No Right Answer: Best Comic Book-Based Cartoon Ever

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I just want to say, I had actually like Batman Beyond.

All kidding aside, no love for X-Men? I know I'd not have known about the X-men nor gotten my love for comics without that cartoon.

This is absolute BLASPHEMY!

No disrespect to the Turtles, I was a kid when the original animated series was on and I couldn't get enough of it. I especially loved those Hostess Turtle Pies, but I digress.

What was there before Batman: TAS? Superfriends, that's what. Kyle mentioned that TAS changed how we viewed animated Batman. What he failed to mention, is that it changed how we viewed animated superhero shows, period. For Batman was only the first DC hero to be revitalized by Bruce Timm, Paul Dini and their team of awesome! Not only did they give us an updated version of arguably the most popular superhero in the world with Superman, they gave us an entire animated UNIVERSE of DC heroes with Justice League and JL: Unlimited.

Furthermore, without the success of the aforementioned series, I highly doubt we would have other great superhero team shows such as Teen Titans and the infinitely awesome Young Justice. By the way, you haven't seen the latter of those two, fix that now! Start at the beginning, though, since it's a serial.

Batman: The Animated Series is, without a shadow of a doubt, the greatest comic book based animated series EVER of all time.

Prismatic Baron:
Does Duck Tales count? It was based on the Uncle Scrooge comic book. I think it deserves an Honorable Mention, at least.

image
I say if it's made by Don Rosa, F*** yeah it counts!

Duck Tales > everything else!

jecht35:
pff batman TAS is the winner because not only is it awesome it still holds up today just like Batman Beyond.

this

all points made for TMNT are valid mind you, but try watching it again, it doesn't hold up even half as well as Batman TAS and Beyond do.

also....

why haven't we gotten a good TMNT game since 'In Time'?! seirusly, some one, fix this!

No Spider Man: The Animated Series?

TMNT game inspired by Arkham Asylum/City? While your at it do the same for Superman.

"Kevin Conroy voices them all!"
BEST... FINAL... WORDS... EVERRRRRRR....!!!!!!!!!!!

But, Batman would definitely NOT have been as popular without the Animated Series.
It was superawesome, and made Batman and it's universe stick in many dozens, probably hundreds of millions of childrens minds -of our generation- till this day!!!

lord.jeff:

TheFederation:
it is obviously spectacular spiderman, or young justice, or justice leauge, or avenger: emh...
does anyone know half of these shows?

It's good that someone else loves Spectacular Spiderman that show was amazing. Though I'd place Brave and the Bold or Teen Titans on that list before avengers.

Same here. Oh, if only Spectacular Spiderman could have gone on for another season. Now all we have is a really bland Ultimate Spiderman.

Fail. X-men: The Animated Series (the 90s one). You can even watch it today and it's awesome. I didn't get the reality check to crush nostalgia. Except for the Jubilee centered episodes (which should be burned from this world), it always rocks ass, plus the multiepisode sagas they had were extremely complex, full of cameos. They had the "previously on..." because it was such a rich cartoon it had to have recaps. Aaaaaaaaand, it was quite faithful to its comic book canon.

Chris Pranger:
As a result of the campy version, people like Frank Miller decided Batman needed to get back to his roots as a dark vigilante, hence why we got The Dark Knight Returns. Not only did Adam West's Batman carry Batman into the current consciousness, it inadvertently caused modern comic writers to decide the character needed to be the dark, brooding figure we all currently assume is just how he always was.

I was also wondering where you had gotten the notion of the Adam West version defining Batman and was going to ask if you had a source for this, but this explanation makes sense.

Anyways, I think Chris's argument of the TMNT cartoon defining the franchise is actually inconsequential to the debate. If the question had been which cartoon had a bigger impact, then okay, sure. But the cartoon having an impact on defining the franchise isn't necessarily indicative of the quality of the cartoon, only that the cartoon had greater exposure or the source material itself isn't as good. Kyle is guilty of this as well, but I felt that this was the crux of Chris's argument.

Personally I'd go with Batman. It could just be because it's more recent, but I think it was better made and, more importantly, much better written - the "heartstrings" and appeal to adults that Kyle mentions. Some of the most memorable ones for me were the episodes "Growing Pains" and "Legends of the Dark Knight"(being the '97-98 version of the show do those count as being part of the series we're talking about?).

Initially I was inclined to say that the argument about the theme songs is ridiculous. Comparing award-winning composers to the Ninja Turtles song? Really? But thinking about it more I realized that both songs actually work equally well in distilling the feel and essence of their respective shows.

