The second collection of the newest Batman animated series has hit stores. This incarnation of your favorite Bat takes the sort of "BIF-BAM-POW" fun of the 60's live action series, set against a pile of well written stories and featuring team ups mining an endless well of fantastic, varied heroes battling DC Comic's rich pool of villains. At times, the subject matter is surprisingly adult, dealing with themes including death, the urge to procreate and leave behind a legacy, the true motives behind being a hero and even how love can expose your every weakness. HEAVY STUFF! At the same time, the show implements a jazzy soundtrack and keeps things moving at an excellent pace to compliment the action without tugging you along like a lost, distracted puppy. A healthy dose of cleaver, light banter also helps to lighten the mood, coupled with scenarios and long forgotten D list baddies that just may make you involuntarily spit out your drink.
Crazy Quilt. Calendar Man. The Calculator. Hammer Toes. Kite Man. Baby Face. These are just some of the awesome cast of baddies that take The Dark Knight from brooding sentinel of justice to slightly comical warden in a world gone completely over the deep end. Let's face it..not everyone can be a Zod or Lex Luthor or more specifically, Two Face or The Joker. The world is full of unique individuals and when the wackiest of the masses choose a life of crime but are a bit creatively challenged, you get a guy like Killer Moth wearing striped tights and neon colors. If your intention is to burn out the retinas of a perusing police force, then mission accomplished. In a fairly daring turn, almost mirroring comics' current penchant for taking lame characters and reinventing them to be deeply disturbing, insidious masters of chaos or outstanding heroes, Brave and the Bold parades these characters on the stage in all their pathetic glory. You can't help but applaud.
For those further looking for something a little different, this collection of cartoon episodes has two stand out moments. The first stars Bat Mite, an interdimensional being of God like power who also happens to be Batman's biggest fan. With a character that can make any thought reality, you get a handful of Bat-incarnations, every laughable villain under the printed DC sun and even a moment where attendees at a full on comic con are polled to see if his creations are TOO over the top to still be taken seriously. The second moment stars a baddie called The Music Meister, voiced (and sung) by Neil Patrick Harris, who controls the mind of any living creature through song. This episode will surely give you Sam Raimi Xena/ Joss Whedon Buffy flashbacks, though the songs themselves aren't nearly as good. Still, there's a lot of fun to be had watching Gorilla Grodd dance with Aquaman. On a scale of originality, this one gets a 12!
With team ups including Blue Beatle, Huntress, Jonah Hex, Red Tornado, The Demon, Booster Gold, Robin, The Outsiders, OMAC, Aquaman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, Wildcat, The Question and more, there is no way you can go wrong. Add to this the fact that you can get 13 episodes for the low low price of 15 dollars, how can you say no? Batman: The Brave and the Bold is hours of fun, putting any comic book geek into joy-overload with every viewing and even more fun when you take it out for a screening with a bunch of friends. Of course, they'll eventually put these sets together into one whole season with possible extras, so you may want to wait. Whatever your decision, know that this series is a winner, so don't miss the boat!