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Toon Zone Talks to Greg Weisman, Part Two: "The Batman"

Toon Zone would like to welcome readers to the second of a four-part Greg Weisman interview. The first installment, focusing on Gargoyles, can be found here. Future installments will be posted throughout the summer.

Weisman had the difficult task of finishing the first season of the hit animated series The Batman, but the finale (“The Rubberface of Comedy, Part 1″ and “The Clayface of Comedy, Part 2″) far exceeded fan expectations.

They were especially excited that the series had finally addressed the backstory of a series villain. While Weisman agrees that the story does throw a heavy emphasis on Clayface, the story also shows the ramifications to Bruce Wayne’s character.

“No matter what the story is,” says Weisman, “We still want to see how this affects Bruce Wayne.”

Weisman says that from the get-go The Batman was always trying to put more emphasis on Bruce Wayne than the villains. To keep the focus on our young hero, producers wanted to make sure the villains’ backgrounds were kept simple.

“We didn’t want to complicate anything,” he adds.

Weisman also wrote “The Big Chill,” the episode that introduced Mr. Freeze into the series. He realized going in the kind of pressure he would be under .

“When it came to Mr. Freeze, we wanted to make his origin not the issue, but how his appearance in Gotham affected Bruce Wayne,” says Weisman. “And it does when he begins doubting himself.

“And Clancy Brown adds interest, no matter how crappy the writer is,” Weisman laughs.

When push comes to shove, Weisman stands behind the concept of the
series.

“Batman has cleaned up the regular thugs and mob bosses,” Weisman says,
referring to the opening teaser sequence of The Batman‘s first episode. “Now the gate is open for the supervillains and freaks to come to Gotham.”

The show is about Bruce’s development into The Batman. Weisman says that while he is a bit more light-hearted, he remains as driven as ever. Each new villain and fight he faces brings new challenges for the title character.

“We want to see how he develops,” says Weisman.

Weisman admits that the show faces an uphill battle, given the legacy of the animated Batman series of the 1990s. While the new show is introducing the Dark Knight’s origin to a whole new audience, you can’t ignore the past.

“Everyone who works on The Batman are great admirers of the work that’s come before,” says Weisman. “We have this big shadow over us, we always know it’s there.”

Weisman has enjoyed working on the series, and his only regret is not being able to write his favorite character.

“My personal favorite is the Scarecrow,” says Weisman, “Maybe I’ll get my swing at him in the future.”

Weisman will be revisiting Gotham in the second season of The Batman in episodes featuring the Clown Prince of Crime.

“I wrote a follow-up episode featuring Joker and Clayface called ‘Meltdown,’ as well as ‘Strange Minds,’ featuring The Joker and Professor Strange,” says Weisman. Strange was voiced by the late Frank Gorshin.

“It should be fun stuff.”

Next: Roughnecks: Starship Troopers – July 2005

Be sure to visit Greg Weisman’s official website for the latest updates from Weisman himself!

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