Written by El Puerquito Magnifico
The Caped Crusader is back in another collection of animated outings. Eschewing the grim n’ gritty Batman of recent years, The Brave and the Bold embraces an incarnation of the Dark Knight that most fans and writers choose to forget. Harkening back to the 1950s era of a smiling Batman who traveled time and was just as likely to fight dinosaurs and ghosts as he was mobsters, this popular series has made Batman fun again and introduced him to a whole new generation of fans.
Not only does Brave and the Bold introduce Batman to a legion of new fans, it also introduces a bevy of other characters from DC Comics. That’s how the series works: in every episode, Batman teams with another costumed crimefighter in order to solve whatever crime is at hand. We not only get a whole bunch of cool heroes, we also get a whole bunch of different interpretations of Batman. This DVD collection finds Batman acting as a mentor to the teenage Blue Beetle, helping the young hero find his way. We see the Caped Crusader give guidance and advice to Wildcat, an aging hero looking for a new path. And of course, there’s Batman’s ever-present rivalry with Green Arrow. The two act almost like sparring brothers: constantly trying to one-up each other.
In addition to the more mainstream heroes presented on this show, each episode opens with a brief segment featuring more obscure characters like B’wana Beast, Kamandi, or Guy Gardener who also threaten to steal the show from our hero. And it’s all done with a combination of dry wit and psychedelic style that will please children and old-school comic book fans alike. The great thing about Brave and the Bold is that despite its cartoony animation style and sense of humor, it also features some really good scripts. While the style might be reminiscent of a more simplistic era in sequential art, it’s got stories and dialogue that’s written well enough for any adult to appreciate.