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The Batfan writes...

Hi! It's me again, and wow, we've had some great episodes since "Terrors." "Home Front" and "Alpha-Male" really served to underline one thing I think is really great about this show: the bad guys aren't go to show the heroes mercy, just because they're teenagers. If these people can stomach killing civilians, they will definitely use lethal force to get rid of a few meddling kids.
...and then there was "Revelation," which blew my already high expectations for this show right out of the water.
It's not just that I think this show is nine kinds of amazing; the thought that keeps crossing my mind is, "This is the definitive animated version of the DC universe." This coming from someone who loved Batman: the Animated Series, and watched Teen Titans, The Batman, and the vast majority of DCAU material. Maybe it's because I'm not as young anymore, and I need a more mature, more plausible, more "complete" world; but while that's certainly a weighty factor in why I like Earth-16, I really think the level of writing and design seen on this show just hasn't been surpassed by any animated DC material that I've seen yet.

Anyway, sorry about that rant of praise. I'm sure you get a lot of it. I do have a few questions:

1. I looked through the archives, and there have been a lot of questions about Robin's - or, more specifically, Dick Grayson's age and grade level. I get that he's thirteen, and a freshman; he's definitely smart enough to have skipped a grade somewhere down the line. My question is this: if he is a freshman, and therefore new to Gotham Academy, why does its gym have his math prizes before he starts going there?

2. Belle Reve seems to hold many criminals who do not actually have any super-powers. Why are they held there, and what do their collars actually do, besides shock them? (I'm thinking more particularly of Riddler - though I know there's a question about him pending - Abracadabra, Ojo, and, with the exclusion of Killer Frost and Icicle Jr., the ice villains).

3. How do the power inhibitor collars have any effect on Mammoth and Blockbuster? Not only is their strength in their muscles (and therefore not a "supernatural" effect that can be canceled unless the collars generate some kind of gravity field - and then they wouldn't be able to move), but the Brain's collars don't seem to do anything to his enhanced animals.

4. How old is Wotan, and *what* is he?

5. How old is Black Adam, and why are his ears pointed?

6. When Atomic Skull blasts the flash, why does he not sustain severe radiation burns?

7. I really, really liked the way you re-introduced the Helmet of Fate. The entrance on that amazing low drone singing. The ethereal, solemn sense of power that created really served to demonstrate that Fate isn't just some hero - he's the physical manifestation of a cosmic entity. Anyway, my question: did you get a singer to vocalize that, or was it done digitally somehow?

8. Speaking of - I'm curious about the music in animated TV shows. Do you record real musicians playing the tracks (orchestras, rock bands, etc.), or is it all done digitally? And if it is all digital nowadays, might you know when the switch was made?

Thank you so much. Looking forward to more great episodes!

Greg responds...

I'll always take rants of praise. Never get enough. Yes, I'm just that shallow.

1. ASKED AND ANSWERED. (It's a six year school. 7th-12th grades.)

2. Riddler's collar does nothing but potentially shock him and keep him in line. But any "super-villain" who could easily escape a standard prison can be housed at Belle Reve, whether they have innate super-powers or not.

3. Brain's collars weren't designed to inhibit, just to maintain discipline (which is another function), so that's an apples and oranges argument. As for Mammoth and Blockbuster, the collars inhibit their muscles. Not 100%, but clearly enough.

4. Old.

5. I've never understood why his ears are pointed. But they are. Black Adam is also old.

6. When did he blast the Flash?

7. I'm pretty sure it's digital.

8. Well, every series is different. Most - but not all - of the YJ music is synth. But of course, "real musicians" did record the synth . But for example, on Spectacular Spider-Man, guitar was such an important element of our score, that although most of the music was synth, the guitar work was always the genuine article.

Response recorded on January 19, 2012