Batman The Brave and the Bold- Mitefall

Batman The Brave and the Bold- Mitefall

Episode 3.14

Batman has a long standing relationship with cartoons. From the days of the 1968 Batman/Superman Hour to the much vaunted award winning Bruce Timm-helmed Batman The Animated Series. Throughout Batman’s long association with animation, the character has undergone several interpretations ranging from the campy to the grimly dramatic. The latest cartoon version of the caped crusader has, in my opinion, been the most dynamic and far-reaching as it delved into the most absurd material one week and investigated some of the heaviest material ever the next. Teaming up with every superhero this side of the B’Wana Beast, Brave and the Bold has been a wild ride from start to finish, blending computer imagery and traditional animation into a colorful program the likes of which we will likely never see again.

All that said, it’s not to everyone’s liking, especially for the many fans that feel the cartoon life of the dark knight ended along with the Batman Animated Series. But the intention of Brave and the Bold is something entirely different from the Bruce Timm version. While the animated series explored the noirish world of crime, Brave and the Bold featured a hero who fought crime underwater, in space, throughout time and in other dimensions as well. This Batman was more of a cartoon character who broke the laws of logic whenever the adventure suited him.

Case in point, the opening of the final story Mitefall…

Batman and Abe Lincoln vs John Wilkes Booth

Batman The Brave and the Bold has run for three successful years with some really outrageously silly outings (“Invasion of the Secret Santas!”, “Invasion of the Secret Santas!”,”Crisis: 22,300 Miles Above Earth!”, and “Triumvirate of Terror!” come to mind) in addition to some impressive less-absurd adventures (“Dawn of the Dead Man!”, “Deep Cover for Batman!”/”Game Over for Owlman!”, “The Last Patrol!” and “The Siege of Starro!”) along with the stand out genius that is “Chill of the Night.” In “Chill of the Night,” Batman’s soul hangs in the balance as the Spectre and Dr Fate watch our hero hunt down the man responsible for his parents’ deaths, Joe Chill.

For the finale of Brave and the Bold, the 5th dimensional imp watches a goofy adventure where Batman and Aquaman are battling Gorilla Grodd at sea. Disappointed and bored with the cartoon that used to make his Friday evenings worth waiting for, Batmite wonders why the series can’t just be more like “Chill of the Night.” What he wants is a return to the dark and edgy Batman of the Bruce Timm animated series. In order for that to happen, though, Brave and the Bold has to be cancelled.

Batmite uses his strange reality-warping abilities to make Batman: The Brave and the Bold the worst cartoon ever made. Toy tie-ins, a precocious kid and an awful soundtrack are just the first steps into the awfulness, though.

Gleefully altering the program to by relocating the series from gritty streets of Gotham City to sunny surf of Malibu. Donning swimming trunks, the caped crusader hangs ten for justice along with Aquaman, Ace the Bat-Hound… and his puppy cousin bearing a not dissimilar resemblance to a certain other cartoon pup.

Enter the meddlesome Ambush Bug, a zany comic book character capable of breaking the 4th wall. Watching the demise of the Brave and the Bold at the gym (what gym shows that on their monitors instead of CNBC? I want a membership there!!), Ambush Bug can see where all of this is headed and implores Batmite to alter his plans. But it is too late, leading to a war between the two characters as Batmite steers the program toward doom with the super sonic bat-luge just as Ambush Bug tries to save it with senseless violence.

Despite the intervention of Ambush Bug, Batmite accomplishes his goal and Batman The Brave and the Bold is pulled from the screens. Too late, Batmite realizes that he too is doomed as his reality fades away, replaced by a computer generated action cartoon starring Batgirl.

Batgirl CGi trailer (spoof)

For all of the ‘meta-commentary’ the Batgirl trailer struck a particularly strong cord as the upcoming 2012 cartoon ‘Beware the Batman’ will be the first CGi Batman series. I’m not sure if the joke was meant to be so spot on or if it’s just a coincidence, but it felt incredibly ominous.

The final moments of the program are somber and bizarre as Batman joins a farewell party already in progress in the Batcave. The obscure heroes that he had teamed up with chat and clink glasses; Woozy Winks, Kamandi, the Metal Men, the Haunted Tank crew, OMAC, Prez Rickard, G’Nort and more are in attendance, harkening back to a time when DC Comics was a colorful and inventive world of possibilities.

