Beware the Batman is still a ways off. Of course this hasn't stopped fans from seeking more info, and DC graciously gave some bits and pieces away this past weekend at Comic-Con 2012 in San Diego.
Previously, we’d only seen a poorly white-balanced, grainy image of a poster taken from a video still. So yes, watching a few moments of what The Bat is going to look like, and even hearing his new voice actor is something, but still not much to go on. Of course, the show is still in production, and won't be ready until early 2013, so it’s not surprising they don’t have much to show off yet.
The CGI looks great; very similar in style to the Green Lantern series, which recently finished up its first season to great audience and critical response.
"In the way we approached Batman for this show, he’s at the beginning of his career, he’s probably been doing it for about five to six years, he’s in his early 30s. And character-wise, we broke him into three parts. There’s the public Bruce Wayne, who we modeled slightly after Richard Branson," co-producer Mitch Watson told IGN.
"We wanted to make Bruce Wayne more of an altruistic guy and the company’s [Wayne Enterprise] trying to do good. So, that’s the public Bruce. The private Bruce is more introspective guy who really only deals with Alfred, and Alfred at the beginning of the series is really the only person who sees that side of Bruce Wayne. He’s quiet; he’s a little bit obsessive about particular things.
"And then there’s Batman. The private Bruce Wayne and Batman are pretty close, but when he becomes Batman he’s even more pulled into himself. He speaks more clipped, not quite robotic, but we wanted him to be like a machine."
And how does this particular Batman differ compared to previous iterations of the caped crusader?
"One: it’s the first CGI Batman show which is a huge part of it. Two: we’re taking Batman far back into his roots of being a detective. At its core, the show is a procedural. Even though Batman has his gadgets and his gear and his cars, at his core, it’s about a guy looking at clues and figuring things out and putting the pieces together so that ultimately he can solve the crime with his brain as opposed to just with his fists," said Watson.
"And the third biggest difference is that you’re not going to see any villains that have ever been shown before in any animated show. There’s no Joker, Penguin, or Riddler. It’s all new villains pulled from the DC universe who are either well known or not known at all. All of those things give the show a completely different feel than shows in the past."
Of course, when an over-the-top villain like The Joker does anything, everyone knows it right away, so there isn’t much call for actual detective work, but I don’t think that’s the only reason for pulling away from such obvious villain figures. The New 52, DC’s comics relaunch initiative, is also shying away from The Joker and The Riddler and so forth as villains, attempting to redefine Batman with more human, perhaps less obvious and flashy villains.
The show will also be making an interesting choice for Bataman’s sidekicks. First, Alfred is being given a gun, and sent out into the fray, seemingly uncostumed, which seems counter-productive, but we’ll also be getting Katana, whom the creators claim is not a real sidekick, but more of a plot device, though she’ll have plenty of reason for being there.
"There’s a reason Katana was brought in; there’s a connection with Alfred… She never really becomes a sidekick, she has a past," said co-producer Glen Murakami. "I don’t think we’re changing it just to change it. I think we’re trying to find new takes on the character, and we want a different dynamic."
Beware the Batman joins the DC Nation content block on Cartoon Network in Spring 2013, along with the second season of Green Lantern: The Animated Series.