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The Quick and Dirty Introduction…

Basically, the idea originally came up while shooting the breeze with my girlfriend – why not do a fan commentary series for one of my favourite TV series, Justice League? After pointing out that I had the small issue of not really wanting anyone to hear me ramble for 22 minutes at a time, she once again came up with a better idea: just rip off The Onion’s excellent TV Club format, only for the DC Animated Universe (they don’t seem to have any plans to add the DCAU to their retro section… not hipster-centric enough for them, I suppose).

So that’s what this is. It’s been seventeen years since Batman: The Animated Series took its first bow, and the overall storyline finally seems to have come to a completed end (although you can never be too sure with all the DVDs that have come out), so looking at the entire series from the start is, I think, a valid approach. The format will be fairly fluid, but it’s going to mainly be a brief – BRIEF – recap of the events of an episode followed by discussion of the origins of the material, how it works in retrospect now that the entire series is completed, and just various wacky points that come up or great lines that get used (such as Hawman mentioning that Hawkgirl is into bondage… but that’s a story for five seasons’ worth of episodes in the future).

[I can already see Google putting me into a weird category for that last sentence.]

Of course, Justice League is just the spine; while I’m hardly going to be touching on Batman: The Animated Series due to the lack of direct ties, if an episode comes up that merits an entry from either that series or the others, I’ll cover them in the same format. In fact, the first non-Justice-League episode I plan to talk about is from Batman Beyond – which should be obvious. I’ll also crib from TwoMorrows Publishing‘s excellent Modern Masters: Bruce Timm interview to provide contextual quotes where available.

The goal is to make this as new viewer friendly as possible, since all of these episodes are available on DVD and I figure anyone watching for the first time is bound to have more than a few questions. So the occasional link to Wikipedia and / or DC Comics for a more detailed character origin is probably inevitable, but I’ll cover all the important stuff here. My philosophy is simple: all you need to know about Batman is that his parents were murdered and as a result he dresses up as a giant bat to fight crime by scaring the crap out of bad guys. If you care about more than that, there’s people better qualified than me to tell you (although I’ll answer any questions in the comments).

Anyway, enough rambling. First up is one of the longest episodes we’re ever going to talk about: “Secret Origins”, the debut of the contemporary Justice League in animated form. The italics? That’ll be covered in the second entry.

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