DVD Review: Batman: The Brave and the Bold (Season Two – Part One)

There’s excitement in the air when superheroes team up. Most of them are solo acts or they have plucky sidekicks that know their role. They’re not known for cooperating or taking orders. Whose trademarked moves are going to truly save the day? Who is willing to let their ego and logo take a supporting role in a major operation? Batman: The Brave and the Bold lets the Caped Crusader team up with a variety of famous DC heroes like the original comic book series. Can they share crime fighting duties or will they come to blows before the villains enter the room? Turns out this isn’t too much of an issue since this isn’t an animated version of Christopher Nolan’s Batman. The tone of the series resembles Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law than the original comic books. Although it’s not a campy Batman like Adam West’s version. Diedrich Bader (Office Space) keeps a straight voice while fighting crime. It’s the guest superheroes that come off as comical. Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Season Two – Part One contains a dozen episodes of tag team crime fighting.

“Death Race to Oblivion!” pits the Batmobile against cars driven by heroes and villains with the winner getting chose their hometown’s destiny. “Long Arm of the Law!” belongs to Plasticman. They have to battle Kite Man. “Revenge of the Reach!” teams up the Blue Beetle and the Green Lantern Corps against aliens that crave a scarab. “Aquaman’s Outrageous Adventure!” reminds us that the lamest superhero is the most frustrated of family guys. After finishing off a bad guy Aquaman takes his family on a cross country vacation. He can’t stand the boredom. He needs to sneak off and fight crime. He’s rather hilarious as a Walter Mitty-esque character. “The Golden Age of Justice!” reunites an aging Justice Society of America. Their old nemesis has returned for one last battle. “Clash of the Metal Men!” revives the odd group of robots. Turns out their creator is being forced to work with the Gas Gang. They’re not the swiftest of robot.

“A Bat Divided!” introduces Firestorm. A mad scientist’s experiment splits Batman into three people. Can Firestorm unite the guy? “Sidekicks Assemble!” lets the young wonders handle a big villain. Are they really big enough for such a challenge? “The Super-Batman of Planet X!” brings back the Metal Men for a quickie adventure. Green Arrow handles the main battle with Batman as they get sucked into a wormhole. “The Power of Shazam!” calls on Captain Marvel. “Chill of the Night” immediately becomes my favorite episode simply because Adam West and Julie Newmar play Bruce Wayne’s parents. It’s always good when this duo gets involved in a Batman series. The episode is supernatural as The Spectre and the Phantom Stranger wager for the soul of a young Bruce Wayne early in his career as Batman. He’s oblivious to this while he and female magician Zatanna prevent Abra Kadabra from vanishing a collection of magic props. “Gorillas in Our Midst!” transforms the entire population of Gotham City into apes. Batman needs the help of Detective Chimp. Couldn’t he get Lancelot Link?

Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Season Two – Part One is goofily entertaining for people who enjoy a touch of camp with their superhero action. Batman maintains a semi-serious edge which helps it from becoming frustrating farce. It’s almost like Adult Swim dips into the DC Universe for tag team fun.

The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The transfers give the sharp details as found in a graphic novel. The audio is Dolby Digital Surround. It keeps the pows and crunches at a fine level during fights. The dub track is in Spanish and Portuguese. The subtitles are English, Spanish, Portuguese and Spanish.

There are no bonus features.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Season Two – Part One does a fine job of balancing the comic book action with a touch of comedy in the supporting characters. Aquaman steals the show as the frustrated dad in an RV. The return of Adam West and Julie Newmar in a Batman project is welcomed.

Warner Home Video presents Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Season Two – Part One. Starring: Diedrich Bader, Tom Kenny, Adam West and Julie Newmar. Boxset Contents: 12 Episodes on 2 DVDs. Released on DVD: August 13, 2011. Available at Amazon.com.

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