Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Top 10 Best Comic Book Cartoon TV Shows of All-Time

We all love our cartoons when we are young and even older and even older. The ones that tend to stick with us even after we get "too old" for Saturday morning cartoons are superhero themed ones. Particularly ones based off of comic books. So I have complied a list of what I consider the beset tv shows based off comic books. The range is big and a few are highly predictable, but they are all truly great for separate reasons.

The Batman (2004-2008)

The Batman is a series that I despised when I first saw it because 1. It wasn’t Batman The Animated Series 2. It wasn’t in the DC Animated Universe. After watching the first episode, I was instantly hooked! Who Knew? This show changed the way animated cartoons were done in the DC/WB area of animation and it brought to screen great villains and great redone legendary villains like The Penguin and The Joker and Heroes. They were just fun and the younger Bruce Wayne was great with adding Robin and Batgirl than doing Justice League in final season. Bringing back some DC Animated Universe (DCAU) Favs to voice their characters again. Gave me a soft spot for this series. 

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles aka TMNT (2003-2009)

Don’t get me wrong, I love the original 80s version for what it is..but...the series in TMNT fan eyes is lackluster and too childish. Than came the 2003 series and it was way different and more adult. Still not as adult as comic, but it gave us funny one-liners and great action with a cool shredder. The series had cool seasons and even went into the future. It just covered so much of the turtles world.The best part was the series finale/tv film that combined all the different series into one great tv movie. TMNT does have a new series that is growing on me nicely, it gets the humor spot on. 

Spider-Man: The Animated Series (1994-1998)

Here is the longest running series based on Spider-Man and 2nd longest Marvel series period. Fox Kids had the best superhero programming in the 90s with this, X-Men, Batman, and others. I was glued to that channel. Spider-Man has had more tv series since way back in the 70s, but this 90s modern take on him was the absolute best. It gave us Peter Parker during his college years working at the Daily Bugle. The animation was superb and the dialogue was actually really great with the inner-monologue of Spider-Man himself, just like the comic books. We got to see the classic spidey villains like Kingpin, Green Goblin, Lizard, Doc Ock, and Venom. Although, my favorite part was we got to see The Punisher make his appreance a few times along with Blade, Doc Strange and even Captain America. There was even a great crossover with X-Men. What else could you ask for in an amazing Spider-Man series. (see what I did there). 

Teen Titans (2003-2006)

The animation alone is drastically different then almost every other DC cartoon, and that is a great thing! The anime animation style was able to bring the emotion and humor out of the characters that made the show memorable. We finally got to see Robin and the team take main stage and Cyborg is just hilarious. Don’t think the show was all fun and games, it did get pretty serious in a lot episodes, with Ron Perlman as Slade. The characters were well thought out and presented perfect for the age group they were made for, but they did impress the older group with the humor. You have to love this show. 

Batman Beyond (1999-2001)

Batman in the future. Period. Also, takes place after Batman:TAS, which makes it even more awesome! Batman Beyond took the Timmverse into a big new direction with going into the future so far we actually get to see an old (very old) Bruce Wayne, still being voiced by Kevin Conroy. Bruce hangs up the cowl in the first episode and we meet the new Batman, Terry McGinnis. This new batman still has all the humor and will to do the job, but we get a brand new suit that is awesome (and capeless) and new gadgets. Bruce became an Alfred role, while Barbara Gordon is chief, and Robin is a tech guy. Pretty cool to see where they all ended up going.We also get some awesome new villains in Gotham and return of some old ones. This series was a Timmverse high that ended too soon in my opinion, it was even green-lit for a 4th season, but Justice League deterred that. I hope one day we see more of this world and it’s heroes/villains in animation or film. 

Do you have an idea what they top 5 shows will be? Well come on and see if you know what it is. 