While the heroes mingle, stagehands deflate the Bat-computer and fold away the backdrops. In a final post-modern moment, Batman thanks the viewers for watching and gives one last clamor for justice.

The last hoorah

Batman: The Brave and the Bold could be the most unwatched amazing cartoon ever made. While The Batman was an award-winning series, it still suffered from Bruce Timm fan backlash, but at least it was still an action series. Brave and the Bold was a madcap program that embraced the possibilities of cartoons and stretched Batman’s character into realms so absurd that Dick Sprang would think it weird. It was weird, brazen and new… and it’s gone.

How sad.

Missed out? Buy the series on DVD.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold - Season One, Part One

Batman: The Brave and the Bold - Season One, Part Two

Batman: Brave & The Bold - Season Two Part One

Batman The Brave and the Bold- Four Star Spectacular

Batman The Brave and the Bold- Four Star Spectacular

Episode 3.13
The final series of Batman The Brave and the Bold has been nothing short of astounding. The brakes are clearly off as the cartoon leads a mad foray into the realm of the absurd and uncanny. Featuring episodes with musical numbers, an international club of Jokers and even a team-up with Space Ghost, it is clear that nothing is too out of the ordinary. This week’s episode was an anthology-style adventure split between Adam Strange, the Flash, ‘Mazing Man and the Creature Commandos. Titled ‘Four Star Spectacular,’ this installment was a reference to the DC Comics mag from the late 70’s that featured an ever-changing line-up of heroes each time all in an over-sized book that was often difficult to fit in your back pocket.

In print, Four Star Spectacular was partly composed of reprint material but the animated homage was all new wall-to-wall action.

The first part starred Adam Strange, that star-faring Earthman who spends half of his life on the planet Rann, home of his beloved Alanna. Using the Zeta Beam, Strange is transported to Rann where he leads the life of an adventurer and hero to an alien culture. When the radiation wears off, he returns to his life on Earth. In ‘Worlds War,’ the bizarre Zeta Beam radiation that enables Adam Strange becomes a problem as it strikes random objects, transporting them to some foreign planet as he anxiously tries to reach Rann to celebrate his anniversary with Alanna. Finally hitching a ride on a Zeta Beam, Strange learns that the interplanetary pirate Kanjar Ro is attempting to use the beam to transport a bomb to Rann.

Picking up an ally in the unusual form of a puppy, Strange battles Ro across several alien worlds as they are transported via wild Zeta Beams, fists flying. In the end, the four legged friend defeats not only Kanjar Ro but serves as the ideal present for the shapely space vixen.

A celebration of the sci-fi comics of the 1950’s and 60’s, this installment was lots of fun. Oddly, it featured Batman only in a fleeting glimpse as the two planet-hopping combatants traversed the various realms of the cosmos. I quite like Adam Strange and this installment reminded me why he is so great. A few years ago, a magnificent modern take on the character surfaced by Andy Diggle and Pascal Ferry, but you can also enjoy the classics in a black and white Showcase Presents collection.

Adam Strange: Planet Heist

Showcase Presents: Adam Strange

I am a big fan of the scarlet speedster, so I was especially happy to see that the second part of the four star spectacular centered on Barry Allen, the Silver Age (and current) Flash. In ‘Double Jeopardy’ we see the dark knight facing the cur known as Captain Boomerang. Even enamored by the Batman’s batarangs, Captain Boomerang is a murderous foe and driven to kill Batman with his own signature weapon. Before the killing blow can land, the human whirlwind arrives, two minutes late.

Feeling the need to explain the lack of an instantaneous reaction, the Flash weaves a tale of his battle with the Mirror Master, the Scots version (created by Grant Morrison). I weep for comics fans who cannot appreciate the genius of the Flash as he has the most bizarre rogue’s gallery this side of Batman or Spider-Man. The Mirror Master has developed a new ‘gimmick’ that allows him to create solid mirror image doppelgangers which he sets against his ruby foe. In the midst of his battle, Abra Kadabra arrives from the far future, gleeful that he will soon bear witness to his arch enemy’s death. Showing Allen a newspaper from the future depicting the Flash’s death, it all seems to be set in stone.

