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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

'Batman: The Brave and the Bold' S2 BD: Perfectly Blends Old School 'Super Friends' Camp and Neo 'Justice League' Quality

Batman: Brave and the Bold: The Complete Second Season (BD)
The fact that virtually each of  the 26 episodes in the 2-disc Warner Archive Blu-ray release of the 2009-10 season of the three-season cult-classic animated series "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" screams out for attention makes limiting a review to a snackable limit very difficult.

The creators of the "Bold" simply do a frustratingly good job capturing the mix of camp and action associated with a good Batman incarnation and throw a literal who's who of DC superheroes and villains into the mix. Adding terrific pop culture elements makes one say "Uncle."

The following clip, courtesy of YouTube, from an S2 episode of "Bold" offers a sense of the tailor-made for Blu-ray animation style, the inclusion of super villains and B-List super heroes, and comically dark mother-approved (but still kid-friendly) tone of the series.



Because trying to even pick five favorite episodes to highlight is tough, the ones discussed simply are those that come to mind first. 

In the interest of keeping this lengthy post from entering epic territory, readers who are interested in learning more about the concept of "Bold" and the voice talent behind it are asked to please refer to the Unreal TV review of the S1 BD set.

The wonderfully titled S2 premiere episode "Death Race to Oblivion" is very true to the spirit of "Bold" by having a malevolent alien forcing Batman and a gaggle of superheroes, including Plastic Man and Green Arrow, compete against each other and a group of super villains in a "Wacky Races" style race with very high stakes. In the true spirit of "Wacky," each driver has a car that matches his or her personality and uses said vehicle in efforts to pass and/or disable the competing modes of transportation.

"Chill of the Night!" makes the cut for discussion in this post based on including having original TV Batman Adam West provide the voice for a character that seems tailor-made for him. This performance indicates the same high regard for the '66 series that West is showing in diligently promoting the long-overdue and uber-highly anticipated November 11, 2014 separate BD and DVD releases of his classic series.

"The Super Batman of Planet X" is one of the more creative of this clever lot of offerings in that it amusingly transports our titular hero to a far-off planet in which he has super powers and a fellow superhero whose alter ego is a mild-mannered reporter solely relies on his strength and hi-tech. gadgets. The morale in this one provides a nice bonus.

"Sidekicks Assemble!" deserves mention for having the same terrific vibe as the recently reviewed BD set of S1 of "Young Justice." Similar to the "Justice" pilot, "Assemble" commences with Batman sidekick Robin and a couple of other heroes in training getting frustrated at not being allowed to take the lead. Not-so-clever planning by Batman results in Robin, Green Arrow sidekick Speedy, and "the rest" facing grave peril. The final scene is just as amusing and provides a true "they grow up so fast" sense.

A highly anticipated segment in a "very special" episode titled "Batmite Presents Batman's Strangest Cases" pays awesome homage to the pairings of Caped Crusader and the Scooby gang in the '70s. In the spirit of that extremely fun crossover, the "Bold" story has the gang and Batman joining forces to foil super villains who are pretending to haunt an old theater so that they can carry out their nefarious scheme in peace.

The season finale titled "The Malicious Mr. Mind" has our titular hero experiencing a "Benjamin Buttons" style reverse aging while helping Captain Marvel and his kin battle Dr. Sivana.

All of the above illustrates that "Bold" goes where no animator has gone before regarding making an equally exciting and hilarious series with enough nostalgia to interest the adults and heavy doses of humor and "edge" to hook the kids.

Anyone with questions regarding "Bold" is strongly encouraged to email me. You can also connect on Twitter via @tvdvdguy.