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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

TV Talk - Batman: The Brave and the Bold

If one ever has qualms over knocking out a woman who’s trying to kill you, just remember that Batman says that “the hammer of justice is unisex.

Well, it’s another day and another Batman TV show. We’ve had a lot of these in the last 20 years, haven’t we? This one is no different, I think. Batman: The Brave and the Bold is a show where Batman teams up with another hero from the DC Universe. Instead of being dark and grim, the show is pretty lighthearted and campy. It premiered in 2008 and had 65 episodes in its three seasons.

I was pretty off and on with the show during its run. I did watch some episodes on TV, but I usually missed some since I was in college. I also missed it when I was out of college and when I started to work during the week. I was able to see its finale though. When I found out that Netflix had the whole show, I waited until they included the final season. I took a while, but I was able to watch them all with an exception or two. That being said, I liked it a lot.

PROS
Seriously, he's one of the funniest parts of the show.
  • The tone – I liked the tone the series had. It was pretty lighthearted from the start, but it never got really bad. You had Batman all over the DCU kicking butt. He’s in space, he’s time-travelling, and he’s doing his usual stuff. Batman is usually the straight man here. While he’ll say a few quips, he still feels like Batman… most of the time. Usually, the guest hero or villain will bring the lighthearted tone. The show also had an episodic feel but it did have a couple of multi-part arcs in there. While it was pretty lighthearted, you did have moments where it did get pretty serious and dark.
  • Includes All of the DCU – This show was able to include the whole realm of the DC Universe. One episode, you might be space. In the next episode, you might be fighting Nazis or fighting in the Old West. You may even team up with Scooby Doo. It was pretty random like that. I think that we definitely got even more obscure heroes and villains in this than we got in Justice League Unlimited. It also paid tribute to other stuff from the comics and even some TV shows.
  • Good voice-acting – The voice-acting for the show was generally good. Diedrach Bader was pretty good as Batman. There were also a lot of guest voices from other cartoon shows. We had folk like Will Friedle, Tom Kenney, James Arnold Taylor, Kevin Michael Richardson, and John DiMaggio. Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, and Adam West even guest starred in an episode together.
  • Aquaman! – Aquaman was literally one of the funniest parts of the show. He was voiced by John DiMaggio and he did it to perfection. Aquaman was a boisterous, loud, confidant man who boasted tales of awesomeness. He even had a nice singing voice. While he was played for camp, he still kicked some serious butt. Also, he worked that beard!
  • Nice animation – The animation was pretty cool. The designs for everyone looked good. It all fit in that lighthearted style. The action was also pretty cool.
  • The theme song – The theme song was cool. End of Story. It really makes you want to dance but not like this dude here fortunately.
  • Nice end – While I think the short third season wasn’t its best, it still had a good run and it had a really fun finale. While it was over-the-top, it still was cool and a little heartfelt.  It even beat the “52-episode” spell!

CONS
In one episode, Batman essentially turns into a god. Huh.
  • Camp did wear thin at times – I will say that the camp did wear thin at times. Most of the time, it really worked. Other times, it sort of fell flat. I’m not the target audience, so that’s probably why I didn’t enjoy most of it.
  • Too much Batman-awesomeness – While it is Batman’s show, I felt it really overplayed him at times. They really play him as the greatest hero ever. It goes a little overboard at times. Sometimes, it felt like he was the only competent guy around. It felt like every other hero had to bow towards his “Hammers of Justice” at points.
  • More team-ups with Superman – While we finally got to see a team-up with Superman in the third season, I wish we got more of him in the previous ones. I know they wanted to play up lesser known heroes, but I just wish we got a couple more episodes with Superman and Wonder Woman as well.

Favorite Episodes
Finally, here are some of my favorite episodes from the series:
  • Legends of the Dark Mite – Bat-Mite appears and we also get a nice homage to a Daffy Duck cartoon.
  • Emperor Joker – Joker gains Bat-Mite’s powers and becomes a god. Also, he kills Batman a lot. Ouch.
  • Darkseid Descending – Batman must assemble the JLI in order to take on an invasion from Darkseid.
  • Battle of the Superheroes – Superman finally shows up and we get an homage to The Dark Knight Returns.
  • Triumvirate of Terror – Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman take on their best known villains.
  • Mitefall –It’s the final episode of the series.
  • The Siege of Starro – A group of heroes must fend off against Starro and his herald.
  • Chill of the Night – Batman chases down his parents’ killer and it’s one of the series’ best episodes. 
  • Trials of the Demon – Batman travels back in time and teams up with Etrigan and Sherlock Holmes.
  • Requiem for a Scarlet Speedster – Batman, Jay Garrick, and Wally West must save Barry Allen from the Reverse Flash.
  • Aquaman's Outrageous Adventure - Aquaman goes on a road trip with the family and hilarity ensues.
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In the end, this was a good series. While it was a really lighthearted show, it had a lot of heart to it. It was respectful to the characters it used. It had something the target audience (the kids) and the fans of these characters could watch together. It even packed some surprises and a lot of things to laugh at. Yes, Batman’s good when done dark. When it’s done well, Batman can be lighthearted. I mean, it’s a man dressed as a bat hanging out with all sorts of weirdness! We have to have some levity with the guy especially these days. Well, I’m done with my soapbox rant. Peace, God Bless, and know that I also have some “hammers of justice.”

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