BRAVE & THE BOLD - "Chill of the Night" Review - Mania.com



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  • Title: Batman: The Brave and the Bold
  • Episode Title: Chill of the Night
  • Writer: Paul Dini
  • Director: Michael Chang
  • Cast: Diedrich Bader, Jeff Bennett, Kevin Conroy, Zachary Gordon, Jennifer Hale, Mark Hamill, Richard Moll, Julie Newmar, Peter Onorati, Adam West
  • Network: Cartoon Network
  • Series: Batman: The Brave and the Bold

BRAVE & THE BOLD - "Chill of the Night" Review

BATMAN: TAS Meets BATMAN: B&B

By Joe Oesterle     April 11, 2010
Source: Mania


BATMAN: BRAVE & THE BOLD - "Chill of the Night" Review
© Mania

Readers of this column are well aware of my love for Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Myself, and many other admirers of this animated adventure series embrace this program for producing a loving tribute to a time when our biggest worries were if our brothers got to the new box of Lucky Charms before us, and grabbed the free toy surprise inside. Running to the television set, slipping and sliding in our footie pajamas, cereal spilling out of our bowls, leaving a trail of sugary sweetness from the kitchen to the living room, it didn’t take the world’s greatest detective to figure out who made these early morning messes.

Puzzling to those of us who anticipate each new B&B installment, are the Batman lovers who outright hate this wonderful homage of a more innocent time. These so-called Bat-fans prefer to consider themselves Bat-purists, and have nothing but disdain for the old Adam West show, Batman comics of the Silver Age and of course this show.

It’s clear there are many different incarnations of the Caped Crusader, and I have long maintained it’s perfectly viable to revere and accept each and every interpretation (except of course for Joel Schumacher’s version. The man is a silly sacrilegious hack.) With this in mind, this week’s long-awaited episode had something for everyone - unless you like erect bat nipples.

“Chill of the Night” is yet another re-telling of the classic Batman origin story, with other tradition elements thrown in as well. This story could have easily played as an installment of the highly regarded Batman the Animated Series. No surprise there because the writer was TAS veteran scribe, Paul Dini. Dini brought a good deal of his darker style to the script, and yet managed to retain just enough of the new B&B sensibility. Other TAS alumni included Kevin Conroy as the Phantom Stranger and Mark Hamill in the role of the decidedly prickish Specter. On the lighter side of Batman’s mythos, the casting department also brought in the vocal talents of the aforementioned, Adam West as Thomas Wayne, and playing the part of Martha Wayne was none other than the sexiest femme fatale to ever slide into a skintight shimmering leather body stocking, Julie Newmar.

It is interesting to note that Hamill portrayal of the vengeful hooded Spectre bore an uncanny likeness to a certain hooded vengeful emperor as he egged Batman over to a darker side, in order to “fulfill his destiny.”

True comic book undoubtedly enjoyed watching the flashback of the masquerade party in which Thomas Wayne donned a batsuit of his own. Thanks to the powers of the Phantom Stranger and the Spectre, an adult Bruce Wayne was not only transported to that time and place in his very young life, he got to fight crime alongside his dear old dad. I have to confess, when Thomas Wayne called the masked Bruce his “old chum,” I grinned from ear to ear. Conversely, the sight of this obvious fictional cartoon character hugging his also obviously cartoon mother (who has been fictionally dead for 20 some years) so tightly, well, I choked up a little.

Another Easter egg for Bat maniacs was hearing Batman introduce himself to his parents as “Matthew” Malone.

Next we were treated to an amazing gathering of Gotham’s most notorious villains, and the Joker to his credit, managed to get off a subtle fart joke before the fracas started.

It came as no surprise that Joe Chill had to die in a Twilight Zone coincidence fashion after Bruce revealed himself as the man under the cowl while he was beating the snot out of the man who carelessly shot down his parents on that dark night in Crime Alley so many years before. Nor was it much of a shocker that Bruce chose not to pummel his enemy to a bloody death, but no one would have expected Batman to murder in any incarnation.

“Chill of the Night” ranks among the best of the B&B series, proving this show is as capable of presenting more than one version of the Dark Knight. Let’s just keep those nipples concealed.