Superman: The Animated Series (1996-2000)

This is what I think is best counterpart to Batman: TAS. Superman: The Animated Series (Superman:TAS) was Bruce Timm’s take on the Man of Steel and, by golly, the best screen adaptation of the man in tights. Along with Kevin Conroy, Superman has been given a voice that all will remember when Tim Daly voiced Clark Kent. The entire voice cast was spot on for Lex Luthor, Lois Lane, and Turpin. Also, had great story arcs with some of the coolest and scariest characters in the DC universe finally getting their rightful place in Timmverse. Like, Lobo, Toyman, Metallo, and than Darkseid. He was so awesome in every way from deep voice to his crazy antics and taking main stage as Superman’s arch villain. Also, introduction of Livewire, Parasite, and others were a breath of fresh air. We finally get some original stories, while getting some older ones updated. Timm made sure that this Superman wasn’t invincible either, which adds to us being scared for his life every episode. I still consider this series the best adaptation of Superman ever. Also, you must watch the Batman/Superman crossover episodes because they were just for every geek to soak in all the awesomeness. 

Young Justice (2010-2013) 

This is currently the only show on the list that is still on the air (well by the time this was posted, just ended *sad face with tears*). The series is made its way to a grand ending of it’s 2nd season and it’s an amazing show that is just ending too soon for the fans. The animation is simply gorgeous and clean cut, the character designs are really spot on and cool change from the usual (equally great Timmverse series bulky bodies and chins). The characters that they have chosen for the series were fantastic to start with a cool Aqualad, Superboy, Robin, and my favorite Flash of them all (Wally West). It kept the action high every episode with keeping us wanting more. Even, with a really experimental season 2 type, where its set 5 years in future, it has been one hell of a ride with new characters and reminds me of some of the better seasons of Justice League. It was a sad day when it went off the air. 

X-Men (1992-1997)

This was a fantastic adaptation of the mutant team. I grew up watching this on Saturday mornings, brings such great memories back. The series is greatly known for bringing some of the best X-Men comic book story lines into the animated world for everyone to enjoy that never was able to pick up the issues. The series did get serious with covering social issues such as racism and isolation and smaller things that hit home with kids such as divorce or family issues. This show was building blocks for getting a live-action serious X movie made. Just think about the animation itself, along with the comic books at the big difference because the series was just like the comic book. That made it awesome, but not aging the best way possible (except the catchy theme song).

Justice League/Justice League Unlimited (2001-2006)

Some of you might be wondering why I grouped Justice League and Justice League Unlimited together. Some may not. Well the reason is they are essentially the same show just rebranded Unlimited with addition of the vast expanded cast of heroes in the DC universe. The shows first 2 seasons focused on the main team that brought together the DC Animated Universe. It brought the legendary figures of the older Timm-produced series Batman: TAS and Superman:TAS together into the ultimate fan team. This gave us a throwback to the more serious tones, writing, and art of Batman:TAS. That was how they got me from the start. It was just full of action and suspense from start to finish. I am also certain this series had more heart than many live-action drama series. There is one scene that almost makes me cry. It is when Batman is sitting on the swings with a girl who he finally talks her down from doing wrong. It just felt so emotional and real. Great job guys on this well played series.

Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1998) 

With how many times I have referenced this series, how could Batman: The Animated Series (TAS) not be number one of the list?! I would be absolutely mad if it wasn’t. This series is hands down the best animated comic book series, if not best animated series of all time. Creator Bruce Timm created a revolution in animation with creating a darker Batman for television and I thank him for my childhood because of it. Not only did this series adapt great stories of Batman, but gave us some of the most iconic Batman villain stories to date. We wouldn't have the heartbreaking background of Mr. Freeze and his wife, we also wouldn't have the amazing Harley Quinn! These changes were so popular they became the norm in comics and the movies (that is saying something). Also, Batman:TAS had maybe the most spectacular voice talent as Batman and The Joker ever. Kevin Conroy is the voice of Batman and Mark Hamill is always going to be the Joker. This series will go down in the history books and for sure generations to come because the animation and storytelling are timeless and I still could watch them to this day no problem. Best animated series of all time and always be in every fanboys heart. Thank you Bruce Timm and Paul Dini for making my childhood awesome and giving us the DCAU.

Those are not the only great comic book animated tv shows out there. Many were close to making the list but didn't make the cut including X-Men:Evolution, The Tick, Static Shock, The Avengers, and many more. Did your favorites make the list? Let us know 

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