SYNOPSIS: "When parallel worlds collide, Batman swaps places with Owlman--his criminal counterpart in an alternate universe--to stop the Crime Syndicate from taking over their world. Crime fighters in one world must battle their evil counterparts in a crime spree melee. Meanwhile back on Earth, Owlman has been perpetrating crimes disguised as Batman and assembled all the villains to join him. When Batman returns, he finds himself on the wrong side of the law and hunted by Green Lantern, Aquaman, Blue Beetle, Red Tornado and Plastic Man. It's a strange twist of fate that leaves Batman with only one option - to team up with Joker and take Owlman and the Crime Syndicate down!"
"Deep Cover For Batman" - March 6, 2009/8PM Eastern/Cartoon Network
"Game Over For Owlman" - March 13, 2009/8PM Eastern/Cartoon Network
I’ve made no secret that The Batman featured in THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD isn’t “My Batman.” With that said, I did give the show a good review when I had the opportunity to screen the first episode a few months ago. As I said then, it’s a well put-together and respectful interpretation of my favorite fictional character.
Truth be told, I haven’t kept up with the show since -- though I have all the episodes “Tivo’ed” and do plan to watch them. However, I recently had the opportunity to get an early look at an upcoming 2-part storyline featuring the following episodes: “Deep Cover For Batman” and “Game Over For Owlman.”
And guess what? I’ve obviously have been missing out! These were two dang good episodes!
Now if -- unlike moi -- you’ve been keeping up with the series, you know that TBATB is basically a Batman team-up show. It’s not set in Gotham City, Batman’s famous rouges gallery is not featured, and we never see the famous Batcave.
Not only do we get our first look at TBATB’s version of Batman’s headquarters (which is very "60's BATMAN TV show -- including the entrance), we are also treated to the first appearance of the greatest of The Batman’s foes: The Joker. More on him and how he’s portrayed in a bit.
In the first episode, “Deep Cover for Batman,” The Injustice Syndicate -- an alternate reality version of all of the heroes Batman has teamed up with so far on TBATB -- are trying to use this device/machine that will allow them to jump dimensions. Their plan is to invade our world (Earth 1?), but they are opposed by The Red Hood.
Yes, that Red Hood…sorta.
In this alternate reality/Earth, The Red Hood is a good guy. The Batman teams up with Hood and uses the guise of Owlman -- his criminal counterpart on Earth-whatever. The two then team up to save not only our world, but countless others as well.
Part 2 of the story takes place in a second episode titled “Game Over For Owlman.” When The Batman returns home, he discovers that the real Owlman has taken his place as The Caped Crusader (sporting a c. 1939 Batman costume) and has gone on a crime spree -- thus destroying the good name of our hero!
Now here’s the kicker…
The Joker -- pissed that the status quo has been damaged -- teams up with Batman to stop this Owlman/Batman imposter and set things in Gotham right!
Of course, things aren’t as easy as they seem. Not only does he have to take down and expose this Owlman character as a fraud, but his superhero friends now think he’s a badguy!
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been missing out on a Batman adaptation that is really good. Sure, this isn’t The Batman of THE DARK KNIGHT, but it’s not supposed to be! And just like this wasn’t the TDK Batman, this Joker sure as heck isn’t the TDK Joker either! This particular version of The Clown Prince of Crime reeks of the character from the Silver Age. Very “Dick Sprang-ish,” if you will. Now this Joker is definitely a badguy -- just not the evil and vicious clown of today’s comics…and movies (Thank you Heath Ledger!)
If you dig all that “Mutiverse” stuff or, like, me grew up with “Earth 1” and “Earth 2” deal in the comics, you’ll get a kick out of these two episodes. And it doesn't hurt that there are nods to Batman's various eras and mediums throughout -- including BATMAN '89 ("Stop").
Haven't yet given THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD a shot? I highly recommend that you do so now -- this is good stuff here, I promise!
On the other hand, if you are already a fan of the show, I suspect that this 2-parter will be viewed as the best of the season...
And all you TBATB fans can laugh at guys like me who've been missing out.