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Old 09-01-2013   #1
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Burgaw, NC
Posts: 213
Default Top Five Animated Superhero shows

Honorable mentions: Super Hero Squad, Static Shock, Batman Beyond, Green Lantern the Animated Series (Sorry I never saw enough of Young Justice to put it on the list, nor have I seen enough of any X-men series)

Number 5- Ultimate Spiderman- Spiderman has usually been treated in either an extremely comedic scenario of show or game, or serious with a little bit of goofy like the films. Up until 2012 there hadn’t really been a Spiderman show, at least in my opinion, that was able to balance the comedic with the serious well *No I haven’t seen Spectacular Spiderman.* Until this year. Unlike other spiderman shows, rather than starting with Spiderman’s backstory, we start well into Peter Parker being Spiderman and working for Shield and 4 other super heroes including Nova and Iron Fist and the episodes usually revolve around a new superhero from Spiderman or other Marvel universes coming in to help such as Wolverine *Happily played by Steven Blum again,* Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, or a villain such as Nightmare, Venom, Dr. Doom and many others. The show mainly follows two ways of exploiting how it goes along, comedic with some serious or goofy dialogue, mainly due to Drake Bell’s great performance as Spiderman *Best Spiderman IMO.* The plots of many of the episodes sometimes even do tributes to other comics or spinoffs in the Spiderman universe, my favorite being the Spider-Ham episode where Loki transforms Spiderman into a Pig while the Asgardians are on the hunt for a pig to eat, and I personally think this episode has the record for most pig puns in any show or film. The animation for this show is also very impressive for Disney and I’d argue this is quite possibly the best looking show marketed by Disney to date. Mainly the episodes involving the Beetle and the episode involving Nightmare and Doctor Strange, which are two characters basically made for having insane and crazy visuals, and they show this massively well. As for the two episodes with the Beetle, seeing how the Beetle is the most well trained Hitman and bounty hunter in the Spiderman universe, we get to see some amazing battle scenes in this show, and speaking of the battles in this show I think is one of the best selling points. The fight with Nightmare, the two fights with Venom, the fight with Green Goblin, the fights with Dr. Doom and several others all look amazing and are some of the most awesome looking animated fight scenes I’ve seen done in animation and utilize every power these villains and superheroes use. Nightmare’s fight especially is amazing. Nightmare clones himself, sword fights, deflects spell, rides on horseback, punches, vanishes, and uses peoples fears to fight for him *Heck this I wouldn‘t be surprised if they make a videogame with this villain as a boss.* Now I said that the show did a good job at using comedy well with the serious and the comedy I will admit is very stupid at a lot of points, especially a lot of those pig puns in the mentioned Spiderham episode. The show mainly prefers a 4th wall breaking style of humor with Spiderman’s inner thoughts and conscience, speaking mainly in a high pitched or goofy voice and insulting the characters or himself. Where the humor shines I think the best is the episode Freaky where Wolverine and Spiderman have to cope when the two wake up in each other’s body after the villain Mesmero uses a hypnotic spell to make them swap bodies and Spiderman can’t figure out how Wolverines body works and Wolverine can’t understand how to interact with Peters friends when he doesn’t know what’s going on. It sets itself up for so many comedic possibilities that the jokes just write themselves. *Voice Acting Fan alert* Now usually when going into a show I usually find out who the voice actors are to see if there’s anyone I’m familiar with, and I was surprised on a lot of these people such as Greg Cipes playing Iron Fist, Maurice Lamarche playing Dr. Doom, Matt Lanter playing Flash Thompson, Harry Osbourne, and Venom, Mark Hamill playing Nightmare, Roger Craig Smith playing Captain America, Dwight Schultz playing Mesmero, Tom Kenny playing Doctor Octopus, and even the Live action J. Jonah Jameson J.K. Simmons reprising his original role and there‘s many other big voice actors *Clancy Brown, Steve Blum Kevin Michael Richardson* but I won‘t name them all for the sake of being boring, but all of them do fantastic jobs and recreate all these characters just amazingly well. I highly recommend this show to anyone who is a fan of Spiderman or the Marvel universe or great animation, just make sure you can take a good sense of humor with this show.

