Thursday, August 25, 2011

BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD - SEASON 2, PART 1

Although far too short-lived, WB Animation/Cartoon Network's BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD (2008-2011) is a delightful, extremely well-written and produced super-hero animated series that portrays the Dark Knight in a decidedly "non-dark" manner. Each episode teams Batman with different DC Comics super-heroes for fun, funny and family-friendly adventures throughout time and space.

New on DVD is the third volume, SEASON TWO - PART ONE, and it includes an even dozen episodes, pairing Gotham's Caped Crusader (voiced by Diedrich Bader) with such heroes as Blue Beetle, Plastic Man, Red Tornado, Aquaman, Green Arrow and... C-listers like B'Wana Beast and The Metal Men. It's to the production team's credit, though, that no matter how "lame" the character is (percieved), they find a way to make them shine and treat them with respect and dignity.

There are some terrific episodes in this volume, including stories that spotlight the Golden Age heroes of the Justice Society of America, and teen sidekicks Robin, Aqualad and Speedy (Green Arrow's ward). The high points, though, are probably "Aquaman's Outrageous Adventure," which sees the Sea King and his family in an RV touring America, "The Super-Batman of Planet X," in which Batman meets his counterpart on an oddly familiar alien planet, and "Chill of the Night," an uncharacteristically (for this show) dark episode written by Paul Dini, where Batman finally finds the man who killed his parents.

Warner's two-disc DVD set includes the first 12 episodes of the series' second season, presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen with 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound. Picture and audio quality is perfect. Extra features are limited to promotional trailers for a handful of other Cartoon Network shows.

BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD is bright and colorful cartoon antidote to "grim 'n gritty" super-hero angst, loaded with all-ages action, adventure and smart humor. If you haven't seen the show, you're missing out. If you do dig the show, the DVDs would make a great addition to your collection.

BUY: Batman: Brave & The Bold - Season Two Part One