2022 Year in Review: Best Animated Television Adaptation of a Comic Book – Multiversity Comics

Welcome to the Multiversity Year in Review for 2022! We’ve got over 25 categories to get through, so make sure you’re checking out all of the articles by using our 2022 Year in Review tag.
Last year, we decided to split up the animated and live action television adaptations, to give a little more space to some of our favorite shows. Here are our favorite animated series of the year.
3. Young Justice
With its fourth season, subtitled “Phantoms,” Young Justice continued to serve as one of the most interesting projects at Warner Bros. Animation. The new season tackled quite a bit: a religious civil war on mars, grief, time travel, depression, magic, addiction, family, and a crisis over the throne of Atlantis. It’s a lot both in terms of literal narrative to get through and big ideas to juggle.
The great joy of Young Justice, has always been its ability to deliver genuinely great, classic superhero stories with a more mature sensibility, grounded in deeply thoughtful character work. The season is well-structured, breaking into smaller arcs, each led by an original member of the Young Justice team; it allows for a narrative that reaches every corner of the DC universe (this is very literal: the bottom of the ocean, the outer reaches of space, and alternate planes of reality all feature prominently in “Phantoms”) while balancing a rather large ensemble. By focusing on specific sets of characters in specific arcs, Young Justice remains a thoughtful, character driven series even as its narrative grows larger in scope.
And of course, Young Justice always manages to stick the landing. This is a show that’s always told a number of stories that all come crashing together in ways that feel unexpected and inevitable all at once. The “Phantoms” arcs weaved together as beautifully as we’ve ever seen (a fact that wasn’t a given when considering the sprawling nature of the season) and yet again delivered both emotionally and narratively. The result is yet another season of Young Justice that makes me want a new one to drop tomorrow. This show is special, with uniquely well-sketched characters, great animation, fun superhero action, and tight, exhilarating plotting. Here’s hoping there’s more coming down the pipeline soon. – Quinn Tassin
2. Chainsaw Man
The animator on Chainsaw Man have created a level of detail with the animation that gives the series granularity and crunch that usually is reserved for theatrical animation. From the movie homage opening sequence with its internal story beats and its hilarious ending to the shifting end credits sequences and songs, the team behind the series have created a singular experience. They more than faithfully adapted the manga, as well as add small scenes that intensify the story. Tatsuki Fujimoto wrote a shonen manga that works on several levels and has very specific things it says about violence, guns, manipulation, family, dreams, and finding meaning in life. What isn’t glorified is the violence at the east of the tale and this show get that.
The world of the series is richly detailed; it is fully a cinematic experience. The depth of the world and the attention to detail draw you in even on a tiny screen. The battles are dynamic and produced with insane levels of detail. There is a focus cast on the fallout of the action, too, that is deeply unsettling. It leaves the viewer changed in ways that other shows don’t even though they have a greater level of death and mayhem. Instead of moving on in the wake of trauma they let you sit and experience that quiet moment. Specifically, episode 6 features secondary character, Kobini. They leave her in silence amidst all the blood for several beats and her few words spoken hit even stronger than in the manga. This show is a different experience than the manga simply because of the time they take with scenes that you can move on from at your own pace when reading. Getting to be with Aki in his home as he tries to come to terms with Denji and Power in his life, the shadows falling around him making his world real. – Greg Lincoln
1. Harley Quinn
Believe it or not, Harley Quinn season three has yet to finish airing in the UK, so I don’t personally know if it sticks the landing or not. But goodness, what a welcome return for Dr. Quinzel, her girlfriend, and their best mates after two years away, with the show continuing to act as a hilariously violent and subversive companion to the likes of Batman: The Animated Series and The Brave and the Bold for grown-ups.
Anchored by wonderful vocal performances from cast members like Kaley Cuoco, Lake Bell, Alan Tudyk, Ron Funches, Diedrich Bader, and many more (including Harvey Guillén in his debut as Nightwing), season three raises a good question: what if Batman truly, really went off the deep end? The show has already killed off the Penguin and Mr. Freeze in the service of its protagonist’s story, made Gordon into a wreck of a human being, and turned the Joker into a doting stepdad (the most interesting he’s been in years), so why the hell not? Bats has never been completely there, so why wouldn’t he exploit Poison Ivy’s creations to resurrect his parents, inadvertently creating a wooden zombie plague that also messes up the Harlivy relationship?
There remains so much else to delight in, from the world’s most elaborate recreation of Batman’s origin (with mice!), to the accidental death of guest star Billy Bob Thornton, plus James Gunn already paving the way for his new role as DC’s Kevin Feige by sitting on Clayface’s er, face. With so much upheaval at Warner Bros. this year, including the termination of Legends of Tomorrow (yours truly’s much beloved other horny sapphic superhero comedy), it’s good to know Harley Quinn will continue for the foreseeable future, along with a Very Problematic Valentine’s Day Special next year. Happy Harledays everyone! – Christopher Chiu-Tabet
We are the Multiversity Staff, and we love you very much.
By Multiversity Staff | Dec 13, 2022 | Columns

Welcome to the Multiversity Year in Review for 2022! We’ve got over 25 categories to get through, so make sure you’re checking out all of the articles by using our 2022 Year in Review tag. Last year, we decided to split up the animated and live action television adaptations, to give a little more space […]
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By Multiversity Staff | Dec 12, 2022 | Columns

Welcome to the Multiversity Year in Review for 2022! We’ve got over 25 categories to get through, so make sure you’re checking out all of the articles by using our 2022 Year in Review tag.There are always a lot of comic adaptations that make their way to multiplexes and streaming services, but this year, our […]
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