Mania Grade: A
6 Comments | Add
Rate & Share:
- TV Series: Batman: The Brave and the Bold
- Episode: The Last Patrol
- Starring (Voices): Diedrich Bader, Dee Bradley Baker, Olivia d'Abo, David K. Hill, Richard McGonagle, Henry Rollins
- Written By: J.M. DeMatteis
- Directed By: Ben Jones
- Network: Cartoon Network
Batman The Brave & Bold: The Last Patrol Review
By Joe Oesterle
October 10, 2010
Batman: the Brave and the Bold
© Bob Trate/Mania
Batman, The Brave and The Bold is what superhero cartoons should be all about. Notice the use of the word “cartoon,” and not the more highbrow word “animation,” because the fine folks at B&B fully embrace the Saturday morning cartoony-ness of this show.
Sure Batman (and Superman) the Animated Series, were brilliant pieces of entertainment, and they also delighted in playing for laughs on occasion, but there has never been a show to affectionately blend the the aforementioned influences along with the overly earnestness of the old Johnny Quest, welcome the corniness of The Superfriends, and include the drama and pathos of classic anime.
Sadly I feel this show has been overlooked or wrongly dismissed by those who only see it as an updated version of the old Adam West/Burt Ward program. While the creatives on this show obviously have much love and respect for the 60’s live action program, (and deservedly so) the B&B works on many different levels, but since I mentioned it, lets go to the iconic and campy show.
I loved the wink to Yvonne Craig’s Batgirl, right down to her spunky and earnest line reading lifted directly from the 45 year old script, “Now, Batman, that would be telling.” It was also a delight to see the version of the classic Silver Age Penguin, even if he only cackled for 3 seconds of screen time. Naturally though if we’re talking about classics of the Silver Age, we have to discuss the stars of Friday’s show, the Doom Patrol.
The fact that many comic book fans don’t realize is DCs Doom Patrol predates Marvel’s better-known X-Men by 3 months, and many have long suspected that the one and only Stan the Man Lee out and out ripped off the Doom Patrol as he most likely had a mole on the DC staff. Similar claims have been made against Lee in the case of the Fantastic Four and DC’s The Challenger’s of the Unknown.
And since we’re giving a comics history lesson, it’s worth pointing out that this story is very similar to the last issue of the Silver Age Doom Patrol in which our freakishly mutated heroes sacrifice themselves for the sake of the fictional island community of Codsville. It was the first account of a comic book ending its run by killing off the main characters.
This modern day retelling of the dysfunctional super group gave us versions of overweight Elastic-girl, a suicidal Robotman, played by Punk icon Henry Rollins) and a down on his luck Negative Man (with a poster cameo of Beast Boy) and of course, the original wheelchair bound mutant leader, Doctor Niles Caulder.
Sadly B&B is in its last season, but I’ll hold out hope it will catch on in popularity in reruns and eventually garner the respect it so properly deserves. The creative crew on this show are crafting their masterpiece as a labor of love, and that passion shows through.
The bigger crime than the brave, bold and tormented heroes who were murdered on an island by the dastardly General Zahl is that this distinguished program has not been picked up for three more years.
Are you a fan of the old Brady Buch show? Then read this unedited excerpt from Joe Oesterle’s “Weird Hollywood” book on Cousin Oliver himself – the one and only, Robbie Rist. http://joeartistwriter.wordpress.com/2010/10/07/the-weird-hollywood-unedited-interview-robbie-rist/