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"Gotham's Ultimate Criminal Mastermind"

ORIGINAL AIRDATE: May 13th, 2006
CAST: Rino Romano, Alastair Duncan, Mitch Pileggi, Richard Green, Jeff Bennett
DIRECTED BY: Brandon Vietti

Author: Bill Ramey
Monday, September 4, 2006
This is actually my first review of an individual episode of THE BATMAN. As a result, perhaps I should let you know how -- as a Batman fan -- feel about the show.

I like it.

I pretty much like all things Batman if they are done first rate and are respectful of the character. I’ve found that THE BATMAN meets that criteria on both points. I’m not a huge fan of the show’s interpretation of The Joker, but overall, pretty good stuff here.

Now on with the review of “Gotham's Ultimate Criminal Mastermind.”

Professor Hugo Strange is back and introduces D.A.V.E. -- the Digitially Advanced Villain Emulator. D.A.V.E. is an A.I. program designed to help the Gotham PD capture criminals. It has been programmed with the psychological profiles of all of The Batman's greatest enemies.

All hell breaks loose when D.A.V.E. manages to upload itself off of the Arkham server and build itself a robotic body. He dons a trench coat and plans on actually becoming, as the title proclaims, “Gotham’s ultimate criminal mastermind.”

Of course it is up to The Batman to stop D.A.V.E., who is intent on taking down The Batman as well. How does it plan to do this? By putting The Batman in a no win situation. D.A.V.E., who easily deducts that Bruce Wayne is The Batman, holds Alfred captive in The Batcave while intending to reveal The Batman’s identity to Gotham. Will The Batman save Alfred and have his true identity revealed, or will he save his secret at the expense of his butler, partner, and father figure?

Overall, I liked this episode. D.A.V.E. offers viewers a different foe for The Batman, other than a classic rogue such as The Joker, The Penguin, or Mr. Freeze. D.A.V.E. is rather clichéd and stereotypical, but I think that’s how he was intended to be portrayed.

It was also nice to see Commissioner Gordon in a supporting role without having his daughter, and Batgirl, in the mix.

My only criticism is that it seems that The Batman defeats D.A.V.E. -- allegedly the ultimate criminal mastermind -- too easily. Perhaps that’s the point in the end: it isn’t D.A.V.E. who is THE “ultimate criminal mastermind.”

"Jett" is the founder and editor-in-chief of BATMAN ON FILM, BATMAN IN COMICS, and ON-FILM.NET.

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