The ‘inevitable death’ trick has been used in comics for ages, no matter what the discouraged modern fan thinks. In each case it is shown that death is inevitable and each time our hero evades the reaper’s grasp. This is no exception and a great homage to the writing stylings of Bob Haney, that mad architect of the B & B comic book series.

The Flash Archives, Vol. 1

The Flash by Geoff Johns Omnibus, Vol. 1

The third part of the four part omnibus stars a hero that I must admit ignorance of. I recall seeing ads for the ‘Mazing Man comic book but as it arrived at the pinnacle of grim 80’s comics, I had no interest in a wacky comedy series. Shame on me, really, as the animated version is lots of fun.

An addle-brained miniature superhero, ‘Mazing Man takes up cat sitting and nearly destroys the entire dwelling of his clients through the course of a single night. It’s straight-ahead vaudeville done with pitch perfect humor. I must learn more about this character.

My favorite moment could be when our hero wonders to himself what his idol Batman would do upon losing a cat and imagines the caped crusader freaking out like a loon.

Despite the high quality of the first three segments, the final part of this episode is by far the best as it involves the Creature Commandos (enjoying a Renaissance of sorts in the pages of Frankenstein: Agent of S.H.A.D.E.). Targeting an island populated by dinosaurs, the Commandos fight a War that Time Forgot. A squad of experimental mutants, the Creature Commandos are a weird secret weapon in DC Comics’ WWII era. Criminally uncollected in any format, your only chance of reading about these characters is to hunt down the issues at a comic con or steal them online. Honestly, DC and readers alike are missing out on some big money by not collecting these rarities.

I’m sorry, but if a werewolf, vampire, gorgon and Frankenstein’s Monster versus dinosaurs doesn’t stoke your fire, you’re dead inside.

The segment gets more complex when Batman enters the fray against the body-swapping villain known as the Ultra-Humanite. Inhabiting the body of a T Rex, the Ultra-Humanite’s plan is to use mind control technology in a mad dream of world conquest. Using monster teamwork, the Commandos are able to strike a killer blow against the Ultra-Humanite’s plan, forcing him to reject his host body and crawl away like the brain in a jar that he is.

Showcase Presents: The War That Time Forgot

Frankenstein Agent of Shade #1

Immensely inventive, madly entertaining and unpredictable… there is no cartoon like Batman The Brave and the Bold. The world will be a poorer place when it concludes next week.

Batman meets Space Ghost in new Brave and the Bold

The meeting of heroes Batman and Space Ghost… who could ever imagine that it would happen in our lifetime? In “Bold Beginnings!” that’s just what happens!

Here’s a run down via the wiki page on the remaining Batman Brave and the Bold episodes:

# Title Directed by Writen by Original air date Production
61 9 Bold Beginnings! Ben Jones Alan Burnett & Paul Dini & Steven Melching United States June 25, 2011 (iTunes)
United Kingdom August 2, 2011
309 S03E09
Teaser: Batman and Space Ghost team up to save Jan, Jace, and Blip from Creature King.
Main Plot: When Green Arrow, Plastic Man, and Aquaman are captured by Mr. Freeze, they reminisce about the early days of their careers when they first worked with Batman against the Cavalier and Ruby Ryder, Baby-Face and his crew, and Black Manta.
62 10 Powerless! Michael Goguen Greg Weisman & Todd Casey & Kevin Hopps United Kingdom August 5, 2011 310[8] S03E12
Teaser: The Jokers of All Nations gatecrash the headquarters of the Batmen of All Nations in a bid to destroy them all.
Main Plot: Captain Atom, the newest member of the Justice League International, is drained of his powers when the team takes on his old enemy Major Force. As the League try to stop the villain’s rampage, Captain Atom struggles to fit in without powers.
63 11 Mitefall! Ben Jones Paul Dini United Kingdom August 4, 2011 311[8] S03E11
Teaser: In the year 1865, in parallel universe 5501, Batman helps foil an assassination attempt on the life of Abraham Lincoln by a steampunk armored John Wilkes Booth.
Main Plot: Bat-Mite has grown weary of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, deeming its formula to be tired and repetitive, so he concocts a scheme to make it so bad that the network will have to cancel the show to make way for a darker one. Can the Ambush Bug and Aquaman stop him? 
64 12 Crisis: 22,300 Miles Above Earth! Michael Goguen Steven Melching United Kingdom August 3, 2011 312[8] S03E10
Teaser: The Joker, the Penguin, Grodd, Kite Man, Black Manta, Two-Face, Gentleman Ghost, Mr. Freeze, Riddler, Poison Ivy, Clock King, and Solomon Grundy conduct a roast ofBatman, and Jeffrey Ross is brought in as the star guest, but he distracts the villains while Batman escapes from the death trap, leaving the Dark Knight free to take down his enemies.
Main Plot: The Justice League International host a party on the Watchtower for themselves and the Justice Society of America, but the two teams fail to get along and a brawl breaks out. Meanwhile, Batman attempts to stop Ra’s al Ghul’s latest scheme but runs into trouble.
65 13 Four Star Spectacular! Ben Jones N/A United Kingdom August 8, 2011 313[8] S03E13
A compilation of four short stories, Batman appears as a cameo and a secondary character in all shorts:
Adam Strange in Worlds War – Having picked up an anniversary gift for Alanna on Earth, Adam Strange spots that the zeta beams are firing everywhere in erratic fashion, and learns that Kanjar Ro, who is attempting to destroy Rann and take over the universe, is responsible.
Flash in Double Jeopardy – After saving him from Captain Boomerang, Flash tells Batman about an encounter he just had with Mirror Master and Abra Kadabra.
‘Mazing Man in Kitty Catastrophe – ‘Mazing Man cat-sits for a couple while they are out, but inadvertantly causes extreme damage to their home.
The Creature Commandos in The War That Time Forgot – The Creature Commandos go to Dinosaur Island to investigate the disappearances of some of the Allies, including Batman, and end up confronting the brains behind the plan: the Ultra-Humanite.

Wonder Woman and Green Lantern team up with Batman in new Brave and the Bold episode

‘Scorn of the Star Sapphire’


This Friday, Wonder Woman makes her debut in Batman Brave and the Bold on Cartoon Network. The short pre-titles adventure is heavily influenced by the Linda Carter Wonder Woman TV series and even features her gent in danger, Steve Trevor and the familiar signature tune. One of the timeless icons of superhero mythology, Wonder Woman was nearly adapted for the TV screen again by Ally McBeal creator David Kelley, but luckily nothing came to pass there. From the 40’s to the 70’s and beyond, Wonder Woman is a symbol of independence and strength for children and adults and is one of the most instantly recognizable characters in comics.

Maybe Warner Bros. will figure how to best present her one of these days, but in the meantime this short clip is quite good.

In her satin tights, fighting for your rights…

Also in this episode Batman and Hal Jordan work to take down Green Lantern’s greatest enemy, Star Sapphire. With his big screen debut just a few weeks away, it’s surprising that it has taken so long for Hal Jordan to make an appearance on the Brave and the Bold cartoon (he has been preceded by fellow Lanterns Guy Gardner and G’Nort), but maybe it’s all in the timing.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold’s new episode ‘Scorn of the Star Sapphire’ premieres tomorrow night on the Cartoon Network

Batman: The Brave and the Bold “Night of the Batmen!”

“Night of the Batmen!”
Series 3, Episode 56

The third and final series of Brave and the Bold has been like a dream come true. The program has been hit and miss in the past, for every insanely inventive and entertaining episode (or anything with Aquaman) there are three that are only so-so or feature the new Blue Beetle (sorry, fans, his episodes are somewhat lackluster in my opinion). Only four episodes in and we already have Joker: The Vile and the Villainous!, Shadow of the Bat and the no-doubt amazing Battle of the Superheroes! (if CT ever re-runs it I can confirm). A wonderful blend of over the top action and hilarity, this is exactly what I want from Brave and the Bold.

Night of the Batmen opens with a bizarre short adventure featuring The Vigilante voiced by Futurama’s John DiMaggio, singing a ballad that will no doubt stick in your head forever more, ‘Gray and Blue.’ I ordinarily dislike musical numbers but this ditty won me over.

