Even today, decades after the shows first aired, both Batman and Superman animated series spark nostalgia and transport fans to the past days of glory. The credit goes to the showrunner Bruce Timm who revolutionized the DC superheroes and made fans fall in love with them all over again.

From giving a fresh look to the DC superheroes to making the villains fearsome and menacing, Timm took care of every aspect so that fans could enjoy the stories without any complaints.

Major Issue With Superman: The Animated Series

Superman Animated Series
Superman: The Animated Series

Everyone knows that it’s the villains who make a hero. They push the strong and brave heroes to explore their strength and really come into their own. Without a villain who pushes boundaries, heroes can be dull and sullen with no challenge to drive them.

So, when the concept for an animated show for Superman was floated after Batman: The Animated Series became such a success, showrunner Bruce Timm knew that he needed better villains for the Man of Steel, menacing foes who could evolve Superman further.

In an interview with CBR, he shared,

“It was really a matter that Superman’s rogues gallery was not as visually interesting as Batman’s rogues gallery, so we knew we really needed better villains. I was always a huge Jack Kirby fan and there’s a precedent that the whole Fourth World thing was introduced in the Jimmy Olsen comics first so there’s a connection right there and kind of low-hanging fruit.

It gave us something new to bring to the table because it hadn’t really been done in any Superman animated project other than the Super Friends and it was really fun. It was great to bring in this whole other weird mythology and it expanded the scope of the type of stories we could tell. It gave a couple really great villains, including Granny Goodness played by the late, great Ed Asner, who was one of my favorites.”

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Batman: The Animated Series
Batman: The Animated Series

As Superman: The Animated Series went ahead, it dove into Jack Kirby’s characters and overall contributions to the DC universe. Timm was glad that there was a whole aspect of the comic book world that remained unexplored.

At the same time, he held the potential to unlock more unique plots for the crew to cover in Superman: The Animated Series. The time for Batman to be the only cool superhero in the DC world was over as Timm gave his best shot at placing Superman in the cool leagues too.

Bringing Superman and Batman Together

Superman animated series
The New Batman/Superman Adventures (1997)

As soon as the issue with character rights was resolved between Warner Bros and Fox for Batman, Timm was instructed to get Batman into the fold and maybe even make stories where the two superheroes come on screen together.

Given the simultaneous success of both animated shows and the chemistry between the voice actors, Timm created episodes where fans could witness the Caped Crusader fight alongside the Man of Steel. Timm recalled,

“We might have gone a little overboard with their animosity to each other but it was a lot of fun… To the point where Batman is romancing Lois right from underneath Superman, but we already knew Kevin Conroy and Dana Delaney had great chemistry so figured why not play that card. It was all serendipity. It all kind of just happened.”

Also Read: After DC’s Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker Sequel Was Canceled, Another Show Ended Up Using its Rumored Plot Line

The beauty of such characters from comic books lies in their inherent diversity in terms of stories and their personalities. Their life in comic books is so vast that while making a series on the characters, the showrunners have the opportunity to choose which side of the superheroes to showcase on screen.

Similarly, Timm could pick and choose the plots and villains that would face both Batman and Superman in their respective series.

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