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  1. #1
    Comix Addict! Comics N' Toons's Avatar
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    Default How Would You Improve Superman: The Animated Series?

    Most fans agree that Superman: The Animated Series was not as good as the Batman: TAS show.
    What, if anything, would you do to change it, improve it or make it ring as true to Superman as BTAS was to Batman! How could this be turned into the quintessential Superman cartoon?



    Supes.jpg

  2. #2
    Obsessed & Compelled Bored at 3:00AM's Avatar
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    I would stick with their original plan of setting it in the 1940s as a quasi-continuation of the Fleisher cartoons and I would make Marv Wolfman one of main producers so that there was always a legit Superman fan in the room to steer the show away from the worst ideas.

  3. #3
    Mighty Member Ra-El's Avatar
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    No World Finest episodes, and not Superman posing as Batman either and having trouble to fight Bane.

    I would make Superman a little more assertive and proactive.

  4. #4
    Astonishing Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    honestly.... it's the best. the question is what would make it better... more this, more that? more the other thing? There's a lot of characters that they didn't use, and many that could easily have been recurring, but weren't. Then the ones who were recurring, but could have been more often.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ra-El View Post
    No World Finest episodes, and not Superman posing as Batman either and having trouble to fight Bane.

    I would make Superman a little more assertive and proactive.
    I thought the Bane fight was great. Superman has never been Batman before so trying to fight like Batman is like trying to imitate his voice. Bane thinks he can hurt Batman. But the reality is Superman really doesn't feel a thing.
    Last edited by marhawkman; 03-09-2021 at 05:25 PM.

  5. #5
    Extraordinary Member Gaius's Avatar
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    Probably just cut the Batman episodes.

  6. #6
    Father Son Kamehameha < Kuwagaton's Avatar
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    There were some things that couldn't be helped. Like coming off of the Batman series it just looked a lot less original with the animation and art deco style. They action was very curbed and the tv deal also needed a more toyetic Superman, so we had the space suit and little things like that. Ultimately it didn't feel very epic.

    The voices were all perfect to me, even Daly... who had to voice a pretty subdued Superman. He could have been just a bit less of a straight man and more clever as written. I guess that what I want would have been accomplished by bringing Scott Mccloud or Mark Evanier in for the writing or something because the Superman Adventures comic was a better take on the same version.
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  7. #7
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comics N' Toons View Post
    Most fans agree that Superman: The Animated Series was not as good as the Batman: TAS show.
    Just because The White Album is considered the Beatles' masterpiece doesn't mean albums like Abbey Road or Rubber Soul by the Beatles are the worst things ever.

    In other words, just because it's not as great as BTAS (because honestly what is), doesn't mean STAS was somehow some bad TV show.

    It's still considered a great show. It holds up pretty well and its voice acting has been influential and defining especially for Lois (Dana Delany, the reason why the nickname of "Smallville" has stuck), Lex (Clancy Brown), Darkseid (Michael Ironside).

    If you want to ask why STAS isn't as iconic and memorable as BTAS, that would take a long conversation. It's like asking why didn't Futurama become as iconic and popular as The Simpsons?

    What, if anything, would you do to change it, improve it...
    If I had to,
    1) At least one additional season.
    2) Lois should end the show knowing Superman's identity and getting engaged/married.
    3) More Mxyzsptlk
    4) More Bizarro

  8. #8
    Extraordinary Member Gaius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Revolutionary_Jack View Post

    If I had to,
    1) At least one additional season.
    2) Lois should end the show knowing Superman's identity and getting engaged/married.
    3) More Mxyzsptlk
    4) More Bizarro
    Mostly this, especially since one more season meant they could have used Superman rebuilding his reputation following the Darkseid brainwashing climax as a story thread throughout it, which mostly happened off-screen in the interim between S:TAS and JL.

  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member superduperman's Avatar
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    UP THE POWER LEVEL: This was the show's biggest problem. The nerfing of his powers. He could barely lift an armored car over his head. This made his speech to Darkseid so meaningless. Years of watching him have to use both hands to lift cars over his head. No, someone like Bane shouldn't even have a chance against him. No matter how much Venom he used. He should be able to guide a plane down safely without ripping it's wing off.

    USE THE SAME VISUAL STYLE AS BTAS: You go back and you watch the original BTAS and it's stunning. You go back and watch anything that aired on the WB and it's obvious they cut corners with the art, animation, even the "art deco" futurism looked forced. Whereas with BTAS it looked more natural.

    STOP MAKING HIM BATMAN'S BITCH: This could apply to the entire JL but it was especially bad with Superman in the later years when they turned him into a flying brick. The first time they met Batman threw him over his shoulder. He shouldn't be able to do that. No one should. That's the point of Superman. There are so many other things that fall under this category. Having Lois fall in love with Bruce was perhaps the worst example of this. Gee, wonder where Snyder got the idea from.

    TELL DC TO TAKE A FLYING LEAP: I don't think it's a secret that DC exerted a lot of control over the show that hampered creativity. Like not letting Supergirl be Kryptonian and forcing them to use the Byrne model for his origin. Letting the creators do their own thing was what made BTAS so successful. I'm surprised they let them make Brianiac Kryptonian.
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  10. #10
    Extraordinary Member Revolutionary_Jack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superduperman View Post
    USE THE SAME VISUAL STYLE AS BTAS: You go back and you watch the original BTAS and it's stunning. You go back and watch anything that aired on the WB and it's obvious they cut corners with the art, animation, even the "art deco" futurism looked forced. Whereas with BTAS it looked more natural.
    The BTAS visual style -- with its dark noir look, shadows, and Art deco flourishes -- would not have been appropriate for a character as bright and colorful as Superman. It would have made the same mistake that Snyder made i.e. make Man of Steel similar to Nolan's Batman movies and not in keeping with Superman as a distinct character.

