Batman is DC’s most famous hero, now, probably. He appears in movies, cartoons, comics, and video games. There have been many different interpretations of the character. These range from the camp that was Adam West to the stoic Dark Knight found in The Dark Knight Returns, a famous storyline from the mid 1980s. The Dark Knight seems to have won out, with the dark game Batman: Arkham Asylum, which I desperately want to own and the brilliant The Dark Knight, my favorite movie. Unbelievably though, I have fallen in love with newest ongoing adventures of Batman, the cartoon Batman: Brave and the Bold.
For those of you not familiar with it, it eschews the wonderful cartoon version of Batman envisioned by Bruce Timm, which may still be the best animated Batman ever. Instead, it reinvigorates the campy Adam West Batman. It does this wonderfully. Suddenly, Batman has a sense of humor again. The villains are every bit as goofy as you would think someone like Killer Moth would be. And don’t the name fool you: it’s pretty goofy.
Every episode is broken up into two parts. There is a teaser in which Batman teams up with a character from DC’s 75 year history to fight some villain. This ends fairly quickly. Then, the show expands into the story that is the focus of the show. He teams up with another character and faces a new threat. It’s fairly simple and the stories are straight forward. The fun is in the team-ups.
In the show, he has teamed up with the new Blue Beetle, who apparently is much more popular in TV than he was in the comics he came from. He has joined with Aquaman regularly. Recently, he got a chance to hang out with Booster Gold. Each team brings some new jokes and exciting twists as the characters all have their own exciting personality. My favorite “friend” from the show is Aquaman, who fails to understand this is NOT his show. I want to burst out laughing every time I see him.
The villains he faces are also very diverse also. He has had to fight Starro, Gorilla Grodd, and Owlman of Earth 3. Recently, he even faced the Faceless Hunter from Saturn. In the last episode, he fought several old Doom Patrol foes. Each is sufficiently dastardly.
Even though it is a kids’ show, it has not failed to hit some serious notes. The last two episodes I saw featured the deaths of heroes. B’wanna Beast died fighting the Faceless Hunter. Tonight, I saw the Doom Patrol die, giving their lives to save an island of people. It was very similar to the source material, from very long ago. My personal favorite dead DC guy, Ted Kord aka Blue Beetle, died also, even if it was a flashback.
Sadly, I recently heard the show is ending. It will not be picked back up, which I hate. My kids and I have enjoyed watching the weekly adventures of Batman. It has given me a chance to explain many of DC’s greatest heroes and villains to the kids. They can’t seem to get enough. I know there is a new Titans show coming out soon, which I am sure we will enjoy, but it won’t be the same. Here’s hoping the powers that be change their mind. Maybe they can be brave and bold, and take a chance on this superb show.