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Batman: The Brave And The Bold- The Complete Second Season
Originally running on Cartoon Network from 2008 to 2011, spanning 3 seasons and 65 episodes, Batman: The Brave and the Bold is just a little bit of a different take on the Batman mythos. Any preconceived notions you have Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, or even Batman: The Animated Series, which is often considered not only the best animated take on the character, but one of the best cartoons of all time in general, you have to throw them out the window. Batman: The Brave and the Bold harkens back to the good old days of the 1960's, to the days when Adam West donned the suit spouting puns in his light hearted romp.
Unlike most Batman series that feature an overarching storyline or villain, Batman: The Brave and the Bold doesn't really utilize that, instead it executes the procedural and episodic formula where each episode of the show features Batman teaming up with various other characters from the DC Universe to thwart villains or to solve crimes. The majority of the episodes have a cold open not related to the remainder of the episode. Despite its episodic nature, if you're expecting a big storyline in these 26 episodes, you're going to be pretty disappointed as the extent of an overarching story in the season is the occasional villain that appears more than once, like Starro, but that's really the only connecting bridge between episodes.
I'm very happy to be reviewing this set as it contains one of my favorite episodes of not only this particular season, but probably in the entire series, "Chill of the Night!", which goes back to Batman's origins as Bruce Wayne learns more about the man who murdered his parents, turning him into the crime-fighter he would become, it's one of the most well known origin stories in media, ever, but it's done so well here. Another reason I love this episode is my blinding nostalgia for the voice cast. The original 1960's Batman, Adam West, guest stars as Batman's father, Thomas Wayne, while Julie Newmar, who starred opposite of West as Catwoman from the original Batman TV show, plays Batman's mother, Martha Wayne. My favorite Batman of all time, theatrical or not, Kevin Conroy, the voice of Batman from Batman: The Animated Series and various other series/movies/games, voices the Phantom Stranger. Lastly, the baddie of the episode, The Spectre, is voiced by none other than Mark Hamill, the definitive voice of the Joker.
1. Long Arm of the Law - Batman and Plastic Man team up to deal with Rubberneck and Kite Man who are targeting Plastic Man's family in a scheme for revenge.
2. Revenge of the Reach - The Challengers of the Unknown go to the island and are exposed to Starro; Blue Beetle runs into trouble on Oa when the Green Lantern Corp try to arrest him for possessing the scarab.
3. Death Race to Oblivion - Batman and Captain Marvel deal with Blockbuster; Mogul forces Batman to races both heroes and villains with the fate of the world at stake.
4. Aquaman's Outrageous Adventure - Batman and Enemy Ace stop aliens interfering in the past. Later, Aquaman takes his family on vacation and must resist his desire to fight crime. 5. The Golden Age of Justice - Batman and Detective Chimp work together to foil Falseface; Later, Batman and the Justice Society of America face off with Per Degaton. 6. Clash of the Metal Men - Aquaman falls to Starro; Meanwhile, Batman teams up with the Metal Men to save Doc Magnus from a team of powerful living gases.
7. A Bat Divided - The Riddler torments Booster Gold and Batman. Later, Batman bears witness to the creation of Firestorm. Unfortunately, in the explosion, Batman is divided into three different aspects of himself.
8. Sidekicks Assemble - Robin, Speedy, and Aqualad team up to earn respect and stop Ra's Al Ghul from attacking the world.
9. The Super-Batman of Planet X - Batman and the Metal Men fight Kanjar Ro; Later, Batman goes to the planet Zur-En-Arrh where he meets another Batman and develops superpowers.
10. The Power of Shazam - When Captain Marvel's enemies Black Adam and Dr Sivana team up, Marvel enlists Batman to aid him.
11. Chill of the Night - Batman must choose between justice and vengeance when he confronts Joe Chill the man who murdered his parents. Special guest stars include Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Adam West, and Julie Newmar.
