I have finally had a chance to see a preview of Cartoon Networks upcoming Batman: The Brave & the Bold animated series. Much like the comic series it was named after, the premise is showcasing Batman teaming up with various other superheroes. Plastic Man, Blue Beetle (Jamie Reyes version), and Green Arrow (with a Golden Age look) all make appearances in the preview.
What surprised me most is the tone. This is not the brooding Batman, tormented by his parents death that we have seen in most modern adaptations of the character. Rather, it is Batman as costumed adventurer. The art and tone seem much more reminiscent of the light-hearted Batman of the 1950s-60s than of today.
Or to put it another way, there is more Adam West than Christian Bale in this Batman.
While I have to admit I tend to like my Batman a bit more on the grim and gritty side, I actually want to applaud the creators of the new series for going in a different direction. While I loved The Dark Knight, it wasn't and appropriate movie for kids. Even worse, the kid-focused merchandising seemed as out of place as marketing a line of Godfather toys to eight-year olds.
Plus, bringing back Kite-Man? Now that is just pure genius!