I've been a big fan of the "Timmiverse" *, the collection of animated series helmed by Bruce Timm that started in 1992 with Batman: The Animated Series and continues today with Justice League Unlimited.
I've had a suspicion that the end of JLU would herald an end to the "Timmiverse" -- and the events of this season certainly seemed to be heading for a conclusion. When I heard this news, my hope was that LSH would provide a follow-up to JLU, and continue the ongoing animated continuity into the far-flung future of the Legion's 31st Century.
For those who don't pay attention to such matters, the last two DC Comics cartoons released by Warner have been divorced from the Timm continuity.
The Batman is a "reimagining" of Bruce's early days, obviously keyed to ride the tails of the brilliant Batman Begins. The visual style resembles that of Jackie Chan Adventures, which I don't mind at all -- however, the "reimagined" villains lack the pathos that made Timm's versions so memorable, and made B:TAS the "definitive Batman" in the eyes of many fans.
Teen Titans deals with a band of teenaged superheroes seemingly bereft of any adult supervision or day-to-day responsibility. The show has a distracting faux-anime motif, and, despite having some genuinely intense moments and some serious, long-term story arcs, its use of "comedy releif" and such anime conceits as having the characters suddenly turn "chibi" frequently spoil the mood. The humor doesn't derive from character action and interaction; rather, it's a throwback to camp.
My fear has been that, since both series involve super-powered teenagers, LSH would follow the Teen Titans style.
All The Rage has the word from San Diego Comic Con on the fate of both JLU and LSH.
The word is... mixed.
- Season 5 of JLU is go.
- Confirmed: they're bringing back The Legion of Doom -- and I'm sure they'll do it in a way that's completely out of left field.
- Rumor: Amanda Waller will return as the League's government liason. As a long-time fan of The Wall, this makes me happy. I knew these writers wouldn't relegate one of the strongest female characters in comics to the role of Luthor's Patsy.
- LSH is also go. It's not vaporware, which many of us thought after the initial announcement was followed by chirping crickets. Most of the JLU crew is making the transition.
- Timm is not among the JLU crew making the transition.
- It's possible that his contract with TimeWarnerDCAOLMegaHugeConglomCo will not be renewed.
- It looks like LSH will be done Teen Titans-style, and deliberately disconnected from the Timmiverse.
Ah well. When you think about it, thirteen years is longer than the Golden Age lasted.
(Now if the fanboys would only let the Silver Age end...)
*My use of the term "Timmiverse" should not be construed as dismissing the contributions of Paul Dini, Dwayne McDuffie, et al.; however, Mr. Timm is largely responsible for the distinctive visual style of the various shows.
UPDATE: According to Dwayne McDuffie, writer and producer on JLU and Teen Titans, "This is wrong in oh so many ways. It's just a bunch of rumors." He's confirmed that JLU-5 is go, but nothing about LSH... yet.
UPDATE:McDuffie further confirms that he's Not On The LSH Project.
This bodes ill. Dwayne's one of the best writers on JLU, and his own Static Shock. It sounds like the "oh so wrong rumor" is not that "Timm's Not On LSH", but that "most of the JLU crew is making the transition".