Sunday, October 27, 2013
The Dark Knight Disappears from Cartoon Network
It's official: Beware the Batman, the animated series that makes up half of Cartoon Network's DC Nation programming block, has been pulled from the network's schedule. For the immediate future, the DC Nation hour will consist of two episodes of Teen Titans Go! There has been some speculation that Beware the Batman will return in January, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet.
If anything, I think that this development speaks volumes about Time Warner's inept handling of the DC universe. Some of the scuttlebutt that I've heard is that the executives at Cartoon Network weren't happy with having DC superhero cartoons "forced" on them by their parent company of Time Warner, so they were happy to get rid of the under-performing Beware the Batman cartoon as soon as they could. If that is true, then that would indicate that Time Warner's current plan to promote DC superheroes in media formats outside of comic books is poorly organized and will mostly likely sputter along for a while without generating any memorable hits.
For those of you who are keeping score, here's how things stand between DC and Marvel when it comes to movies and TV:
* DC has one TV cartoon (Teen Titans Go!) currently on the air, a Superman/Batman movie in the works, and a live-action TV series (Arrow) that is on its second season on CW and has nothing to do with any of the of the DC superhero movies.
* Marvel has three cartoons on the air on Disney XD (Avengers Assemble, Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., and Ultimate Spider-Man) and a live-action TV series (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) on ABC that's a spin-off of the Marvel superhero movies. Marvel also has Thor and Captain America movies scheduled for release (November 2013 and April 2014, respectively), another Avengers movie in the works, and movies based on superheroes such as Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy and Fantastic Four currently in pre-production. This list does not include upcoming Spider-Man and X-Men movies, movies that are being made without direct supervision from Marvel and its parent company Disney.
I may not be the most well-versed superhero fan, but it looks to me that DC is getting its butt kicked by Marvel. Thanks, Time Warner!