BATMAN: BRAVE & THE BOLD - "Criss Cross Conspiracy" Review -

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Mania Grade: B+

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  • Title: Batman: Brave and the Bold
  • Episode: The Criss Cross Conspiracy
  • Starring: Diedrich Bader, Dee Bradley Baker, John Michael Higgins, Jeremy Shada, Mae Whitman, Crawford Wilson
  • Written by: n/a
  • Directed by: Michael Goguen
  • Network: Cartoon Network
  • Series: Batman: The Brave and the Bold

BATMAN: BRAVE & THE BOLD - "Criss Cross Conspiracy" Review

Bat - Tootsie

By Joe Oesterle     November 01, 2010
Source: Mania

BRAVE AND THE BOLD - "Inside the Outsiders" - Review
© Mania

Batman AND Robin AND the Riddler; how does this get any better? Batwoman that’s how. Boy these guys love reaching back to characters that wouldn’t work today - yes I realize Batwoman is currently in comics continuity, but this version wouldn’t play in this day and age - except that it does, but only in this particular form and only on this show. And it only does because this team makes it work.

I must confess I was a little confused. As you may know, I’m a bit of a Bat-o-phile, so when Batwoman’s secret identity was announced as Katrina Moldoff, I silently cried foul. Bat-history taught me the character of Batwoman has been around since the mid-fifties, and her name in the comic pages back then, as it is now, was Kathy (Kate) Kane.

Why would this team, a team devoted to Easter eggs and little-known Bat trivia, decide to change the name of this lesser-known, yet still important part of the caped crusader’s past?

At first I thought perhaps since she is a bit of a villainess in this episode they didn’t want her to have the name “Kane.” If memory serves correctly, “Kathy Kane” was named after the wife, or daughter (I forget which) of Batman creator, Bob Kane. This made me assume they didn’t want to sully the name of someone dear to the almighty creator of The Bat. A little research later led me to realize the character of Kathy Kane, aka Batwoman, was actually co-created by Bob Kane. His partner in this concept was a fella named Sheldon. Sheldon Moldoff. So in disgracing the character of Batwoman, Sheldon Moldoff finally gets a tiny bit of recognition for his contribution to one of comics long lost heroines. I’m guessing ol’ Shel would be happy with the decision.

During a routine Riddler crime, The King of Conundrums exposes Batwoman’s secret identity to all of Gotham. Batman chastises his nemesis by accusing him of pulling a dirty trick. That’s the beauty of this show. The Riddler and his henchman were not 3 minutes prior shooting live ammo at Batman and his pre-teen sidekick, and Batman gets all disappointed in the Riddler when he reveals some annoying chick in a Mardi Gras mask.

Flash forward ten years and Robin has traded in the green short shorts and pixie boots for something a little more suitable for crime fighting. He is joined by Batgirl and the moody Ms. Moldoff is none to pleased.

Next we are treated to some gender bending awkwardness, but all played straight – which of course is the secret to the success of these guys. Bravo to Diedrich Bader for not going too over the top in his performance as the haughty lady in the Batmuscles. Kudos as well to the art direction during the animation of Batman/Katrina’s movements - very feminine and very funny.

I have to admit if I suddenly found myself in the body of a smoking hot babe like Katrina Kane, and I needed an appropriate outfit to change into, I may have spent a little extra time admiring my new curves in the mirror, but that’s why I never became a super hero. I like to look at naked ladies too much.

I wasn’t the only one smitten with Katrina’s charms. That old perverted prestidigitator Felix Faust was also a bit smitten. So smitten in fact that he had no qualms about riding bitch on the back of the Batchick Cycle.

And while we’re on the subject of sexual taboos, why would Dick Grayson, a boy who grew up in a circus be deathly afraid of monkeys? Holy Simian Sodomy Batman, I hope the Boy Wonder escaped that particular predicament with his short shorts still around his waist.

By the end of the episode we saw Batman using his “feminine” wiles on Felix Faust, and the episode ended fittingly enough with a proper homage to one of the greatest male/female role reversals in the history of film. (With the possible exception to those Oscar De La Hoya photos that were floating around a few years back.) The last words spoken in this episode, just like the last words spoken in Billy Wilder’s classic comedy, Some Like it Hot, “Well, nobody’s perfect.”



Joe Oesterle’s new book, “Weird Hollywood” is out. Here’s an unedited story from the book. It’s Halloween appropriate. Read, if you dare, the bizarre, twisted and unsolved murder of The Black Dahlia.


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millean 11/1/2010 12:01:45 PM

When I first saw the Cartoon Network promo where Batman asks Nightwing "does this make me look fat?" I was a little upset that the promo guys would make Batman appear so gay.  Now I have to publicly apologize to them, as it was pulled straight from an episode.  Not only that, but the scene actually played out perfectly and I think I literally laughed audibly (I'm trying to boycott the "lol" term).

Yeah, when "Brucina" was changing clothes, I was bracing for overt jokes that never came.  Almost wished they showed him/her close his eyes in an effort to make him a super-prude (which admittedly, like Joe, I don't think I would have gone that route.)  But as it was, it was probably as good as you could ask for.

So does anyone think we will ever see a full-grown Bruce Wayne on this show?  (I think we saw him as a kid once.)  Have we seen Alfred, I think we possibly may have caught a glimpse of him once, but I can't remember.

Anyway, this episode was another solid one, but not one of my favorites.  Wish this show would never end....

Jakester 11/1/2010 2:08:17 PM

This show continues to be nothing short of fantastic.    Thanks for the research, Joe.  I'm not terribly familiar with the golden/silver age Batman continuity and history.

JoeArtistWriter 11/1/2010 11:53:56 PM

I love that you two guys always leave comments, but it breaks my heart this show doesn't get the support it deserves.

millean, I thought we did see Alfred once too.... I could be mistaken though. I am surprised we haven't seen much of Bruce Wayne as an adult. I think we did see him and young Dick Grayson once, but i could be getting getting memories of BTAS confused in there.

Jakester, the golden age is fun, because you can see the roots of everything, the silver age by and large is much sillier, but both periods are worth reading if you ever et a chance, if only to pick up the styles and climate of the times.

The silver age is just before I started collecting, but back in the 70's comics would often include reruns of 40's a 50's adventures. Of course back then comic books would have 3 stories in them, so they were saving money by throwing in a "classic."

I picked up a bunch of Silver Age stuff in the late 70's. Older kids throwing them out would give them to me.

I lost all my comics in a basement flood while I was away at schook in the mid 80's. Broke my heart. I still read em, but i now give them away to kids. I can't collect ever again, i am scarred.

Jakester 11/2/2010 7:21:08 AM

Ow, Joe.  That sucks.  I have boxes and boxes (and filing cabinets) full of comics from the '80s and '90s.  I mostly stuck with DC and Vertigo, but still have some Marvel stuff tucked away.

millean 11/2/2010 11:03:57 AM

I appreciate the Gold and Silver ages, which I think is one of the reasons I love this series so much.  The other reason I love this show... they actually made me care about B'wana Beast before he met his untimely end.

Odds on me ever mentioning the words "B'wana Beast" and "untimely end" before this show... slim to none.

OK, guys, let's go to lunch!

egoist 11/2/2010 3:40:41 PM

I think Diedrich Bader was inspired by the great thespian William Shatner from the ST episode Turnabout Intruder . That's what came to my mind anyway.



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