When I was covering BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD
this past Summer at Comic Con in San Diego, producer James Tucker told me and my colleague (BOF
’s Sean Gerber) to be on the lookout for an upcoming episode titled “The Last Patrol!” as he believed it to be one of the series’ very best.
Upon viewing, I don’t know if I would agree with James that it’s one of B:TB&TB’s very best, but it was a rather good episode and one that I enjoyed iquite a bit.
Based on the title, I’m sure many of surmised that “The Last Patrol!” features DC’s group of misfit superheroes shunned by society and led a by a brilliant man in a wheelchair…
The Doom Patrol.
Just know that DC’s The Doom Patrol beat Marvel and their very similar X-Men to the punch by a few months back in the early 1960s. There are many who claim that the latter is a rip-off of the former. I have no idea (other than The Doom Patrol came first), so I’ll leave that up to the comic book historians to decide. Anyway…
In this episode, some mysterious individual is staging, well, “altercations” in hopes of bringing The Doom Patrol out of their self-imposed retirement. Naturally, it works, bringing Elasti-Girl, Negative Man, Robot man -- and their leader, Niles "Chief" Caulder -- together again. The team soon discovers the identity of the evil villain behind their reunion, as well as his reason for going to such great lengths to make it happen.
I’ll tell you upfront that this is one of those episodes where Batman’s pretty much a supporting character. This one is definitely Doom Patrol-centric. Fans of the greater DCU and of The Doom Patrol will get a big kick out of much more than those who watch just for The Caped Crusader.
So what IS Batman’s role this time around? Basically, he’s a motivational coach who challenges The Doom Patrol to be the heroes they once were…and can still be.
What Batman fans WILL like is this episode’s opening teaser featuring Batman, yet another deathtrap, and…
Batgirl! And I’m talking a VERY 1960s, Yvonne Craig-ish Batgirl at that.
All and all, yet another solid and well done episode of BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD. A warning however, this one just might leave you with a lump in your throat.