Batman: The Brave and the Bold [2008-2009] Season 1. Episodes 1-13

Batman_alternate_costume_owlman

We liked where the art direction for Batman ended up by the end of the Bruce Timm era.  We are talking about the final season of Justice League Unlimited.  The long ears, dark cape-cloak, and the streamlined color scheme.  We especially liked Kevin Conroy’s voice work.  The Batman came out very soon afterward on Saturday mornings and we were not quite ready for a Batman reboot. Though that show self-admittedly evolved too over its five seasons to bring Batman more into his square-jawed dark knight mode.

Batman as his evil parallel universe doppleganger, Owlman. "I know Owlman. Owlman is a friend of mine. You're no Owlman."

Batman's evil parallel universe doppleganger, Owlman. "I know Owlman. Owlman is a friend of mine. You're no Owlman."

Batman: The Brave and the Bold seemed like a radical departure from both previous series.  At first it seemed more a homage to the 1960’s live action show than anything else.  (While we do like the 1960’s show, we probably do so in a whole different section of our brains.)  However B: TBATB quickly became a whole lot more.  If you get past the initial culture shock  you will be treated to episodes with ever increasing intensity.

Batman powered up in magical armor by Morgain le Fey.  (Also seen in World of Warcraft.)

Batman powered up in magical armor by Morgain le Fey. (Also seen in World of Warcraft.)

The season starts out with a third tier rogue’s gallery exemplified by the likes of Clock King and Gentleman Ghost!  Batman is also joined by B-list heroes like Blue Beetle and Red Tornado.   We are wondering what we are doing wandering the disused file cabinets in DC’s basement.  However we will also be the first to say that some of the lesser know villains and even heroes can be quite interesting.  (More so the crazy villains in our opinion, but we digress.)

batman_brave_bold_morgan_armor

While the intensity and pacing increases episode by episode the show is not afraid to poke fun at itself (sorry Plastic Man), take famous quotes from old political debates and allow Batman a good number of dry-humor witticisms.  It is solid entertainment from each episode’s Bond-like opening scene to end credits.  By mid-season we were won over, and by the last epic two-parter we were big fans.

Alternate universe Batman, Owlman impersonates Batman. Confused?

Alternate universe Batman, Owlman impersonates Batman. Confused?

That last arc involved the thorn in DC Comic’s side, parallel Earths.  (Remember how Crisis on Infinite Earths was supposed to end that?)  It was quite interesting to see bad versions of the seasons heroes and good versions of some villains.  There are some twists and turns.  The finale will not disappoint.  Also, you may have waited the whole season to see him, and by the end you indeed will.  We are talking about Batman’s arch enemy.  But the encounter will not be straightforward!

Batman even sports Green Lantern armor in episode 10. "In brightest day, in blackest night; No evil shall escape my sight; Let those who worship evil's might; Beware my power... Batman's light!?"

Batman even sports Green Lantern armor in episode 10. "In brightest day, in blackest night; No evil shall escape my sight; Let those who worship evil's might; Beware my power... the Dark Knight's light!?"

The art direction subtlety evolved over the course of the 13 episodes in our opinion.  It got a little darker.  The dutch angles and other dramatic camera work were great homage and effective.  You will see Batman wear more costumes this season than you could throw a bat-a-rang at.  You will smirk when you see the “evil” Batman turning good Batman’s costume into something very much like the last season of Justice League!  Ha.

batman_brave_bold_aquaman_black_manta

Some notable appearances:  Hal Jordan as Green Lantern; the classic returns.  Black Manta; we remember the ancient Aquaman show, and have always liked Manta’s creepy voice.  Well it is indeed back.  How about a pre-evil Sinestro?  Yes, before he became the ultimate Green Lantern villain.  And hey, a shout out to Doctor Polaris.  Who?  Nevermind.  But his costume is almost as cool as his name.

Menacing Black Manta with a sinister modulated voice brimming with attitude. Plus look at the dutch angle. He MUST be a bad guy!

Menacing Black Manta with a sinister modulated voice brimming with attitude. Plus look at the dutch angle. He MUST be a bad guy!

Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season 1 part 1

Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season 1 part 2

Batman: The Brave and the Bold  Season 2

Batman: The Brave and the Bold Season 3

Check out our other Batman takes:

Superman/Batman: Apocalypse [2010]

Batman: Under the Red Hood [2010]

Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman [2003]

Superman/Batman: Public Enemies [2009]

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14 thoughts on “Batman: The Brave and the Bold [2008-2009] Season 1. Episodes 1-13

  1. Thanks for commenting on my blog! Admittedly my review was right after seeing the 1st episode, but after 15 episodes, I can clearly say that I’m enjoying the series much more.

    That’s a great review there by you, and I join you in praising the last arc with Owlman etc. I was quite surprised that the producers had dared to revisit the concept of parallel earths right after the mighty crossover fests that started with Crisis on Infinite Earths right until Final Crisis!

    But that’s one of the treats for the more hardcore and esoteric fans, I guess. I am loving the cameo of lesser known characters! And of course, I know Dr Polaris. Haha.