 


 

Check out 3 clips and a gallery of images from the "Chill of the Night" episode of 'Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

 


 

Rumor has it Buddy Hackett had a very interesting “oral” contract to perform his stand-up routine in Las Vegas during the early sixties. Want to find out why the word “oral” is in quotations? Visit Joe Oesterle’s blog and find out.

http://joeartistwriter.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/buddy-hacketts-allegeded-contractual-obligations/

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 6 of 6
1 
peak37pt 4/11/2010 12:58:39 PM

 Nicely said about the "Bat-Purists." I'm such a Batman freak that I'm even getting the Batsymbol tattoo. I consider myself a "Purist" of the character and what he represents, so whether it's Adam West, Brave and Bold, Detective Comics, Batman & Robin, it's all about the man, myth, and all incarnations of it. In fact, B&B is a great homage to a more innocent batman, and I am proud that it is on.

For you to be a TRUE Bat-Purist, you should respect all depictions of the Bat! Especially when they are so well written, as this show is!   

hulkster46 4/11/2010 1:59:07 PM

There was a comic that came out in paperback around 1989, called The Untold Legend of the Batman. It consisted of 3 comics. Batman receives a package, and in it is his fathers costume, torn up. Then through a series of flashbacks, we learn how Batman became who he is. Who Joe Chill was, ect. The comic even had Bruce Wayne yelling at Chill, romoving his Cowl, and saying I Am Bruce Wayne. The only difference was that Chill was gunned down by his own people when they discovered that Batman was the reason why things went bad for them. The episode had the roof fall on Chill.

Even the Batman costume his father wore was just like the one drawn in the comic. I think they should of given John Bryne some credit on the show for his designs, ect.

But still a good show, it was  drawn and antimated  very dark, just like in B.T.A.S., At first I would watch a show or two of The Brave and the Bold, then looking at previews for the next show,. skip it. But I seem too be hooked on it now.

thecheckeredman 4/11/2010 3:04:41 PM

The Untold Legend of the Batman.

This little mini-series immediatly came to mind while enjoying this fantastic episode of B&B!  So good.

I barely recognized Hamill's voice as the Spectre! 

JoeArtistWriter 4/11/2010 5:25:27 PM

peak37pt, like you, I'm a Batfreak. Viva la Bat. I cut my teeth on the Adam West show, and got drawn back in after years of Bat-exhile with Miller's tale. I love alll the incarnations.

hulkster, the designn and story of Thomas Wayne's Bat costume dates way back before 1989. I remember seeing a reprint back when I was a kid. Since the Brave and the Bold grabs a number of their stories from the Silver Age, I'd wager that Thomas Wayne story and design dates back to the mid-late 50's.

thecheckeredman, I didn't realize until the credits it was Mark Hamill, which made it especially cool, because I had already made my notes about the Spectre coming off like Palpatine.

egoist 4/11/2010 9:36:17 PM

Excellent review. You touched on pretty much everything I liked about this episode. Mark Hamill was awesome as the Spectre. (I had to look at the credits as well) Give Mark his own spinoff already! "Old chum", Emperor moment, Julie Newmar, Adam West..... what more could you ask?

gauleyboy420 4/14/2010 11:59:35 AM

LOVED THIS EPISODE.

I have to admit, I didn't start watching B&B til this year (all caught up now, though)

I was so against it because of the greatness of TAS, and JLU...

BUT ! this show is wonderful. It incorporates all of batman mythos into one. It's genuinely funny, and accesable to kids, which is important if we want comics to continue to be relevant.

It can get silly, but Batman NEVR gets silly, he's the perfect straight man. They really handle this show well.

 

This episode might be the best one I've seen. Maybe because it didn't talk down to the audience or shy away from the painful subject of death, and vengeance. I was surprised they let Chill actually die... But appriciate it and the way t was handled, not dwellimng on it (for tha kiddies ya know)

I loved the "Old Chum" line!!!! and loved that Conroy and Hamil (although I didn't recognize his voice til you pointed it out Joe) are involved to some extent on this show. I also think Diedrich Bader does a great job as Batman. He pays homage to Conroy, but also makes it his own.

My first exposure to Batman was the Adam West show (in syndication) it and The Incredible Hulk started ,y love affair with comics. I remember running home to catch The Lone Ranger, Superman, but really Loved Batman (prolly cause it was in color) 

anyway great review Joe,

And I'm a purist, and there is room for all the Batmen, except shumakers LOL!!! too true

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