Diedrich Bader Takes Over The Cowl

There is a new Batman animated series in town, and since I’m still not back from lunch and I agree with every word written by Shane about it, I’ll just hand over the microphone to him:

[[image:braveandthebold01.jpg:Ollie and Bruce:right:0]]Sherman, set the wayback machine to circa 1985, and a 4 year old Shane is taken to a local department store. Now, it’s lost to the ages, but he must have been aware of Batman via The Superfriends, or the deal Shell had with giving away DC Superhero figures with a fill up (I think I had 2 of everyone). But this fateful day, Shane got his very first Batman comic. It was complimentary that day, and involved 2 stories I can barely remember. One had him facing a fake Wayne Manor, full of androids created by Hugo Strange. The other was the one that sticks more in my mind. Simple grunt work, crime solving. The panel I will never forget that is Batman chopping either side of some punk’s neck and dropping him like a bad habit. And thus, an infatuation began.

We’ve gone through some rough times with Batman. Michael Keaton turned out to be very brooding. However, Val Kilmer and George Clooney’s time at the helm kinda….screwed him, big screen wise.  Only recently have Batman Begins and Dark Knight pulled his bum from the fire.

In the comics, Batman has been through a few sidekicks, broken his back, had sidekicks come back from the dead looking for vendettas, become a father, and the rumormill says Bruce will hang up his utility belt as Bats in the comics.

The cartoons, of course, had Batman’s incarnations in the Superfriends and other campy 70’s and 80’s cartoons. He even ran with Scooby and the gang.

[[image:braveandthebold02.jpg:Jaime and Bruce:left:0]]Then in the 90’s, we got Batman: The Animated Series. A holy grail of Batman in all his badassness. Featuring every villan you can think of in the Rogue’s Gallery, at times working together or alone, and introducing a new iconic villan, Harley Quinn. The series takes place in a very very very Tim Burton-esque Gotham, more 40’s with modern technology in it. The series would later showcase Robin and Batgirl, and of course Mark Hamill’s Joker would be such an amazing piece of voice acting, when Birds Of Prey preimered, they asked Mark to be the speaking voice of Joker in a short flash back.

B:TAS was then followed up with a few feature length toons, including Mask Of The Phantasm, and Sub-Zero.

Batman Beyond showed an again Bruce Wayne being mentor to a new Batman in the future. Batman had no cape, a jet black suit with a big red bat on the front. I didn’t care for it.

For a few years, Bats went into seculsion on TV, only to be resurrected in “The Batman“…a stylish hip Batman, with the Joker being a kinda rasta looking guy. Again, I tried to watch it….couldn’t hold a candle to Paul Dini and Bruce Timm’s BTAS.

Welcome to 2008. Welcome to THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD.

Brave and The Bold is aimed to be a bit more lighthearted than BTAS. Each week, Batman teams up with a DC superhero to fight a villan.

[[image:braveandthebold03.jpg:Paco and Jaime:right:0]]The first episode shows The Clock King taunting a tied up Batman and Green Arrow. The two take everything in stride, even taking the time to remake how many times they’d been in similar situations. They go through the motions of escaping the grand scheme of the Clock King, only to soundly…clean his clock. Zing.

Watching the feed from his bedroom is a teenage boy and his friend. The teen’s room is plastered in Batman photos. Gushing, the first teen goes on and on about how wonderful Bats is, his friend makes fun of him, teen sends friend home.

Standing in the teen’s window is Batman, who asks the teen for help. Turns out, this is none other than….THE BLUE BEETLE!

I won’t go on anymore about the entire episode. I WANT you to watch it for yourself. I’ve watched it twice now already, with every intention of seeing it again. The WHOLE episode is actionpacked, smeared with light hearted comedy, and just a grand old time. Batman at his best. It’s great to see him like this. Mind you, I LOVE the dark brooding Batman, but one who can make fun of himself at how AWESOME he is is even better. Diedrich Bader is a GREAT voice behind the mask. I can’t wait to see who else they get to act in this one, and who he teams up with, and who they have to face.

WATCH IT! NOW!

That ends the guest review by Shane. I will repeat that last line one more time.

WATCH IT NOW!

Bears repeating, cause the second episode has gorillas flying on pteranodons swiping ocean liners. Think about that a second. Gorillas flying on pteranodons swiping ocean liners. Pure win. Also, this Blue Beetle is Jaime Reyes of El Paso, the third person to take the mantle of Blue Beetle after Dan Garrett and Ted Kord.

Posted in Comics, TV and tagged , , .

Khairul Hisham J. is a tabletop RPG artist, writer, proofreader, translator, teacher, grad student and learner-in-general.

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