I spent a lot of my formative years watching Batman the Animated Series. And I loved it. That show defined not only Batman but all superheroes with its atmosphere, stories, and characters. Every single cartoon or movie is chasing the standard that Batman: TAS set.

Even the artwork was brilliant. It was the first show that I actually noticed the animation style. And I still think it used shadows better than any incarnation of Batman I’m familiar with.

That’s a high bar.

And in recent years I’ve feared that maybe my memories were tinted by rose colored glasses. Maybe Batman: TAS wasn’t half as good as my mind recalled. After all, I thought Voltron was the best show ever – it was devastating to learn that it’s not.

Talk about crushed childhood dreams.

Well let me relieve the fear – Batman: TAS is still the standard to beat. Watching it on TV these last few weeks has reminded me just how brilliant it was. What’s surprising is the show’s probably better than I remember!

As a kid I enjoyed it because of the action, the art, and the “coolness” of Batman. But I instinctively knew there was something more there – I just didn’t now what. Now I can now fully appreciate the subtlety of the characters and artwork. I can enjoy it for the depth of the story telling and character development.

Batman: TAS is still the greatest superhero cartoon ever created. And may possibly be the best cartoon ever created.