Number 4: Teen Titans- I think this is personally one of Cartoon networks best ideas done and one of their best shows produced, and I think they realize it to seeing how they rebooted the series with a new series of shorts called the New Teen Titans with a more strict base on comedy and a more childish art style, and I don't think it's nearly as bad as people say. Anyway back to the regular series. Teen titans was what I think the first real animated show that I think was geared mainly toward the age rank of 7 year olds but could fair well with the teen demographic, at least in my mind, unlike shows like Justice League or Batman where the shows were more teen friendly and more to what teenagers could get into. The show has a certain amount of action and humor that gives it a good balance plus this is some of CN’s best humor and voice acting in my mind especially with Beast Boy and Cyborg played by Greg Cipes and Khary Parton. The show I think has probably the best representation of each of the members as well as other superhero sidekicks that they introduce from other comics such as Aqualad, Kid Flash and several others. The show also surprisingly has a great amount of character depth for such a more comedic/action related show especially for Cartoo network. Heck the show even deals with some teen issues and even some pretty adult issues such as post traumatic stress, betrayal, the best level of character depth mainly comes from Raven voiced by Tara Strong. Especially during one of the season finales but I’m not going to ruin that episode for you but I’ll just say it is some of the best depth I’ve seen given to a character in an animated series or series in general. But one of the best points about this show as with many other superhero shows and the future entries, is the villains. Slade is one of the best villains ever put in DC comics and I don’t think I need to say much for a villain played by one of my favorite actors AKA Ron Perlman, and a villain who’s comic book name is Deathstroke. The show also created some other fantastic villains such as the 4 villain group of HIVE, composing of Jynx, Gizmo, Mammoth, and the leader Brother Blood voiced by Bender voice actor John Dimaggio. Also the villain Brain is one of the best villains I think ever put to DC comics and this interpretation is definitely one of the main reasons on why. While I do find it kind of strange how the vocal effect they gave to Glenn Shadix made him sound more like a Speak and Spell, I personally think it worked very well for the character. The show also has some exceptionally good action scenes in many episodes especially the final episode with the final battle with all the teen superheroes vs. all the main villains the Titans have fought. The show even can build some very good suspense and even has a few good creepy moments especially in the episode “scared.” while the new show on Cartoon network “Young Justice” is basically the more modern and less comedic version of this show with a lot more superheroes, I think Titans is much better and the tone the show sets clashes well with the comedy. Now with that out of the way, Hollywood… Please Make a film!!!

Number 3: Batman the Animated Series- Now I know what you’re all probably wondering, why isn’t this number 1? Well its simple, I don’t think it’s as good as the other shows. Putting that aside, this is an amazing show. Seeing how this show was basically the show that set the standards for dark animated shows and films at the time and even some now, it’s a pretty influential show in the industry of comics and animation in general. When this show first came out Batman Returns had just come out in 1992 which was a much darker predecessor to the first film but many people did feel that the film felt too forcibly dark and failed to please many fans of Batman who wanted a film more serious but had the dark elements of the first film, and this is where Batman the Animated Series came in. When this came out this had probably the biggest impact in terms of Superhero shows and especially animated ones and this show actually launched several peoples careers, not just some of the voice actors but the writers and directors as well. For example, Paul Dini who was writer for several episodes and designer and creator of Harley Quinn went on to work on Batman Beyond, Duck Dodgers, Justice League, Krypto the Superdog, even Star Wars the Clone Wars and Batman Brave and the Bold. And even some voice actors got more major recognition because of this show, Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill became the major voice of the Joker for more than 10 DC shows and games until retiring the role in 2011. Even now big voice actors started with this show. Major voice actor and voice of Johnny Bravo and many other 90s and modern cartoon characters, Jeff Bennett, got his start doing a couple voices for this show. And even the sequel series about two years later helped kickstart Twilight Sparkle and Timmy Turner voice actress Tara Strongs more major voice acting career prior to her playing mainly little girl characters. To be honest I think this show follows batman’s storylines in the comics the best capturing each character to a T or completely reinventing them which many fans of the Batman comics and even Batman creator Bob Kane would agree. Recreating already great characters such as Mr. Freeze, or even making new villains such as Baby Doll and the major fan favorite Harley Quinn. The show became so popular that it spawned a film a year after its release called “Mask of the Phantasm” which is one of the best superhero films in my opinion, and even spawned a sequel series called Batman Beyond taking place about 20 or 30 years after the events of the original series following the new Batman Terry Mcginnis voiced by Boy meets World actor and Ron Stoppable voice Will Friedle. Now what is the best part about this show that makes it on this list? Well, the character development and interactions is really what makes this show so good to me and to many fans of the series. Now don’t get me wrong the animation is impressive and the full orchestrated score is fantasic but they don’t just have a throwaway villain and just never use them again, no all the villains are used multiple times and there is no one main villain that is used only once and never used again. And the humanity that they give these characters just makes it even better, mainly Baby Doll and Mr. Freeze. Baby Doll is just a misunderstood actress that lost her career after her 15 minutes of fame and Mr. Freeze is given the backstory that is the most famous of Freezes backstories and is the most well developed of all the Freezes and done chillingly well by actor Michael Ansara. The show ended in 1995 but was rebooted in 1997 called “The New Batman Adventures” Which was basically the same show but with a few different tweaks. The art style for one was much more cartoony and more modern looking since the popularity of the Superman animated series had popularized that certain animation style so many characters were redesigned with this style, mainly many of the villains and even some characters were recast along with their new designs, such as Baby Doll now being played by Laraine Newman, but my favorite of all the choices made on this show is the Scarecrow’s redesign and new voice actor, and it makes me wish that this was the Scarecrows original design and voice actor, because THIS design, is actually creepy and so is the voice provided by amazing character actor and voice actor Jeffrey Combs. And while I don’t find this the best kind of reboot it is decent but it won’t top the original series. Batman the Animated series may not be my absolute favorite superhero show but I can see the impact it has had and I highly recommend this to any fan of Batman or 90s animation.

