with that, too: the comics that form the "proper" DC Universe of the comics don't just have a different tone, they're built with a completely different structure that puts the focus on two completely different aspects of sequential storytelling
Everyone loves Harley Quinn. Honestly. Try to find me someone who’s even passingly familiar with her that doesn’t think she’s a great character. There’s just no two ways about it, tip to toe, Harley Quinn is a character people love. In fact, she’s several characters people love, because every new iteration of her that comes along immediately finds a fanbase that’s as devoted to her as she is to the Joker or Poison Ivy (depending on what you’re reading/watching/shipping).
Whether it be the original version from Batman: The Animated Series, the more extreme version of the New 52 (or the later, slightly more traditional version from the New 52), the “edgy” version from the Arkham Asylum series of Batman video games, or even the version from the upcoming Suicide Squad movie. The art we’ve collected here stands as proof that Harley fans are ready to show their love by spending their precious time making endless artistic examples of their devotion.
For three years, DC Collectibles has been churning out figures based on the beloved Batman: The Animated Series. There have been a few hiccups along the way, but after seemingly righting the ship at the tail end of 2015, it looks like the line is set for some smooth sailing in the coming year. At Toy Fair, nearly 20 new figures for the line were unveiled for the first time, with final production versions of few others appearing as well. Given that the show, and its successor The New Batman Adventures, ran for so long, there's still plenty of mileage to get out of this series. There's no signs of DC Collectibles slowing down at all, and that's just fine by us.
A few of the figures were teased prior to the show, including the tremendous new box sets for "Girl's Night Out," "Legends of the Dark Knight," and Batman Beyond. Even in the early stages, all three of these collections look fantastic. Supergirl and Livewire are the only new figures to the "Girl's Night Out" set, but both are welcome. The two characters had great designs on the show, and those come through wonderfully here. The Batman Beyond set comes with some accessories for Terry, including wing attachments, so there's a lot of promise in that set. Both Batman Beyond and "Girl's Night Out" also hint at potential expansions for DC Collectibles' animated figures. Keep those fingers crossed for an Inque and Bruce Timm-inspired Darkseid.
Though the past few months have been filled with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad collectible news, DC Collectibles hasn't forgotten about one the greatest toy lines it ever developed. Though it's not been without its issues here and there, the Batman: The Animated Series figure line from DC Collectibles has been a hit for both the company and fans. Though most of this year's releases are already on schedule, DC's seen fit to tease a bit of what's to come in late 2016 and early 2017 ahead of Toy Fair.
The reveal comes courtesy of USA Today, where DC Collectibles dished on some brilliant new additions to the expanding line, which will now also include Batman Beyond in the mix alongside B:TAS and The New Batman Adventures. Both Terry and Bruce, along with Ace, will make up the Batman Beyond box set ($50) in January 2017. While that's a long time to wait, it is perfectly timed with a certain writer's birthday, so I tip my hat to DC Collectibles for thinking of me so far in advance.
Ask a generation of cartoon watchers what their prototypical Batman or Superman would look like, and there's a pretty good chance the image that will pop into the heads of many will look a whole lot like a Bruce Timm drawing. Same goes for Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl, Harley Quinn, The Flash, Martian Manhunter, Robin, Batgirl, Lois Lane and dozens of other DC characters.
Timm, born on this day in 1961, has made his career in animation, co-creating Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League, among other shows, but he has arguably had as much of an impact on superheroes as any living comic artist.
Did you miss out on the DC Collectibles Batman: The Animated Series Batmobile when it released last fall? Perhaps you didn't have enough money at the time. Maybe you were just waiting for some shelf space to clear up. Or by chance you've just been waiting for it to be repackaged in a deluxe edition with a new paint job and a few figures to make it an even more special collectible. That might seem like a very specific instance, but it's one that is applies quite well to today's announcement from DC Collectibles.
Whatever mysterious circumstances kept you from adding the killer collectible to your collection, know now that you'll have another chance later this summer. DC Collectibles is revamping the animated Batmobile ever so slightly for re-release in August, and this time it won't just be sold all by its lonesome. You'll also be getting the dynamic duo, with new capes, and a Bat-signal to call Gotham's protectors to your aid.