Off-topic, thinking of some episodes where you both provide some great background information, are the topics you debate spontaneous, or do you choose them a couple days in advance and prep arguments?

That last point was bullshit. Turtles win because they're less mature? How is that even an argument, let alone worthy of a point?

I think Chris got that point just because you guys didn't want a cop-out.

Personaly, I think Batman, but as far as this debate went, Chris you RULED that debate. You convinced me that the reason batman is the way he is today is because of Adam West. You deserve a fucking medal. Best. Debate. Ever.

Nghtgnt:

Chris Pranger:
As a result of the campy version, people like Frank Miller decided Batman needed to get back to his roots as a dark vigilante, hence why we got The Dark Knight Returns. Not only did Adam West's Batman carry Batman into the current consciousness, it inadvertently caused modern comic writers to decide the character needed to be the dark, brooding figure we all currently assume is just how he always was.

I was also wondering where you had gotten the notion of the Adam West version defining Batman and was going to ask if you had a source for this, but this explanation makes sense.

Anyways, I think Chris's argument of the TMNT cartoon defining the franchise is actually inconsequential to the debate. If the question had been which cartoon had a bigger impact, then okay, sure. But the cartoon having an impact on defining the franchise isn't necessarily indicative of the quality of the cartoon, only that the cartoon had greater exposure or the source material itself isn't as good. Kyle is guilty of this as well, but I felt that this was the crux of Chris's argument.

Personally I'd go with Batman. It could just be because it's more recent, but I think it was better made and, more importantly, much better written - the "heartstrings" and appeal to adults that Kyle mentions. Some of the most memorable ones for me were the episodes "Growing Pains" and "Legends of the Dark Knight"(being the '97-98 version of the show do those count as being part of the series we're talking about?).

Initially I was inclined to say that the argument about the theme songs is ridiculous. Comparing award-winning composers to the Ninja Turtles song? Really? But thinking about it more I realized that both songs actually work equally well in distilling the feel and essence of their respective shows.

Off-topic, thinking of some episodes where you both provide some great background information, are the topics you debate spontaneous, or do you choose them a couple days in advance and prep arguments?

To answer your question, we choose our topics about 15 minutes before hand, with no preparation at all. Whomever feels that they can make a good point or two gets to argue on that side. From there, it's all improv.

TMNTFTWTROLOLOLROFLBBQYEAAAHH!!

Out of the two I have to agree that TMNT owes way more to that cartoon than Batman did to his.

But what about the countless manga/animes out there? Akira anyone? Ghost in the Shell? Death Note? There's loads.

And TMNT really does deserve a good game. There's loads of potential there. But I don't like this trend that everyone says when they want a good super hero game. The whole "do what they did with Batman: AA/AC" thing. That game was so good because it captured what Batman is all about to perfectly. You can't just do the same thing and just re-skin the characters. I know that's not what people mean when they say that's what they want, but if people keep saying it that is what they are going to make, and it will suck.

Maybe TMNT would work well in a Mini Ninjas type game. Although obviously not something quite as child-centric (although still pretty child friendly if it's based of the 80s cartoon). It could have the same style of very open levels with different enemies/puzzles for which you have to switch between different turtles to complete.

No love for Spider-man circa 1994?

Personally, I would have to say Super Friends is the best one ever. I personally would have never known much about the DC universe if it wasn't for the Super Friends. I mean Batman TAS would most likely not exist without it let alone Superman TAS, JL, JLU, Teen Titans, Young Justice, and Green Lantern cartoons.

X-men was what saved or made Marvel in the 90's sadly they kinda screwed that up in the comics.

I really don't know what to say to this. I'm not sure by what possible measure, subjective or objective, TMNT could be considered to be superior to B:TAS in this regard, or any regard.

Don't get me wrong: I've a soft spot for TMNT, and an especial soft spot for April O'Neill and her gravity defying cleavage, but fun and all as TMNT was, it lacked practically everythng that made B:TAS great.

And by great, I don't mean just a good cartoon, but and excellent piece of televisual drama.

