Considering the dark and foreboding style of “Batman: TAS” and the fact that Langstrom’s horrifying Man-Bat transformation was given a pass, it’s kind of crazy to think that a vampire storyline was ruled out before it had even started. It would have fit the tone of the show nicely, and could easily have been one of the best episodes of “Batman: TAS”. Alas, the Fox censors were clearly keen not to have another one of their shows banned.
Over on the Marvel side, John Semper Jr. did manage to get a vampire episode of “Spider-Man: TAS” past the censors, which has become a point of pride for him. In episode 6 of season 2, Morbius shows up, but only because of some compromises that were made — namely, that the villain would only drain people’s blood through suction cups on his hands. In an interview, Semper explained:
“It was so successful that we decided to stretch it for two more episodes. I have a good relationship with Broadcast Standards and Practices, in that I recognize that what they’re trying to do is important, and philosophically I am not opposed to what they’re trying to do. I think there were writers on ‘Batman’ who decided that they were going to wage war against Broadcast Standards and Practices. I think that’s an unproductive attitude.”
Shots fired! Meanwhile, Timm remained unfazed by the whole thing, telling ScienceFiction.com: “[“Spider-Man: TAS”] did that really lame one right? He had like suction cups on his hands? So that was fine. Like if I wasn’t going to do it properly, I wasn’t going to do it.”
Ouch! If nothing else, at least the Fox censors helped stoke the most amusingly lame rivalry in entertainment history by getting Semper and Timm all riled up.