Number 2: Avenger’s Earths Mightiest Heroes- I’m going balls out right now. F*ck the Avengers movie. There now that I got that out of the way, lets talk about Avenger’s Earths Mightiest Heroes. Predating the new avengers film by 2 years, its surprising to me at least that an animated show did the Avengers much better than a film built up for 5 years. Anyway enough bitching about the Avengers film…for the moment. Like the different Marvel films from 2008 to 2011 the film follows each of the avenger superheroes following there stories leading up to them just all meeting together, which I think is done extremely well here. They very well flesh out all the characters, giving them each individual episodes before they all meet up, my favorites being the episode with Ant-man and Wasp, and the episode with Captain America. And the show does feature more of the more famous of Avenger villains which I do like more than having one dull villain unlike a certain film. The series also doesn’t really have throw away villains they usually reappear later or in a big villain battle, which the series has a few, my favorite villain battle being the two part episode with Baron Zemo who might I add has one of the most gruesome back stories explained in the show, and he is a leader in a group of 5 of Marvel’s best side villains, Enchantress, Wonder Man, Crimson Dynamo, Executioner, and Abomination. This is one of the shows strongest selling points, they not only develop the heroes very well, but also the villains, again usually giving them one or two episodes to flesh them out enough and not make them forgettable. For instance Ultron *who is the best Marvel villain in my opinion* is given 4 episodes in season 1 and 2 in season 2 and doesn’t start out as a villain until his third episode, but develop what Ultron is and he helps fight with the Avengers in two episodes. Ultron is basically the equivalent of the HAL 9000 with a physical body and 4 times stronger than the hulk and that helps massively. Same goes for Zemo, Zemo is a villain that is a true sadistic leader and when spoken wrong too, has no shame is slitting your throat given the chance, and Robin Atkin Downes just does this role amazingly well. Hands down the best character to go through any development is Vision, a robot created by Ultron to be perfect like him. I won't spoil the arc that Vision has but lets just say it got me a little choked up. If you can tell, this is a show more based on character development and interactions then truly based on action, not saying there is little to no action, the show actually has a fantastic balance of action and the show takes advantage of every single shot and scene with these battles, using all the heroes and villains powers and abilities in the battles. Some of the best battles include, the two Ultron battles in the first season and even better Ultron battle in the second season, the battle with all the villains during the cube radiation meltdown, the fight with Zemo and his team, the fight with Beta Ray Bill, and the brief fight with the Technovore in season 2 which the episode in in of itself is basically a monster movie tribute. The show can surprisingly be extremely dark and disturbing at times too, mainly during the second season where there is not only the episode with the Technovore, but the episode Assault on 42, where the alien lord Annihilus rules over a large group of insects and the avengers have to team up with the villains to help fight the bugs, and this episode shows no mercy in killing characters. Blizzard, Whirlwind, Radioactive man, and Annihilus are all murdered in the most disturbing ways I’ve seen in a superhero show. And The animation is also a great help with these usually massive battles and this is some of Marvels best animation and this being one of Disney’s shows is saying something as of their quality drop in the last few years. Though sadly the show was cancelled last year after its second due to a certain films success and is nowg rebooted to follow the films plot close along with adding new avengers which the next film will most likely do as well. Hence another reason I despise said film. Well at least its on Netflix, and it did keep a pretty strong fan base, and I guess that’s for the best.

Number 1: Justice League- Now I never grew up watching Justice League sadly, due to me being really too young to really understand what was going on in the show and even when I was 10 when the series ended, I still really didn't have that much of a care for the series, but when they put Justice League on Netflix I figured I'd watch it and see what I've been missing considering anything Paul Dini, Andrea Romano, Dan Riba, Butch Lukic, and Bruce Timm touch turn to gold, and I have to say, not only is this the best animated super hero show ever made in my opinion, but its also one of the best shows ever created. The characters all have their own well developed backstories, even taking some characters as silly as the Flash and Wonder Woman, and making them serious and well developed. Each superhero is done respecitvely well to their comic book incarnation such as Dr. Fate, Black Canary, Green Arrow, Captain Atom, and many others. The animation is some of the DC animated universes best in my opinion, redesigning some villains, and adding hundreds of others and each one is extremely well done, some of my favorites being Copperhead, Shade, Gorilla Grodd, and the Flash's villains in Flash and Substance. Not only do they make each superhero and villain likable, but each story and episode takes time with each character so you don't feel that any of the characters weren't developed enough or you didn't know the character well enough to give a **** about him/her, which takes extremely good writing to pull off, and thankfully this show has some of the greatest. The action scenes are fantastic, the voice acting is top notch, the characters are all likable, and the animation is great, its a perfect show in every sense of the word.
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