As you may or may not know (I’m going to punt for the latter here as the series was publicized to no one), Batman: The Brave and the Bold returned to torment us (unless your my 6 year-old cousin then its the best thing ever) on TV. So here is my brief review of the first four episodes of the new season. I have tried to keep away from spoilers so these do not cover any real plot points, but I have chosen some points that I like or dislike.
Battle of the Superheroes!
We kick off this season with Battle of the Superheroes. The only thing I learned from the opening is that King Tut and any kind of mummy curse can be repelled by buttermilk. If this is a classic case, which episode was it and if it is actually a classic case it seemed, to me, really stupid and forgettable.
In this episode Batman must take down Superman who has been turned evil by Lex Luthor. Let’s be honest that’s not the most original plot ever. I have to ask myself does anyone else get bored of these stories? But more on this later.
So what about the episode itself? Jimmy Olsen is about to die and asks Superman who he is. Superman decides to tell him, but then has to leave and announces that Jimmy will be fine and flies off. Why the hell would Superman do this and if he knew he would be fine why did he act all concerned? It made no sense what so ever. Although after this the episode begins to really pick up. We get some great cut scenes of Batman and Superman taking on villains that are well designed and thought out, such as Metallo. The parts where Superman acts as a jerk are so funny; as shaking Kandor or making it rain. I could watch Superman like this all day.
However the final fight scene between them and the ending are just far to predictable (although the bat-suit is a nice comic book nod) which leads me on to my final point. How many times are we going to see Superman turn evil and Batman have to stop him. It has been done in every comic book and the TV series as well. It is getting just so dull and on the basis of this episode its been done better. To be honest if you want a good Batman Superman fighting go and watch the Batman: The Animated Series instead its better.
Battle of the Superheroes:
Joker: The Vile and the Villainous!
So the second episode is Joker: The Vile and the Villainous. This opening is better as it helps set up the episode and let me say WHAT AN EPISODE! From the start its different, the opening credits are cleverly changed and well worth just watching again and again. They provide a great contrast with the usual opening credits.
The role reversal between Batman and the Joker is very clever and its nice to see a tale that’s unique and different. How Joker is inspired by the Weeper is something I have never heard before and I think it gives a new original take. I particularly enjoy the Joker trying to get the Weeper back up to speed is genius and funny as they get smaller and smaller.
This unique take comes from the role reversal of Joker and Batman with Batman portraying the villain as he becomes obsessed with tackling crime. I thought this worked really well and added a dimension to Batman and the Joker’s relationship in that Joker has a concept of a fair fight, if only for him, as well as letting Joker win a battle which is also great to see.
Joker: The Vile and the Villainous!:
Shadow of the Bat!
So episode three is called Shadow of the Bat. If any one watched and suffered the terrible The Batman movie Batman vs. Dracula you will be pleased to know its nowhere near as terrible. While the opening, unlike the previous episode makes no sense at all. I mean Bat-ape seriously how many bat helpers does Batman have? Its becoming Batman Inc. I can forgive that for quite a good episode.
Okay while some may think this is a silly episode because Batman becoming a vampire, I think it works especially for a story containing Etrigan the Demon as he never really takes on criminals.
Also for the film buff there are some great nods to the Dracula films as well as the usual Batman ones which shows the writers are very aware of the legend of Dracula and it adds more depth.
And the best part is that Dracula kills Aquaman and finally shuts him up. While the whole ‘it was all a dream’ end is something that really could have done with more thought and is a terrible cliche, I again point out they killed Aquaman so all is forgiven. I’d give this episode three batarangs but because they kill Aquaman,
Shadow of the Bat!:
Night of the Batmen!
The final episode is called Night of the Batmen. And after the last two good episodes well its back to the bizarre junk we are used to. Essentially this episode is the other heroes impersonating Batman until they get knocked out and Batman saves them. I don’t know who wrote this, but they really should stop him or her writing again.
Aquaman apparently publishes all his adventures in a book and thus telling the world about Batman. I’m sorry what? Why would he do that, how fast can this guy write and get it published and finally who the hell reads it? Its a joke plot hole to explain the rest of the story.
So the others step in to cover for Batman while he seems to be bored to death by Martian Manhunter telling him stories about the good old days as if he is 90 and must tell everyone them. I don’t know what has happened but aside from Blue Beetle they really have failed to get any other character right in this series and it ruins it.
They then have to cover for Batman and consists of fighting lots of bad people saying, “How does Batman do it?”. Well I don’t care how he or any of you do it. This is massively over blown Batman doesn’t take down 15 villains with one throw. He calculates and plots like a chess player. Yet apparently every other superhero is so inept that they can’t do this and must always ponder why they can’t be more like Batman.
The ending is terrible if you watch it you will see what I mean. But if you can help it DON’T.
Night of the Batmen!:
I hope you enjoyed my brief reviews of these episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold. I hope these episodes carry on in the vain of the first three episodes and not the fourth, as it would be nice to see this series go out on a high note.