12. Gorillas in Our Midst - Batman and Detective Chimp enlist Vixen and B'wana Beast in order to battle a conspiracy of ape villains: Gorilla Grodd, Gorilla Boss, and Monsieur Mallah.
13. The Siege of Starro! Part One - The Starro Invasion begins. Only Batman and a handful of unlikely heroes remain uninfected to thwart the alien parasites and their mind-controlled hosts before all of Earth is sucked dry.
14. Requiem fo a Scarlet Speedster - Barry Allen has long been presumed dead and his "ghost" has been haunting Jay Garrick and Kid Flash. Batman realizes all is not as it seems.
15. The Siege of Starro! Part Two - Faceless Hunter manipulates B'Wana Beast, forcing him to combine the tiny starros into one massive beast he plans to use to destroy the planet. Batman calls on the Metal Men to help save the world.
16. The Last Patrol - "The Doom Patrol" must now unite once again to face their former enemies who have suddenly united against them.
17. The Mask of Matches Malone - Batman, Huntress and Black Canary are after Two-Face - and so is Catwoman. While incognito, Batman gets amnesia and believes himself to be a real gangster, it's left up to the girls to save the day.
18. Menace of the Madniks - Booster Gold misses his late best bud, Blue Beetle. He travels back in time to hang with him, but ends up throwing the present into chaos.
19. Emperor Joker - Fifth-dimensional fan boy Bat-Mite inadvertently gives Joker his limitless power while hoping to witness a hero vs. villain showdown.
20. The Criss Cross Conspiracy - The long-retired Batwoman sees an opportunity for revenge against The Riddler. In order to get back at him, she uses sorcerer Felix Faust to swap her body with Batman's.
21. The Plague of the Prototypes - Batman sends a new squad of bat-robots against Black Mask. The robots are turned against their former master when Black Mask hacks into them.
22. Cry Freedom Fighters - When an alien race tries to invade Earth, Batman, Plastic Man and the Freedom Fighters race to their planet to stop them.
23. Knights of Tomorrow - It is the story of Batman's retirement and his marriage to Catwoman. Bruce Wayne now hopes that his son Damian will follow in his footsteps, and his confidence in him will be put to the test.
24. Darkseid Descending - The threat of an impending invasion from Apokolips compels Batman, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter to form a new Justice League.
25. Bat-Mite Presents: Batman's Strangest Cases - Bat-Mite hosts a series of Batman's most bizarre adventures including the Mad Magazine-inspired Batboy and Rubin, a Japanese-influenced Bat-Manga. This episode includes guest cameos from the Scooby Gang and Weird Al Yankovic.
26. The Malicious Mr. Mind - Batman joins forces with Captain Marvel, Mary Marvel, and Captain Marvel Jr. to take on Dr. Sivana and his Monster Society of Evil. However, the villains gain the most likely of newcomers, Mr. Mind.
+ Each one of these 26 episodes are well written, clever and a lot of fun.
+ Top notch voice acting.
+ The light hearted take on the character is welcome.
+ The guest characters like Joker, Green Arrow, Green Lantern, Black Mask and the Blue Beetle were always a welcome sight.
- For someone who isn't a fan already, the animation can be a bit jarring, but you get used to it.
Video and Audio
Batman: The Brave and the Bold - The Complete Second Season is presented on Blu-ray in a 1080p High Definition in its original broadcast aspect ratio of 1.78:1 widescreen and it's a beautiful presentation. The color palette are vivid and strong. The action scenes are wonderfully fluid with bold colors, while the characters are overall fantastically detailed.
The audio is presented in a lossless DTS HD Master 2.0 track. The cast was excellent from top to bottom. The music never really command the scenes and remain at the appropriate levels whether it's during an action scene or a intimate moment between the characters. There were no signs of dropouts or distortions throughout the set.
The second season of Batman: The Brave and the Bold is more of the same as the first season, it may not be the best incarnation of the Dark Knight in animation but every single episode are of high quality and are A LOT of fun. Highly recommended.