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  1. #1
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    Default About the Style of Metropolis in S:TAS, JL and JLU Cartoons

    About the Style of Metropolis in Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cartoons, and Tell Me If I am Right.

    I have seen the Superman: The Animated Series, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cartoons several times and here is what I noticed and tell me if I am right on this.

    This is what I saw for myself and heard from the producers of each show and from other people.

    Superman: The Animated Series came out and takes place in the 1990's but it has an ocean liner art deco feel and looks retro futuristic for Metropolis. It was a pseudo future past look. The buildings and cars look both old and futuristic looking while the fashion looks old like 1950's or 1960's, (except Jimmy Olsen, who has the 1990's look).The music is inspired by 1950's science fiction music.

    But then in the Justice League cartoon, they changed Metropolis to have a more modern and realistic look until Justice League Unlimited, where they changed it back to the retro futuristic look.

  2. #2
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    Yeah, pretty much it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by achilles View Post
    Yeah, pretty much it.
    Ok so I am right then. Thanks for the reply.

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    Extraordinary Member Lightning Rider's Avatar
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    That's interesting, I never noticed that. Could you post some screenshots?

    It's kind of fun, now that I look back, that much of the aesthetic in terms of fashion does have a 50's influence. Lois and the Planet in particular, if not from the cartoon then from many of the comics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raider969 View Post
    Ok so I am right then. Thanks for the reply.
    Thanks for bring it to my attention! Interesting observation, BTW. Never gave it much thought myself, but yeah, in retrospect, it's obvious, but I suppose enough in the background to slide underneath my radar, leaving me instead to just enjoy the visuals. Nice new way to appreciate them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightning Rider View Post
    That's interesting, I never noticed that. Could you post some screenshots?

    It's kind of fun, now that I look back, that much of the aesthetic in terms of fashion does have a 50's influence. Lois and the Planet in particular, if not from the cartoon then from many of the comics.
    I didn't find any good images on Google, but if you watch the series again and look at the backgrounds of Metropolis and the people, you will notice a lot of people wearing old fashion clothes from around the 1950's or 1960's and that Metropolis looks retro futuristic. But then in Justice League, you'll notice Metropolis looks more modern and realistic. Then in Justice League Unlimited, you'll see that Metropolis is back to the retro futuristic look.
    Last edited by Raider969; 03-22-2020 at 09:25 AM.

  7. #7
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Originally they were going to go with a more retro look akin to the Fleschier cartoons but they decided against it, I remember reading about it. I do like the 1970s sci-fi vibe I think they were going for, it did give the city some personality that’s sorely lacking in the comics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    Originally they were going to go with a more retro look akin to the Fleschier cartoons but they decided against it, I remember reading about it. I do like the 1970s sci-fi vibe I think they were going for, it did give the city some personality that’s sorely lacking in the comics.
    Yeah, I downloaded a picture of a comparison on how they were originally going to look and how they finally looked in the show. It was originally going to be like Batman: The Animated Series that it was going to have a 1940's feel to it, but instead they went more with a retro futuristic feel to the show. Also you said they went with a 1970's sci-fi vibe? I thought it was 1950's sci-fi vibe, at least that is what I heard according to one of the producers.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member Vordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raider969 View Post
    Yeah, I downloaded a picture of a comparison on how they were originally going to look and how they finally looked in the show. It was originally going to be like Batman: The Animated Series that it was going to have a 1940's feel to it, but instead they went more with a retro futuristic feel to the show. Also you said they went with a 1970's sci-fi vibe? I thought it was 1950's sci-fi vibe, at least that is what I heard according to one of the producers.
    That’s how it felt to me. Not sure what 1950s stuff they used but if you look up 1970s sci fi Art the influence on Metropolis is pretty clear:


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vordan View Post
    That’s how it felt to me. Not sure what 1950s stuff they used but if you look up 1970s sci fi Art the influence on Metropolis is pretty clear:

    It's probably true also because I forgot to mention that this show had a timeless feel just like Batman: The Animated Series and I think Justice League, meaning they took things from different time periods. Also was Superman: The Animated Series the first time Metropolis had a retro futuristic look? This I am not sure about.

  11. #11
    Ultimate Member Sacred Knight's Avatar
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    The "retro futuristic-past" look is pretty much my favorite thing about the Timmverse, and outside of BTAS I've never been enamored with much. But the setting was always a major win. I love art deco and love sci fi, so it just always meshed well me. The Fallout and Bioshock game franchises also utilize this type of idea and no surprise they're two favorites of mine.

    My love for this idea is why I always incorporate it into my ideas for a reboot line of comics. Its just such a mesmerizing, immersive look to me.
    Last edited by Sacred Knight; 03-23-2020 at 04:24 PM.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sacred Knight View Post
    The "retro futuristic-past" look is pretty much my favorite thing about the Timmverse, and outside of BTAS I've never been enamored with much. But the setting was always a major win. I love art deco and love sci fi, so it just always meshed well me. The Fallout and Bioshock game franchises also utilize this type of idea and no surprise they're two favorites of mine.

    My love for this idea is why I always incorporate it into my ideas for a reboot line of comics. Its just such a mesmerizing, immersive look to me.
    Me too, I love everything about the DC Animated Universe cartoons, especially the way the cities look like. I like how most of the past 20th century looked liked, and how the future would look like, both retro and cyberpunk like. The fact that the Bruce Timm, Paul Dini, Alan Burnett and the others did all those styles in the cartoons made me like the DC Animated Universe cartoons more than just the superhero part. From the retro 1940's look of Gotham in Batman: The Animated Series, to the retro futuristic look of Metropolis in Superman: The Animated Series, to the cyberpunk look of Gotham in Batman Beyond. I like all three of those styles for those cities in those shows.

  13. #13
    Astonishing Member superduperman's Avatar
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    I'm of the opinion that both BTAS and STAS should have been consistent throughout in terms of look. You go to Gotham and buy a car and it looks like it came out of the 1940s. But if you go to Metropolis and buy a car, it looks like it came out of the future. Metropolis always looked a little inconsistent in terms of it's design. I thought their Krypton did a better job of the retro-future look. The El's house looked cool.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    I'm of the opinion that both BTAS and STAS should have been consistent throughout in terms of look. You go to Gotham and buy a car and it looks like it came out of the 1940s. But if you go to Metropolis and buy a car, it looks like it came out of the future. Metropolis always looked a little inconsistent in terms of it's design. I thought their Krypton did a better job of the retro-future look. The El's house looked cool.
    Bruce Timm did want Metropolis to be like Gotham at first, being like the 1940's, but he changed that because he thought a lot of people would compare it to the Superman cartoon from the 1940's, so he made Metropolis retro futuristic instead. I didn't know Krypton was retro futuristic too in Superman: The Animated Series.

  15. #15
    Savior of the Universe Flash Gordon's Avatar
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    I loved how Gotham looked, but felt the StAS Metropolis was boring.

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