Batman: Caped Crusader Reveals Return To Dark 1940s World, See The Evidence

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated


One of the few things that all fans of the Caped Crusader can agree on is that the most iconic version of the character was the one in Batman: The Animated Series. That show was created by Bruce Timm, and its popularity launched an entire DC Animated Universe whose quality was, frankly, everything the DCEU tried and failed to achieve. Now, we’ve gotten our first look at Timm’s upcoming Prime Video series Batman: Caped Crusader, and it looks like he is creating a bright future for this superhero by taking inspiration from his dark past.

The Images

Part of the distinctive style of Batman: The Animated Series came from the aesthetic choice to give everything a distinctly retro Art Deco look. This created an interesting visual juxtaposition where the show set in the modern day had one throwback design after another. For Batman: Caped Crusader, Timm has decided to fully embrace the retro vibe, setting the entire show in the 1940s.

By making the new show a period piece, Timm and the rest of his team can lean into the vintage design of buildings, vehicles, and clothing. Speaking of vintage designs, Batman: Caped Crusader has taken design inspiration from Golden Age DC comics for the look of characters like Batman and Catwoman. Batman, for example, is rocking short gloves and long ears, and Catwoman is rocking a cape that harkens back to her very first comic book appearance.

This Isn’t Batman: The Animated Series (Even Though It Is, In Fact, An Animated Batman Series)

Some of the characters in Batman: Caped Crusader have been redesigned by character designer James Tucker, and they are different from both the original comics and Batman: The Animated Series. For example, Commissioner Gordon is now a Black man, and Harley Quinn is Asian American. While changing these characters adds some much-needed diversity (something the original 1940s comics sorely lacked), Timm is adamant that one of his main goals with both the characters and the show as a whole is to fully differentiate it from Batman: The Animated Series.

Harley Comes Into Her Own

Fortunately, Timm’s desire to do something different with these characters goes beyond changing their appearance. Harley Quinn’s entire character sounds like she will be different: instead of being a whimsical sidekick to the Joker, she is going to be a serious and fearsome villain in her own right. Timm claims that she will actually use her professional training and effectively weaponize psychiatry (she’s a regular psychiatrist rather than an employee of Arkham Asylum), something that will likely become a plot point when she treats Bruce Wayne.

Wearing A Person Suit

dc marvel

Speaking of Wayne, the hero at the center of Batman: Caped Crusader will also be very different from what we have seen onscreen before. Timm claims Batman will be portrayed as “a really weird human being” who thinks of himself as the Dark Knight all the time and sometimes has trouble “wearing a person suit” and “trying to pretend to be something that he’s not.” More intriguingly, James Tucker claims that “we try to wipe out the foregone conclusion that he’s a hero,” which may imply more darkness and hidden menace than was present in Batman: The Animated Series.

Streaming August 1

kevin conroy batman

Considering how cool Batman: Caped Crusader sounds, it won’t surprise you to learn that Max passed on the chance to make this an exclusive series. Fortunately, Amazon picked it up, and you can stream the new show on Prime Video on August 1. With any luck, the show will be good enough to launch an all-new DC Animated Universe to coincide with the ambitious DCU James Gunn is currently building.

Source: Entertainment Weekly