When B:TAS started, Batman, as a character, wasn't taken seriously at all. He was the Caped Crusader, but he wasn't the Dark Knight. B:TAS is what gave him that extra dimension. Sure, Conroy and Hammell gave us fantastic work as voice actors, and Hammell helped define The Joker as a character, but none of that would've worked if it wasn't for some of the best writing ever seen on television *ever*. Dini and his writers took characters who ought to have been at first glance the subject of ridicule, and gave them true depth and pathos. Few series can be said to have done that. Take, for example, "Harley Quinn's Day Off". It's far from the only episode, but it's one of the best by far, and the fact that she's an original character to the series doesn't dull the point. We have a character who is plainly a bad guy, but not an entirely unsympathetic bad guy, and we put her in an every-day situation where she oh-so-desperately wants to behave like any ordinary person would, but is forced to fight with persona, and, in a tragic fashion, ends up reverting to type in spite of herself. And right through all of this, Batman acts as the protector of the city, but foremostly as a stern but ultimately caring big brother to Harley Quinn.

The effect of a story like that is profound: whereas TMNT was black and white, B:TAS showed that regardless of the obvious shade on the spectrum of morality, others could care for the fate of others, and hope beyond hope that things could turn out better, regardless of whether they were aligned or opposed to one another. And Harley Quinn isn't even the best example of that, she just has the best episode.

TMNT, fun as it was, was so much more simplistic and juvenile than that. It was fun, but if I wanted constant fun back then, there was Earthworm Jim.

No. The critical element of B:TAS is that it offered deep narrative contrast: the characters felt like the could be *real*. That was something I never got from TMNT, and that is why B:TAS is better than TMNT.

BTW, Batman Beyond was a good series, once it got past the executive meddling and the writers were able to add some depth to the whole affair. It's a pity it ended before it had a chance to approach the heights of its predecessor.

And for anybody who disagrees with me, watch this and witness the character interaction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wBjZemeh3k

No contest.

X-Men TAS. It introduced me to comics and when I read the books, I knew all the back story. Asteroid M? Know it, no need for back issues. Phoenix saga? No need for back issues. It's all there! Characters died, often to be brought back in some weird way by say, Mister Sinister. Apocalypse was actually a cool villain in this, something sorely lacking in the books.

what the hell? I wouldn't call either of these the best animated series of all time, and certainly not the ninja turles. a good series it might be, but just because it saved its source material from obscurity does not mean its a good series stand alone. in fact it could be considered horrible since as you said yourself it changes a bunch of things from the original series.

Yeah... the thing that was failed to be addressed is that the original TMNT cartoon just wasn't very good, the entire argument was that it's legacy and what it did for the franchise was so important, BTAS stands up on it's own two legs a being an exemplary story/collection of stories, the TMNT series had less-than-impressive animation, goofy, stock, one-dimensional villains, extreme repetition, stilted action and no deeper thought to be had.

Oh, so many things wrong. It hurt a little to watch this. The list:

1. Weak complaint: Technically TMNT is a cartoon based off a comic, but it's ( and this is admitted in the show) a comic that practically no one read. I think a better comic based rival could have been chosen: X-Men, Spiderman, Superman.

2. Strong complaint: Relating to complaint number 1, just because a cartoon brought an unknown story to popularity, does not inheirently add value to the cartoon itself.

3. Strong complaint: Batman TAS is in the running for best cartoon ever, let alone comics based. TMNT may be a classic cartoon that created fans for a small time comic, but that's all it is. Comparing the two is like comparing the Godfather movie to anything with Freddy Kreuger. Yes, the Nightmare on Elmstreet series has fans, but it doesn't hold up to age, plot, characters, or vision. The same arguement applies to TMNT vs Batman TAS.

4. Weak complaint: Comics fan that I am, I always grind my teeth a little when people assume that the current "gritty" Batman has anything to do with Tim Burton, Frank Miller, or ( as stated in the show) a backlash against the Adam West series. Understand this, Batman was originally intended to be "gritty". Tim Burton is a hack who makes everything he touches "goth" which is then confused with being "dark" or "gritty". Frank Miller revived what Batman was, but he did not create the "gritty" Batman, and should only be given credit for producing an excellent revival of the original character. The Adam West series did influence the idea of reviving "gritty" Batman, but it is not responsible for the "gritty" Batman's existance. Since the Adam West series almost single handedly destroyed the original "gritty" Batman, it would be more accurate to say we would have always HAD a "gritty" Batman versus needing to revive him.

I could go on, but I think the reasons listed, particularly reason 3, makes my point well enough.

P.S. Could you tell I don't agree with the idea of labeling Batman as "gritty"? I don't like it because it promotes the idea that there is a different version of Batman, instead of reality, which is, there is Batman, and then that show with Adam West where they literally attempted to destroy Batman.

TMNT better than Batman TAS?


That is all.

