Batman: The Brave and the Bold – Season Two Part One has been issued as a two-DVD set containing 12 episodes of the animated series. Rather than a continuous story arc, the series presents a stand-alone story in each episode. Aimed largely at younger audiences, each adventure finds Batman teaming up with a variety of heroes to ward off nefarious villains.
Right out of the gate, “Death Race to Oblivion!” finds Batman, along with friends such as Green Arrow and Plastic Man, pitted against foes including the Joker and Catwoman. But many lesser known names populate the adventures, providing on-going interest for DC Comics junkies. “The Super-Batman of Planet X!” has fun with Batman encountering an alternate version of himself on the planet Zur-En-Arrh (a character first introduced in DC Comics in 1958).
Each 22-minute episode is well produced, with storylines easy enough for young children to follow. There’s enough dry humor to keep older viewers engaged, and the animation is simple yet stylish. Voice acting maintains a consistent level of strong quality, led by Diedrich Bader as Batman (and a variety of side characters as well). Bader has contributed voice work in previous Batman animated series, though not the title character. “Chill of the Night!” features several guest voice stars, including longtime Batman animated regular Mark Hamill as the Spectre. Adam West (of the live-action 1960s Batman series) turns up in this episode as well.
The score deserves special mention, as it is one of The Brave and the Bold‘s greatest assets. From the jazzy, swinging title theme to the dramatic strings and brass that punctuate the tensest scenes, the music is first rate. The title theme was written and performed by Andy Sturmer (formerly of the power pop band Jellyfish). The remaining score is credited to Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis, and Kristopher Carter (all veterans of the earlier series Batman Beyond).
Batman: The Brave and the Bold – Season Two Part One is not available on Blu-ray, which is somewhat surprising. Though DVD looks great, the vivid color scheme would benefit greatly from high definition. At any rate, the presentation is as effective as its limited format will allow. There are no extra features included.