Every time someone mentions how hardcore Javert was, I remember my childhood’s original Javert.
AGENT BENNET DO NOT FORGET HIS NAAAAAME.
Seriously, this guy chased a killer robot across America and back, all in the name of duty and national security. For two seasons. EVERY EPISODE. He’s the most morally sympathetic villain I’ve ever seen - he wasn’t an antagonist because he was *evil*, he just had a job that had to be done to keep everyone safe, but he was also too obsessed with the hunt to realize what he was chasing wasn’t the real villain, he was.
How evil could this precious robot possibly be? Look at him.
OH MY GOD SO FOR SOME REASON I HAD THESE VAGUE MEMORIES OF SOME OLD CARTOON FROM MY CHILDHOOD. I REMEMBER NOTHING BUT THE FACT IT HAD A ROBOT AND A GIRL I THINK ONE EPISODE INVOLVED A TRAIN BUT THAT’S IT! I ALWAYS JUST ASSUMED IT WAS A FIGMENT OF MY IMAGINATION BUT AFTER YEARS OF SEARCHING I FINALLY FOUND IT!!!
Since you seem to be a fan of the old DCAU (and who isn't? It was awesome), I'd like to know your opinion on The Zeta Project. I loved that show when I was younger, but I think it's the most overlooked part of the DCAU
Oh yes, I loved The Zeta Project! It was an excellent series and I’m extremely disappointed it has yet to have season 2 released on DVD.
It’s real rarity in terms of concept: a spin-off series (from Batman Beyond, which was itself a spin-off/sequel of Batman TAS) set in the Warner Brothers’ DC animated cartoon canon with no preexisting comic book basis. It’s an original series with a very original premise. Unfortunately, I think it’s because of that lack of franchising options that the show doesn’t get talked about as much anymore, and why it is sort of the odd duck out in the DCAU, as you said. While Zeta is certainly heroic, you never see him mentioned as one of DC’s great superheros.
Still, I really enjoyed it. I loved how it expanded and explored the futuristic world set up in Batman Begins; showing how America had changed outside of cool cyber-punk Gotham. It had the same sort of “road movie” appeal GI Joe Renegades has. The characters are always on the run, seeing many different sorts of people and different sorts of world/living styles. There’s a constant theme of fear, unease, and persecution. Yet, they are constantly searching for their own place to call home, or maybe building “home” with one another symbolically.
I loved the Zeta and Ro’s relationship; the odd cross-section between love interest and father figure… and how the show was okay with discussing the disturbing implications of this.
I love how it presented a conflict that gave weight and legitimacy to both sides. On the one hand, you liked Zeta and Ro, you trusted Zeta, and wanted their freedom. On the other hand, Zeta’s existence as a robot was a serious issue. The NSA was not necessarily wrong for chasing him down as they did, and it showed the members as real people with lives, families, and personalities outside of Zeta. It didn’t go for cutesy, easy answers. The questions of “maybe he’s not truly sentient, it could be an elaborate trap” or “he’s too dangerous to be allowed freedom of action even if he is really alive” were concepts the show ran into full force behind.
It’s just a damned good show. A great idea with great characters and creative episodes to bring it all together. It’s really sad that it never received proper credit in its time, and seems to have been swept under the rug on DC/general animation history.
This was a project I started about a year or so ago and I had nearly lost when my computer hard drive died. Sadly I never went back to it and even now I just get the urge to redo it after spotting some things that nag me.
It really holds up as a sleek and well written Sci-fi thriller. Each episode feels important and the writing is spot on both emotionally and dramatically. You really grow to care about Zee and Ro and the fact that they never get a moments rest from danger really gives the show an insane amount of tension. And while the animation is a little simple at times, it really has a great style to it and it never cuts too many corners.
Plus it is considered canon in the DC universe and it crosses over with Batman Beyond.
In short, I love this show. And It was just the inspiration I needed. I have not been feeling very well lately, and not very motivated art-wise.
I think the best thing about Zeta from the DCAU is that you never forget that he’s a robot. A lot of times writers will just write robots as weird humans or foreign visitors. Zeta never felt that way to me. He was a robot one you could care for and one who cared about others yet even as he learned about pop culture he never became a “Human is disguise.”
If you think about Data from star trek he seems like a sheltered introvert going through therapy so he can become human. His robot-ness never felt real.
Neither did Aya from GLTAS she always felt like a child growing up.
Zeta seems to carry his own culture and I always found that cool.