I'm not sure if this has been brought up yet but I'm surprised that Kyle didn't argue that TAS was one of the key driving factors in the DC animated universe for over a decade. It spawned shows like Justice League/Justice League Unlimited, Batman Beyond, Superman The Animated Series, and The Zeta Project. Not to mention any of the animated movies. If there had been no TAS there would never had been a Justice League Unlimited or likely any of the other shows.

The sam and max is an interesting idea and if one accepts manga as a comic then dragon ball... well I guess not, but in any event it was a fun argument to watch. I would point out though that viewed solely as a quality TV show I do think Batman wins.

Is this a joke? Yeah, I mean, Ninja Turtles was fun and all, but COME ON! It's Batman for Christ's sake!

It's called "Best Comic Book-Based Cartoon Ever"... but it's really an argument about the most influential comic book-based cartoon ever <.<

I think that Batman wins because its much bigger than TMNT now . WE got batman games and movies that are outstanding . The only cool thing in tmnt universe after the original cartoon its 2003 tmnt . The movie,fast forward and the games sucked .

Your argumentative styles are weak old man. Seriously, since when does "more character defining" = "best". That's not the critera you chose. It's not even "was better than the comics", but "best" on its own merits.

TMNT and Batman: TAS are not even close to comparable when it comes to writing, voice acting quality, animation, or lasting social impact. Anyone, kids or adults, can watch Batman and still relate to it, whereas TMNT is off the wall goofy with a bunch of 80s cartoon tropes like the ridiculously dressed glam rock characters (those kids from outer space), subpar voice acting, and stupid and formula plots.

That all said, TMNT + Power Rangers was my bread and butter for the first 6-8 years of my life, but I still can't say either show has aged anywhere near as well as Batman did.

I declare shenanigans. You guys gave an undeserved point to Ninja Turtles to avoid another tie (or because you're being paid off by Michael Bay--it's a conspiracy! You're in the pocket of Big Douche!)--you gave them a point for saving their franchise, and then gave them another point because Batman didn't (or, more accurately, didn't save it profoundly much as Adam West).

I would, however, like to point out that Batman:TAS saved the franchise from a fate worse than death--without it, the franchise would have been steered into oblivion by neon-lit Batmobiles, nippled batsuits, and character development through 'ninja laundry for no good goddamn reason, therefore Batman'.

Rule 42: Always bring a towel?
Not sure what that has to do with Batman and Robin kissi- ...uh, nevermind.

Another (albeit moot) point against Batman, a lot of it's designs came off of Batman & Returns; Catwoman, the Batmobile, the feel of Gotham. But hey, that might just be my opinion.

Though, I will agree the debate went a little off track. I can enjoy watching Batman today, TMNT, not so much.

No love for Static Shock? One of the few hero shows that dealt with problems that few (if any) other hero shows dealt with, and (like TMNT) was the sole reason why most people who know about Static know who he is.

OT: In terms of quality, I think hands-down Batman TAS wins. In terms of cultural influence, I'd suspect Batman TAS was instrumental in getting a lot of kids who weren't already comics nerds into reading the comics; I know if not for TAS, the extent of my Batman knowledge would have only come from the Tim Burton films (which...you know). Plus Batman TAS created Harley Quinn, one of the most popular characters in Batman canon, so it had its fair share of re-writing the comic canon as well. I recognize that TMNT brought the series into the mainstream, but I wouldn't say that's enough to make it the best adaptation ever.

I remember when I was in high school and I did a (poorly sampled) survey of which was better at the time: Batman: TAS or X-Men (90s). X-Men won on the survey.

Batman: TAS aged better than X-Men (90s) as I became an adult. It helped that Batman: TAS was on Toonami. :D

As far as "influential" compared to TMNT: Batman: TAS inspired an anime series that could be summarized as "Giant Robo in Gotham City":

This show was also "Only Toonami".

I miss Toonami. Best action cartoons on the planet (along with Pokemon and a few hamsters). The Turtles, as beloved as they are, were never on Toonami.

Batman wins. Flawless victory.

Well of course this is all subjective opinion but I would make one point.

50-100 years from NOW...Its plausible that Batman TAS would still be watchable. It possesses a timeless quality that surpasses its generation. People will readily know of TAS in that time frame, where as TMNT wont have that luxury.

Its like comparing The Simpsons to Drawn together, Or Steven King to Stephanie Meyers.

Seems to me TAS is clearly superior.

Pff, Kevin Conroy is crap in both Arkham games. Flat, monotonous, bleh.

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