    Timm and others also didn't want a period flourish for Superman because that would make them similar to the Fleischer cartoons and he didn't want to step on toes of an imperishable classic.

    BATMAN
    Have you seen KNIGHT TIME, where Batman became Braniac's little b-tch and a meat-puppet and had to be bailed out by Superman singlehandedly, who also has fun being a better Batman than he ever was?

    Can we judge STAS on all the episodes rather than cherry-pick the ones that suit the grudges people have?

  11. #11
    Ultimate Member SiegePerilous02's Avatar
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    The show was a bit of a melding of Silver Age and the Byrne stuff, which was the foundation at the time. Ideally I'd cut the Byrne influence entirely outside of some stuff like Lois not being an obsessive stalker that Superman screws with, and Luthor (I don't care for Post-Crisis Lex at all, but as an adaptation of him you could do far worse than STAS. Clancy Brown certainly helps). Silver Age and Bronze age stuff like Maggin and Moore would be the primary influences.

    More of a presence for the Legion of Superheroes beyond one episode, maybe even extending to giving Clark time as Superboy. He really should have a bizarre and adventurous childhood so he has plenty of experience under his belt before even leaving Smallville.

    Bring Krypto in. Make Supergirl his Kryptonian cousin, which they would have done anyway if not for the higher ups.

    More usage for villains like Bizarro, Mxy and the Toyman, and bring in other old school villains like Prankster, Mongul, Terra-Man, the Legion of Supervillains, etc.

    Less leaning on the Fourth World stuff.

  12. #12
    (formerly "Superman") JAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Comics N' Toons View Post
    Most fans agree that Superman: The Animated Series was not as good as the Batman: TAS show.
    What, if anything, would you do to change it, improve it or make it ring as true to Superman as BTAS was to Batman! How could this be turned into the quintessential Superman cartoon?



    Supes.jpg
    It wasn't as good, but it also wasn't bad - and it did add some great things to the lore of the character (even if it's just arranging). it just needed a few key things to improve it:

    1: If we're talking a less powerful Superman, he needs to move faster in general - as does some of the action.
    2: Going with #1, he needs to be smarter. I realize he hadn't faced much before, so he was slow to act - but it also gave the impression that he was kind of a stump. He could be smart, but we absolutely didn't see enough of it.
    3: Make a concentrated effort to show him getting stronger over time, especially if he starts out less powerful.
    4: I'm fine with Batman team-ups, especially since they were popular at the time - but the dynamic where Batman is ahead needs to go. I don't mind even, necessarily, but this wasn't that.
    5: Hire the whole Triangle-era group to write at least the detailed outlines together, if not the script entirely. They were pretty popular then, so it would have been good pr.
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  13. #13
    Astonishing Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiegePerilous02 View Post
    Make Supergirl his Kryptonian cousin, which they would have done anyway if not for the higher ups.
    funny you should mention that... she actually IS a cousin, just a slightly more distant one. Kara In-ze is from Argo... totally different planet from Krypton. It orbits RAO... When Krypton exploded it's orbit destabilized and it ended up too far from the star to be livable. Also.... Kara Zor-el's mother's maiden name... was Alura In-Ze! YES!!!! In-Ze wasn't a NEW Kryptonian House!!

  14. #14
    Extraordinary Member Doctor Know's Avatar
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    I recently rewatched the entire show. The best thing the show did was update a lot of the villains (Intergang, Bizarro, Toyman, Brainiac, the Apokolips denizens and others) were well served by this series. The worst thing the show did was put the job on Superman. The dude came out looking like a chump more than an champ in a lot of episodes. I defy anyone who says they want a weaker Superman, to watch Superman TAS in it's entirety and see if they standby that assertion. People know a champ when they see one, and TAS Supes was not it.

    The guest star episodes were some of the best, IMO. Batman, Aquaman, Doctor Fate, the Legion of Superheroes, Green Lantern, Flash, Orion, Steel and Supergirl all had memorable episodes that serviced their characters well.


    What a lot of people don't know, is Sups TAS fourth season was cancelled in favor of launching Batman Beyond. Justice League TAS was originally meant to be a continuation of Supes TAS (after Batman Beyond was cancelled), but they decided to go with the League. Since the rights to use WW were available for TV. It's why Barda was a future member of the JL in Batman Beyond and not Diana. The elements of Supes TAS wouldn't be followed up on until season 2 of JL (Brainiac and Darkseid, Luthor's cancer + AMAZO) and season 2 of JLU (Hamilton's Betrayal, CADMUS, Doomsday, Galetea, the Brainiac-Luthor team etc). These stories were resolved well enough, but it was a long and round about way of getting to them. A straight 4th season witrh all of these elements would've killed!


    The art style of the series was another thing holding it back. When people talk about Batman TAS, they aren't referring to the New Adventures of Batman and Robin. Where the art style was changed to match Superman TAS. They are talking about the original style. The noir comic come to life in color. Something like that would definitely help Supes TAS stand out.


    Last thing I can think of that would've improved the show, is more off-world adventures. Supes is so Earth-bound for an alien who has a rocket ship, the phantom zone projector and mother boxes at his disposal to traverse time, space and parallel dimensions. The innocuous, day in the life at the Daily Planet gets old, fast. Embrace the scifi elements. It's half the reason people show up for Superman.
    Last edited by Doctor Know; 03-09-2021 at 07:30 PM.

  15. #15
    Extraordinary Member Gaius's Avatar
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    One small detail would probably be have Daly do slightly different voices for Clark and Superman, like Conroy did originally in B:TAS. Would help since I think this an iteration where they didn't do that much the Clark/Superman dynamic and also one where I have to raise an eyebrow Lois never figures it out on her own rather quickly.

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