The World’s Finest caught up with Batman: The Brave and The Bold Producer James Tucker to discuss the latest episode of the acclaimed animated series, “Powerless!” The all-new episode debuts tonight, Friday, October 21st, 2011 at 7:00pm (ET) on Cartoon Network. The episode features the Jokers of All Nations and the Justice League International. Continue below for the all-new exclusive Batman: The Brave and The Bold Q & A with Tucker.
The World’s Finest: This episode opens with the “Batmen of all Nations” facing off against the “Jokers of all Nations.” Is it safe to say the “Batmen” are inspired by both the original 90s appearance by some of these Batmen as well as the recent Grant Morrison works? What inspirations did you take for the Joker’s rival gang?
James Tucker: Actually, I based this version of The Batmen on the original 50s version for the most part combined with some of the more recent versions. It wasnt specifically patterned after Morrisons version though. The Jokers of All Nations were picked based on what kind of humorous outfit we could put them in. Basically we picked countries that werent represented by the Batmen of All Nations already.
WF: Captain Atom is the spotlight hero in this episode. Could you explain your influences with this particular version of the character?
JT: The basic idea of this episode was what does a powerful superhero do when their superpowers are gone. Is it the man or the Superman that makes the hero? Originally this was conceived more as a showcase for Captain Atom, but I wanted to refocus it to include the Justice League International because we wanted to give them a certain amount of spotlight this season. Michael Jelenic and I wanted to make this version of Captain Atom a bit of a jerk to set up the theme of the episode, so he does get a bit humbled by the end. Or does he?
WF: Aquaman sings in this episode. Can you take us through his song, the assorted costumes, etc.? Will this be Aquaman’s last big moment in the series?
JT: Well the script was a bit story-lite really, and we needed to fill up some time and rather than just add another fight, our default mode is now to add a song. The song served the story purpose of defining what the episode was really about and it also provided some much needed empathy for Captain Atom as well as a chance to give some easter eggs to the fans in the know. And who better to sing a song about heroism than Aquaman? John Dimaggio was such a great singer and we love Aquaman, obviously, so Michael and I whipped up some lyrics, and our great musicians, Dynamic Music Partners, did their magic and actually made it a song and I story boarded the sequence. This was done a while after the story had been written and the majority of the show had started being storyboarded, if Im not mistaken, so we were under the gun. I designed the costumes on the board and then our character designers had the unenviable task of drawing most the different versions of Aquaman in the various costumes. But fear not, Aquaman has a few more spotlights coming up this season before were done!
WF: The JLI has made multiple appearances in the series so far. Can you run us through this team why you chose these particular cast members. And if there’s a JLI, is there also the traditional Justice League somewhere in this universe?
JT: We wanted to use roughly the same version of the JLI that was in the comics during its creation, so Fire, Ice, Martian Manhunter, Booster Gold, Blue Beetle (the current living version) and Guy Gardner were obvious choices. Michael Jelenic wanted Aquaman on the team and of course, who am I to argue with that? My only regret is not putting in a joke about Aquamans brief stint as leader of Justice League Detroit in the series somewhere. That would have been hilarious. Our continuity on this show was malleable to say the least, so Justice League International is our defacto name for any version of the League that has appeared because thats the name we had the legal right to use at the time we were producing the show. But I will say that there is no other version of Justice League operating right now besides this version. However, later on in the remaining episodes, new heroes will have joined. Also, there was never any plan of elaborating on what broke up the original League. The reality of a group splitting up just isnt that important to us. Especially given weve covered that type of story ground in our Doom Patrol episode.
WF: The episode tackles the idea of heroes with an without powers, and which are better. Care to chime in with your thoughts on this debate?
JT: I dont have any opinion either way. Theres one scene in the story early on where Captain Atom really breaks down what would really happen to a Batman in a world really populated with super powered villains and its really hilarious. I cant say I disagree with him. But this is why we love Batman because in some ways, as far as comic books go, hes the most unrealistic character of all because hes human and can be killed potentially, and yet, his brains, athletic ability, will power, wealth and gadgets keep him alive and let him win. Hes the ultimate symbol of American capitalism if you want to take it to an extreme comparison.
WF: As always, we wrap up this mini-Q & A with the same question – why should fans check out this new episode of Batman: The Brave and The Bold when it airs on the 21st?
JT: Aquaman Sings! Again. nuff said.
The all-new Batman: The Brave and The Bold episode “Powerless!” debuts tonight, Friday, October 21st, 2011 at 7:00pm (ET) on Cartoon Network. Continue to the Batman: The Brave and The Bold subsite for further details and media from this episode.
Batman: The Brave and The Bold airs on Cartoon Network every Friday at 7:00pm (ET), with the next new episode “Crisis 22,300 Miles Above Earth!” now airing Friday, October 28th, 2011 at 7:00pm, as opposed to its original November 4th, 2011 airdate. Respectively, the episode “Four-Star Spectacular!” will now air November 4th, 2011 at 7:00pm (ET) on Cartoon Network.
Additionally, an all-new episode of Young Justice also debuts tonight on Cartoon Network. The episode “Humanity” debuts at 6:30pm (ET), featuring the debut of Zatanna, before an all-new episode of Batman: The Brave and The Bold.
Stay tuned for further Batman: The Brave and The Bold updates, including exclusive updates, here soon at The World’s Finest.
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