28 November 2005

Comics Roundup 11/28 (CS)

Following it's Infinite Marketing Crisis, DC will be cutting a lot o' the fat, getting rid of a bunch of books (including Plastic Man, The Flash, Batgirl, and others).

Well, apparently the Teen Titans cartoon is going away too. If it were the decision of the show's creative team that they had run out of juice and they may as well quit while they're ahead, then that would be admirable. In this case, however, it is reportedly the Cartoon Network's decision to not pick up a sixth season of the series.

Mind you, this is a series the Cartoon Network has gone to particular lengths to support and market. Re-runs are frequently on, new episodes are regular and punctual, there are toy lines and the subject matter and art style has been kept manga/anime-esque to appeal to a younger audience. The popularity of the show itself and it's fun theme-song even seemed to help in the creation of a cartoon about Japanese Pop-group Puffy Ami-Yummi.

If the Cartoon Network is going to choose not to pick up a show they've treated so well, what hope is there for shows like Justice League Unlimited which CN has shafted with terribly inconsistent scheduling (a span of 3 MONTHS between ep's 4 and 5 of this latest season), hardly running re-runs (if ever), and usually terrible time slots (for example, at 8 pm on a Saturday night, JLU's target audience is usually getting drunk or at least not high enough to sit down and watch a cartoon..... um, not that I speak from experience or anything). If they had half a mind they'd show episodes of Justice League during Adult Swim hours (closer to JLU's target demographic's usual viewing schedule) instead of one of the ten thousand different anime shows they usually have on (where they experience a ratings drop anyway). I figure JLU's on the chopping block too after this season.

The saddest part is, of course, that Teen Titans was actually a great and engaging series. It seems like most the episodes were inspired by classic and usually overused types of plots executed in a way to make them feel fresh and exciting. They've built up not just one major villain (Slade) but in successive seasons have introduced new ones and built them up as well. The show even successfully incorporated The Doom Patrol, who rarely get smart creative talent to make them as interesting and fun as they should be (but it worked this time).

What's more, what does this mean for the young audience that Cartoon Network set out to grab with the particular marketing of this show? The 7 Year Old I babysit loves this show and it's a great avenue for me and him to connect on. I even bought him an issue of Teen Titans Go! (DC's related, kid friendly comic) which he loved enough to read twice in one night (I can usually hardly get him through 2 pages of whatever he might've had assigned that night from school).

And what will fill the gap left behind? Another homegrown Cartoon Network series? There've been few truly fun or engaging ones since powerpuff girls. My 7 Year Old Buddy would rather watch Toon Disney. Or perhaps they'll inundate the airwaves MORE Ed, Edd, and Eddy (slightly amusing at best and ALWAYS on)?

I've head talk that the Cartoon Network will eventually be running a Legion of Superheroes cartoon and if DC can provide the same caliber of creative talent that has worked on their previous cartoons (whether it be Titans, JL, or even Superman and the various Batman series) then perhaps there is hope yet. Also, they will be airing the Hellboy cartoon movie, so there is that to look forward to. We'll have to keep our fingers crossed, though, 'cuz Cartoon Network has already decided to ax a good one.


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