Of course the main adventure centers on Batman being put out of action in a space battle against Kanjar Ro. Teaming up with Aquaman, Captain Marvel, Green Arrow and Plastic Man (with Martian Manhunter as his secret weapon inside), Batman is shown to be the most powerful of them all as he takes on robot crabs, a heavily-armed space craft and a deadly bomb as if they were purse snatchers. The other heroes marvel at his prowess and wonder how he can be so affective in combat when he possesses no superhuman abilities (answer: it’s his show). In the end, Bats takes on too much and ends up getting caught in the blast of Ro’s bomb, putting him out of action.

Refusing to rest, Batman insists that Gotham needs a Batman and that his absence will alert the criminal element that it is open season on justice, but Manhunter is adamant that the caped crusader must sit this one out. Manhunter regales Bats with old war stories and administers therapy that causes far more damage than any healing. In the meantime, Captain Marvel, Aquaman, Plastic Man, and Green Arrow decided to take Batman’s warning to heart and take to the streets, each donning their own warped version of the gray and blue uniform.

The results are hilarious, especially in the case of Aquaman (far stronger than Batman but possessing none of his agility or fighting skill) and Plastic Man who encounters Catwoman wearing a newly designed costume. The Catwoman scene is a real show-stopper, it is so outrageous. A devotee of Batman, Catwoman can easily see through Plas’ disguise and is furious, revealing that she had intended to show off her new revealing outfit to Batman.

Of course when the Joker decides to take part in the mayhem all bets are off. The four crime fighters show up at the same time, criticizing the absurdly mis-designed costumes (Plastic Man has no pants, Captain Marvel looks like ‘Bat Elvis’) and are taken out by the Clown Prince of Crime in the confusion.

Thanks to Batman’s determination to escape the care of Martian Manhunter in a hastily designed exo-suit/cast, the heroes are saved. The conclusion is a splash page on screen of the other-dimensional Batmen (from 2009’s Game Over for Owlman), exploding across the screen for a one-night only assault on crime.


The next episode is scheduled for May 27th and will feature Green Lantern Hal Jordan in Scorn of the Star Sapphire!

Mark those calendars!

Batman: Brave and the Bold: Bat-Mite Presents Batman’s Strangest Cases

The final season of Batman: The Brave and the Bold is apparently pulling out all stops. Bat-Mite Presents Batman’s Strangest Cases offered up three different versions of the Caped Crusader that, to the long-term fan, are more than familiar.

The episode begins with the classic Mad Magazine version (published in 1953), based directly on an actual strip from the glory days of the much-loved mag. Bat-Boy and Rubin pokes fun at nearly every facet of the Bat-mythos from the dark knight detective’s endless array of gadgets to his goofy villains. With no other point of reference that this was going to be an out of the ordinary episode, I wondered if someone had slipped something into my tea when I wasn’t looking!
Mad Magazine

After Bat-Mite arrives and sets the stage, it becomes clear that we are in for something unique. Batman’s biggest fan from the fifth dimension offers up wildly different versions of the much-loved hero, each one more absurd than the last.

The second part is based on the Bat-Manga, recently collected in a volume wrapped in a lovely Chip Kidd-designed cover. The style and logic are very reminiscent of Speed Racer and Gigantor… only zanier. The Bat-manga strips illustrated by Jiro Kuwata from 1966-67 were likely never conceived of as material for a cartoon, but they are ready made for the medium.

I want more!

The final and perhaps most startling portion of the episode is based on the character’s frequent appearances on the Scooby Doo series back in the 1970’s. I recall as a kid I was obsessed with Batman, an avid viewer of the Adam West series and owner of various products from Halloween costumes to bubble guns and action figures. Whenever I glimpsed my hero on Scooby Doo I would be instantly excited until I realized that Batman was apparently struck by a condition preventing him from moving aside from sequences when he would raise a hand or dash across the screen.

The Brave and the Bold segment captured every flawed detail from the ‘off’ voice to the aforementioned bad animation and even included an homage to the Super Friends host segments. The limitation on violence in Scooby Doo is even addressed and overcome, thanks to Bat-Mite’s magical abilities!
Batman and Scooby Doo

I’ve said it before and will say it again… if you are not watching this series you are missing out!

Other available products:

Bat-Manga!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan

Batman: The Brave and the Bold - Season One, Part One

Batman: The Brave and the Bold - Season One, Part Two

Batman Masterpiece Edition: The Caped Crusader's Golden Age

Batman Vs. Superman?

