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The Adventures of Batman & Robin – Showdown (Review)

This September marks the twentieth anniversary of Batman: The Animated Series, and the birth of the shared DC animated universe that would eventually expand to present one of the most comprehensive and thorough explorations of a comic book mythology in any medium. To celebrate, we’re going back into the past and looking at some classic episodes.

Bruce Timm’s animated DC universe introduced me to a wealth of comic book characters I would never have encountered otherwise. While I was familiar with most of Batman’s iconic selection of bad guys, The Demon’s Quest introduced me to Ra’s Al Ghul. Later on, you could see Superman: The Animated Series making a point to introduce other iconic characters like the Flash or Green Lantern. However, Batman: The Animated Series also did its shared of universe-building. While Zatanna introduced the magician as a co-star with Bruce, Showdown is notable for introducing another DC hero with whom Bruce never directly interacts.

Showdownworks superbly as an introduction to the character of Jonah Hex. It certainly works much better than the recent feature film carrying the character’s name.

He’s a sharp one…

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Has Jonah Hex Killed the Comic Book B-Movie?

The reviews for Jonah Hex are not good. The box office for Jonah Hex is equally not good. I think it’s safe to say that there won’t be a sequel. But are the implications deeper than that? I’ve certainly read some suggestions that this might not just be a bad result for the bad ass, facially-scarred cowboy, but for fans of minor comic book characters in general:

Remember all those ambitious plans DC and Marvel’s film crews had to use their massive character libraries as movie R&D? After sub par returns for Kick-Ass, The Losers (two movies that deserved better box-office) and with Jonah Hex a near-certain bomb, fans may want to dial down those dreams of an Ant-Man or Booster Gold movie.

When the bell finally tolls in Hollywood for films based on B-list comic book characters – and you can bet Quasimodo is warming up in the bell tower — you might be able to blame Jonah Hex for being the tipping point.

So, has Jonah Hex killed any chance for lesser known characters on the big screen?

Has Jonah put a Hex on less popular comic book characters?

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