|Batman: The Brave and the Bold|
The Batman is back with a colorful new animated series, cool gadgets, and some superhero partners to face off against super bad guys from across the DC universe
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
"Rise of the Blue Beetle!"
Voiced by Diedrich Bader, Will Friedle and James Arnold Taylor
Based on DC Comics characters
Batman created by Bob Kane
Created by Warner Brothers Animation
Written by Michael Jelenic
Directed by Ben Jones
Premieres Friday, Nov. 14, at 7:30 p.m. (ET/PT)
By Kathie Huddleston
Forget the dark, brooding Caped Crusader! Batman's back in an original series inspired by the classic Batman franchise, and he's got a few super friends to help him out as he fights supervillains around the universe. Sure, he'll still be hanging around Gotham City, but a quick trip through a wormhole and he's battling intergalactic supervillains.
In "Rise of the Blue Beetle!", Batman and Green Arrow are in dire straits. Clock King has them all tied up, but the villain can't hang around to watch the demise of this dynamic duo. He doesn't want to be late for his latest heist! So Clock heads out as time runs out for Batman (Bader) and Green Arrow (Taylor) and they are lowered toward a huge vat of acid.
"What is this now?" asks Batman. "The fifth or sixth death trap I've been tied up to because of you over the years?" Green Arrow apologizes ... again, and the duo, with the help of their super gadgets, are saved and take down the Clock King's minions, bickering all the way. To himself, Batman admits there's no one he'd rather fight super bad guys with than Green Arrow.
Elsewhere, a teenage boy named Jaime (Friedle) is hanging out with his buddy Paco (Jason Marsden), discussing how Batman might defeat various supervillains. Jaime is a major Batman geek, and he's thrilled to see news coverage of Batman and Green Arrow battling Clock King. Paco isn't nearly so thrilled, and he heads home.
However, no sooner does Paco leave than Jaime discovers Batman at his window in search of a little help from Blue Beetle. There's a meteor crisis and Earth is in danger. With a little difficulty Jaime manages to turn into Blue Beetle, and the two are off. But the teenager inside Blue Beetle can't help but be excited at the thought of partnering up with Batman. Batman, on the other hand, just wants to see whether Jaime has what it takes to be a hero.
But before they know it, this blue duo end up on the other side of the Milky Way, and of course there are people to save ... well, white blobby energy creatures, anyway, who are about to become extinct thanks to a whole new level of supervillain.Classic Batman fun
|There have been a number of animated Batmans over the years, and Cartoon Network's Batman: The Brave and the Bold take a lighter look at the Caped Crusader than most of the past incarnations. Geared toward "fans of all ages," the series teams Batman up with another superhero each week as they often head beyond the borders of Gotham City to fight evil.|
The artwork is boldly drawn and has a colorful palette, bringing back memories of the live-action series from the 60s. While not as over-the-top as that version, Batman: The Brave and the Bold does embrace its fun quotient. This Batman is still a true hero, but he's not the brooding Dark Knight. He knows he needs the help of his fellow superheroes, and we'll meet plenty of them over the season, including Aquaman, Plastic Man and Red Tornado.
As for the story in "Rise of the Blue Beetle!" it's classic Batman and beyond. There's fun to be had with Batman's meeting with the blobby Gibble people and his interactions with both Green Arrow and Blue Beetle. It adds up to an action-packed series that takes enough time with super characters over its 30 minutes to give us a hint at who these people are.
As for the supervillains, they're a little thinly developed. Clock King and intergalactic bad guy Kanjar Ro appeared in DC comics, and they make effective villains to kick the series off. And with a short running time and a big story to tell, it's not surprising the villains got left out when it came to character development. But as far as this Batman goes, it's all about its heroes anyway.The Cartoon Network has added another new series with Batman: The Brave and The Bold, which will fit very nicely into its new Friday nights, along with Star Wars: The Clone Wars, The Secret Saturdays and Ben 10: Alien Force. It's a full night of action and entertainment that will tickle the kid in most of us. —Kathie Huddleston