This weekend the third and final series of Batman the Brave and the Bold started on Cartoon Network. In case you missed it, so did I. Here’s an amazing clip and some additional information on this long awaited animated meeting of these superheroic titans.

For any readers who have not watched this series, it is a more light-hearted take on the comic book characters, closer in mood to the more inventive and madcap Silver Age issues. This may be more than a little jarring to fans of the grim Bruce Timm/noir take on Batman, but it is worth a look and remains on of my all-time favorite animated depictions of the character alongside Batman the Animated series and Batman Beyond.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold – “Battle of the Superheroes!” Clip

Check out these details on this and forthcoming episodes via Wikipedia:

53 “Battle of the Superheroes!” -March 25, 2011 305[30]
Teaser: Batman and Robin fight Pharaoh while wearing a special mummified uniform.
Main Plot: Following fights with Metallo, Mister Mxyzptlk, and Toyman, Superman and Batman fight each other when Superman is infected with a red kryptonite necklace given to Lois Lane by Lex Luthor. Now, Batman must find a way to undo the effects of the red kryptonite so that he and Superman can stop Lex Luthor’s latest plot.

NOTE: The episode contains many references to Superman comics from the Silver Age of Comic Books and many jokes based on the site Superdickery, including a throw away line where Jimmy Olsen says “Superman has become a real di…” before being silenced. The episode also contains references to The Dark Knight Returns with Batman wearing similar armor as well as freeze frame shots resembling panels from the book.

54 “Joker: The Vile and the Villainous!” -April 15, 2011
The Joker and the Weeper (an obscure Fawcett Comics villain) work together to defeat Batman.

55 “Shadow of the Bat!” -April 22, 2011
Batman becomes a vampire, and now the Justice League International must capture and cure him of his condition.

56 “Night of the Batmen!” -April 29, 2011
When Batman is hurt after an incident, several of his friends (Captain Marvel, Aquaman, Green Arrow, and Plastic Man) wear his costume and go protect Gotham City as Batman.

The Man of Steel and Dark Knight team up in Brave and the Bold

Batman: The Brave and the Bold is entering its third and final season this week. An amazing animated series that has spotlit some of the more obscure characters of DC Comics from Detective Chimp to Enemy Ace, I’m sad to see it go, but from the information below it sounds like it will be going out with a bang!

Via TV Guide:

It’s the superhero smackdown that will have comic-book fans salivating: Superman vs. Batman. When Batman: The Brave and the Bold returns with new episodes this Friday (March 25, 6:30/5:30c on Cartoon Network), the Caped Crusader heads to Metropolis to help the Man of Steel take down Lex Luthor in a team-up of the so-called “world’s finest” heroes. But when Superman gets mysteriously infected with red kryptonite he becomes a power-hungry egomaniac. It’s up to Batman — with an assist from Krypto the Superdog! — to subdue Superman until the red-k wears off.

This episode, “Battle of the Superheroes,” marks Superman’s first full-fledged appearance on the series. (He’s previously made a cameo.) Other upcoming shows include the April Fools’ Day appearance of Scooby-Doo; the arrival of the Captain Marvel family (April 8); and Batman turning into a vampire (April 22).

Batman: The Brave and the Bold season one is also available on DVD:

Batman: The Brave and the Bold - Season One, Part One

Batman: The Brave and the Bold - Season One, Part Two

Batman: The Brave and the Bold ‘The Last Patrol’

Doom Patrol By Jeff Lemiere

Arnold Drake and Bruno Premiani’s Doom Patrol remains one of the finest superhero comic book runs ever printed. Neurotic, strange and absurd, the series chronicled the adventurous lives of three survivors of very unfortunate catastrophes; former screen starlet Rita Farr who was able to stretch or shrink any part of her body at will after inhaling some fumes on the set of a film, test pilot Larry Trainor, possessed by a negative alien energy being who transformed his once healthy body into a bandage-wrapped monstrosity and stunt car driver Cliff Steele who recovered from a horrific wreck only to emerge as a brain encased in a robot shell. Led by the brilliant ‘Chief’ Niles Caulder, they found purpose in life by defending the society that would never accept them from harm. The series ran from 1963-68 only to be revived several times since in print and on the small screen in cartoons such as this one.

