New on DVD: Batman – The Brave and the Bold – Season One, Part Two

Back when I used to read comics, I always looked forward to the superhero team-ups. It’s always fun to see how your favorite superhero reacts or gets along with another superhero, especially those that don’t exactly, shall we say, share his views on justice. The Marvel Universe had guys like Punisher and Wolverine, whereas DC had, well, Batman. Which is where the “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” series came in. Every week, the show teamed Bats up with other superheroes from the D.C. Universe. The second part of “Brave and the Bold’s” first season, “Batman: The Brave and the Bold – Season One, Part Two” arrives on DVD March 15, 2011 from Warner Home Video.

Batman wings into an exciting new era, teaming with a mighty honor roll of DC Comics Super Heroes in this action-packed series. Through the show’s first 13 Animated Adventures in this 2-Disc Collection, the Dark Knight allies with Aquaman, Plastic Man, Blue Beetle, Red Tornado, Green Arrow, Wildcat, Deadman, Bronze Tiger and Atom to take on an array of evildoers ranging from mad scientists to intergalactic crooks, from power-mad dictators to out-of-control teenagers. He even travels to a parallel world, becoming the villainous Owlman! In this cool, cutting-edge and often funny series bringing back old-school comic-book styling and dry wit to crimefighting, Batman faces any peril — including other heroes stealing the show — in his relentless pursuit of justice.

Season One, Part Two:

Even for veteran fans of Batman’s animated TV adventures, “Brave and the Bold’s” animation will take some getting used to. The show is definitely geared more towards a young audience, with the clean, sparse character designs looking more like the characters’ Golden Age incarnations than anything modern, although there are exceptions. But while I’m sure younger viewers will get a kick out of the show’s plentiful superhero action, they probably won’t get the show’s many nods to D.C. history, with a host of familiar and obscure characters popping up to team with Bats in his never-ending fight against crime — on Earth, offworld, and sometimes in different timelines altogether. Each episode usually features more than one superhero team-up, and in some cases, three — one in the pre-title sequence, followed by the main team-ups post-title sequence.

Hard to believe, but Batman’s voice is actually done by comedian Diedrich Bader, currently goofing off on NBC’s “Outsourced”. Bader is actually not bad, though I can’t help but picture Bader smirking whenever Batman delivers one of his lines. The show has a uniformly brisk, clean style that also includes Batman doing internal monologue, and each time I expected word balloons to pop up onscreen as he “thinks” to himself. Again, it all takes some getting used to, but once you’ve acclimated yourself to the style, it’s a pretty easy show to dig. The words “good clean fun” comes to mind.

Notable voice work include John Di Maggio, who is hilarious as a moping Aquaman in the episode “Mystery in Space”, which also features Adam Strange. Kid actor Jeremy Shada is appropriately cast as the voice of Robin in “The Color of Revenge”, and perhaps as something of a throwback to the campy Adam West show, Robin’s dialogue is pretty, shall we say, dorky. The episode also features not one, but two Robins — the one spouting dorky lines, and a more grown-up Robin trying to break free of Batman’s shadows.

If you’re a fan of the D.C. Universe, there’s plenty to like about the “Brave and the Bold” TV series, currently in its third season on the Cartoon Network. I can see why most people dig the series, especially longtime comic book fans. It’s the perfect excuse to introduce pretty much every D.C. Universe character to ever show up in a comic book, especially when you can squeeze two, sometimes even three into one single half-hour episode.

“Batman: The Brave and the Bold – Season One, Part Two” comes in two discs, for a total of 13 half-hour episodes. Disc 1 comes with a trailer for D.C.’s latest direct-to-DVD animated movie, “Superman All-Stars”, and contains the following episodes:

  • Mystery in Space
  • Trials of the Demon
  • Night of the Huntress
  • Menace of the Conqueror Caveman
  • The Color of Revenge
  • Legends of the Dark Mite
  • Hail the Tornado Tyrant

Disc 2 comes with a trailer for a new direct to DVD movie called “Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5”, which of course is essentially a commercial for some Hot Wheels toys. The disc also contains the following episodes:

  • Duel of the Double Crossers
  • Last Bat on Earth
  • When OMAC Attacks
  • The Fate of Equinox
  • Mayhem of the Music Meister
  • Inside the Outsiders

Buy “Batman: The Brave and the Bold – Season One, Part Two” on DVD from Warner Home Video.