It’s 8:36 pm
Been enjoying exploring and sharing with you all one of my all time favorite comic book title I collected when I was growing up,Marvel Two-In-One.
I am sure a couple of you of may be shaking your head and wonder,”If he likes that comic book series so much,where are the reviews of Marvel movies and cartoons”?
Fact is while I enjoy Marvel’s Golden Age of comics,I have pretty much hated about 90% of Marvel TV shows and series….I have never been a huge fan of them when they first came out and except for the Netflix series (except Iron Fist),I don’t watch them now.
DC Comics has ruled the small screen just as Marvel at times has own the theaters. Just about everything DC has put out has been pretty damn awesome….which is why our deep cover agent at Warner Brothers Archive sent us a message and said “I see you are covering Two-In-One and just wanted to slip you and the cheetah a little something on the sly.”
What he slipped us was the DC animated version of “Two-In-One” called “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” which ran for 66 episodes starting in 2008. The “Brave and the Bold” is actually a very old DC comic that first started in 1955 and went through various themes and changes until issue #59 when Batman started teaming up with various guest stars and starting with issue #74 became strictly a Batman title with the Caped Crusader teaming up with a guest star,much like Ben Grimm did in “Two-In-One” and Spider-Man did in “Marvel Team Up”.
By the time DC Comics decided to do a animated version of “The Brave and the Bold” in 2008,the DCAU was in full swing with many shows debuting on Cartoon Network and the CW Kids Saturday morning line-up. So when “B and B” debuted,it was warmly received.
As in the comic book,each adventure featured Batman in a team-up with another hero or in some cases,multiple heroes to fight off a bad guy who was up to no good.
What was a little different was the “cold opening” which feature Batman teaming up with a hero who wasn’t featured in the main story. It wasn’t until after the main credits that we see who the guest really was for that episode.
One thing about this edition of “Brave and the Bold” was it’s light hearted style of stories,there are a lot of big laughs in most episodes but at times like in “Fall of the Blue Beetle” there is some seriousness in the story. In “Fall” we find out that Ted Kord who had been the Blue Beetle,was killed by his own uncle and that the same uncle was trying to trick the current Blue Beetle into helping him start a global war.
In “Hail the Tornado Tyrant”,the Red Tornado creates a “son” which because it lacks human emotion is able to be corrupted by the villain Major Disaster which causes Red’s creation to go out of control. After stopping Tornado Tyrant,Red Tornado destroys it. As he does a tear comes from his eyes,being a android,this is quite a moving moment.
But the overall feel is light and as always,the Brave and the Bold which was voice casted by the legendary Andrea Romano,uses superb voice talent to great effect.
Starting with Batman…Romano went in a different direction in casting actor Diedrich Bader as Batman. Bader,who rose to fame in the long running “The Drew Carey Show” has the perfect deadpan tone for Batman….a hair of satire but also with some gravitas,Bader respects the character and does a excellent job. Because Bader comes from a comedy background,he knows when to shift between fun and a more adult theme.
The guest stars come from all over,some names are familiar to fans of other DC titles like “Justice League Unlimited” or “Static Shock” but Romano has them playing different roles. For example the main villain in Season One is “Equinox” a cosmic being who thinks he is perfect being to keep everything balanced in the universe. Batman and Dr. Fate finally are forced to take Equinox on…but where as Oded Fehr voiced Dr. Fate in the two Justice League series,in Brave and the Bold he voiced Equinox and Greg Ellis is Dr. Fate. It’s a little jarring at first hearing new voices in place of old favorites but it works perfectly because of the tone of the series,most of the heroes have a lot more playful banter…like Batman and Green Arrow. R. Lee Ermey,who passed away this week,played a an excellent Wildcat,an original superhero who taught other heroes how to fight hand to hand. Ted Grant is a much older man and is crusty around the edges of which Ermey was also known for,it was a perfect match.
Other well known guest voices include Neil Patrick Harris,James Remar,John Wesley Shipp,Phil Morris,Tara Strong,Michael T. Weiss and Kevin Conroy who voices a couple of different characters.
The stories are quite excellent as well and while there is plenty of action,themes such as loss,courage,family,redemption and teamwork are explored in many episodes. Batman is portrayed very much a mentor to Blue Beetle in the first season which added a nice touch.
The first season of “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” consists of 26 episodes but doesn’t feature any special features which I admit surprised us. This is an excellent series and one every fan boy/girl/cheetah will love and watch over and over again.
You can get your copy by going to the website of the Warner Brothers Archive and ordering it for there.
The cheetah and I both give “Batman:The Brave and the Bold” a huge thumbs/paws up and once again we are in awe of Andrea Romano and can’t thank her enough for leaving such a lasting legacy in the animated classics!
Which superhero cartoon is your favorite,either in today’s world or in the past?
Drop us a comment and share it with us!!