I have recommended the Batman: The Brave and the Bold cartoon series to fans of other DC animated projects such as Batman: The Animated Series and Justice League, both high water marking programs of the comic book animation genre. Based on the absurd 1950’s-style art of Dick Sprang Brave and the Bold is a fanciful and juvenile series aimed at a much younger audience which puts off some people. However, there are several episodes that rise above the others and demand to be noticed such as this one.

I have mentioned in previous blog posts how much of a Doom Patrol fan I am. I recently had digital cable re-installed in my house and programed the system to record the latest Brave and the Bold episode. It happened to be this one, what are the odds?

(see more Batman wallpapers at the Bat-Blog!)

Written by J.M. DeMatteis, the episode is essentially a retelling of the final Doom Patrol story of the 60’s, in which the team sacrifices themselves in order to save the lives of a group of strangers by getting blown up on a deserted island. The only difference is that DeMatteis educates the viewer unfamiliar with the Doom Patrol, making them sympathetic to their lot in life. Creator Arnold Drake put it best when he said that the team was made up of freaks who hate themselves and hate each other most of all because the Doom Patrol is the closest any of them will ever have to a family.

Without giving too much away, here is the breakdown of ‘The Last Patrol:’

In the cartoon, the Doom Patrol is depicted as a cultural phenomenon that the youth culture bonded to. After a mysterious caper in Paris, the team disbanded, leaving no clue as to why. The Last Patrol sees the various outlandish villains of the Doom Patrol hunting down the retired members with Batman desperately trying to help them discover why. Reluctantly, the Doom Patrol reunites and encounters the mastermind behind the entire plot, General Zahl who giddily reveals what caused the team to split up by playing back the Paris adventure worldwide. He then forces the team onto an island loaded with explosives and asks them to sacrifice themselves in order to save the inhabitants of a nearby island (echoing the demise of the team in comic book form) while Batman single-handedly fends off their various foes.

When I had the pleasure of meeting Arnold Drake shortly before he passed on, I took the opportunity to talk to him at length about the Doom Patrol, a subject he was both happy and pained to discuss. He had fond memories of his work but was frustrated to see his ideas being stolen and used in other projects such as the Incredibles and various DC Animation projects. Seeing as how he was convinced that Stan Lee devised the X-Men after the Doom Patrol, I can see why Drake would be especially annoyed. As such, I have to admit that even as a fan of the characters I have mixed feelings whenever I see them in any form other than the original comic as it is a disservice to the work that Drake and Premiani created.

All that said, I’d like to think that Drake would have been happy with this animated Doom Patrol homage as DeMatteis lovingly pays service to the original work. The episode is outlandish, action-packed, filled with goofy villains such as ‘Animal-Vegetable-Mineral-Man’ and also centers on the themes that Drake’s book explored. It’s funny and sad and poignant and brilliant to look at. There are even references to the Grant Morrison/Richard Case run for any eagle-eyed viewers!

Batman: The Brave and the Bold is being very slowly released on DVD. A series consisting of 50 episodes and three years old, the first season is still not out on DVD in its entirety. But if you have a chance, check it out. It has been revealed that this will be the final season of the program as yet another iteration of Batman is in the works with a much more serious tone. I for one will miss Brave and the Bold, but I’m thankful for what it has done in the short time it has been on the air. Regardless of your opinion of it, this is definitely a different take on Batman than many are used to.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold - Season One, Part One

Batman: Brave & The Bold - Season One Part Two

Showcase Presents: Doom Patrol, Vol. 1

Doom Patrol Vol. 1: We Who Are About to Die

The Justice League assembles in Batman: The Brave and the Bold


Cartoon Network has released the following synopsis, video clips and stills from this week’s episode of “Batman: The Brave and The Bold,” ominously titled “Darkseid Descending” and featuring a new Justice League with Guy Gardner, Fire, Ice, Booster Gold, Blue Beetle and Aquaman as members.

Official Press Release

“Darkseid Descending”
Airs Friday, December 3 at 7:30 p.m. on the Cartoon Network
Batman assembles a new, motley Justice League to thwart a pending Earth invasion by Darkseid. The rag-tag group can hardly get along–let alone battle a near god–but when they become Earth’s last hope, they have to learn to pull it together.