    Cheers, and don’t forget the next episode! =)

  2. Thanks for checking out my blog and commenting as well. It’s always good to find more comic book fans out there!

    I enjoyed your review of the show, and I’m with you in really liking this approach to the (Not So) Dark Knight. The two-part finale was outstanding and, if the show continues to build on this in the next season, it has the opportunity to take its place alongside B:TAS in my eyes. It’s not the same Batman from Timm’s universe — but it’s definitely been worth watching so far.

    I look forward to more reviews of the show on your part.

  3. Great post. Did you notice that the “evil” Batman’s costume was actually the same costume (purple gloves and all) that Batman wore in his first appearance in Detective Comics? I like to think that in this continuity, Batman has a ton of stuff from what we perceive as different eras (to him, just a few years) of Batman. Hence the red and black motif (a throwback to the 60s show but also a foreshadowing of Batman Beyond) and the spare Batmobile that looked like it was from the 40s.

    Great show.

    • Good points! I did not notice that the purple gloved outfit was the first from detective comics. You are right, there is so much they squeeezed into the last couple episodes of season 1.

      I noticed that one of the alternate Batmans looked a lot like the one from Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns graphic novel.

  4. I am definitely wary of this new interpretation of Batman as I’ve known him over the years. My first and favorite series is Batman: The Animated Series, for awesome art and plot direction of course. Yay Bruce Timm! Justice League proved to further compliment Batman, keeping him in the darker style I’ve come to love.

    So, you can imagine my surprise-turned-horror when I saw Batman: TBATB pop up on Cartoon Network one day. In all truth, I didn’t give it a fair run. I saw a few minutes, stuck out my tounge, and switched the channel. Heh. But I’m giving it another shot. I checked up the episode “The Day of the Dark Knight” and watched pieces of it on youtube. Hmmm…the art style is different, but I think I can get used to it so long as the plot and dialogue are done justice. The humor was growing on me, along with the costume designs. If art was a bit more angular I’d say it was close to Genndy Tartakovsky’s animation style, which I do love.

    I can’t believe that picture with the red armor really was invoked by Morgain le Fey. Okay, I’ll admit the plots seem interesting. Time trips back to Camelot always sit well with me. So long as we’re not going into the World of Warcraft universe. 😉

    The number of costume changes, wow. The Green Lantern one does look, hmm…beefy? But I like him in green. 🙂

    After reading your take on it I can see how even the faithful fans might come to love this remake, as a compliment to the main stays. It may not be the classic, but the entertainment value seems worth the trip. Thanks again for another thoughtful take!

    • Your reaction is not unlike the one we in the Fortress had. We did keep watching though, and it surprisingly grew on us. The mid-season climax (episodes 12-13) will likely make any Batman fan glad they did.

      We also liked the Timm era of Batman, especially his Justice League incarnation (hence the inclusion of some pictures above which look quite similar). We also appreciated Kevin Conroy’s voicing.

  5. Cool. Do you think that in the Blackes Night Batman (Bruce Wayne) will be the ring bearer (why it sounds so Lord of the Ring)?

  6. you can imagine my surprise-turned-horror when I saw Batman: TBATB pop up on Cartoon Network one day. In all truth, I didn’t give it a fair run. I saw a few minutes, stuck out my tounge, and switched the channel. Heh. But I’m giving it another shot. I checked up the episode “The Day of the Dark Knight” and watched pieces of it on youtube. Hmmm…the art style is different, but I think I can get used to it so long as the plot and dialogue are done justice. The humor was growing on me, along with the costume designs. If art was a bit more angular I’d say it was close to Genndy Tartakovsky’s animation style, which I do love.

    I can’t believe that picture with the red armor really was invoked by Morgain le Fey. Okay, I’ll admit the plots seem interesting. Time trips back to Camelot always sit well with me. So long as we’re not going into the World of Warcraft universe

    • We definitely hear you. Our initial reaction was much the same. But like you, the art style and humor grew on us. We also think the plots built upon each other and tightened up as the season went on. However, some of that may be chalked up to becoming more familiar with their particular format.

      The Morgan le Fey episode was good. Not exactly what we were expecting. It became a bit of a joke to watch how they would put Batman into a different costume variant episode after episode.

      We will be putting a take up for season 2 soon. We hope it lives up to some of the better season 1 episodes.

  7. i absolutely LOVE Brave and the Bold. I mean, I do prefer my Batman to be the dark, gritty urban detective who is just one french fry short of a happy meal-but something about the Brave & The Bold that just screams “AWESOME!” to me.

    The Music Meister is the single greatest villian in the history of villany.

    • We prefer the cool dark stylings of Justice League Batman (animated) than the depressing dark stylings of The Dark Knight (movie). However, we too share your surprise liking for this show. BTBatB actually mixes in some serious-ish elements well when it wants to. Like Owlman.

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      Add to that it is witty and fast. We think it respects the character of Batman, and he is the obvious linchpin to many other 2nd tier (…3rd tier, …4th tier) DC characters in supporting roles. It was a bold move in the current Batman environment, but we think it paid off.

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