I know, I know...ENOUGH (!) with the “I thought I was going to hate this show, but I LOVE it!” stuff.
I understand, but I just can't help myself!
The latest episode of BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD -- “The Color of Revenge” -- was simply the best yet. It was full of stuff that I loath when it comes to Batman, yet I found a big 'ol smile plastered across my face during the show's entire 30 minute runtime.
Batman and the young Robin in "The Color of Revenge"
Really, if someone told me that one of B:TBATB's episodes would feature Robin joining Batman to take down the villainous Crazy Quilt, I would have rolled my eyes and said, “No thanks.”
Thank goodness that I was willing to give this show a chance because I would be missing out on some of the best Batman out there today. This will be the last time I'm going to say this, I promise. But if you're still holding out on B:TBATB because you think it isn't your Batman, you're depriving yourself of some great Batman, trust me. Anyway...
“The Color of Revenge” opens with a fantastic nod to the 60's TV show that you're simply going to love. The red Batphone, the Shakespeare bust, the Batpole, etc. -- all there. After Batman and Robin take down Crazy Quilt (voiced by Jeffery Tambor), the villain is locked up in Arkham where he plots his revenge on The Boy Wonder. Why Robin and not Batman? Well, it's Robin who Quilt blames for not only his incarceration, but for being blinded when The Dynamic Duo took him down.
However, CQ's revenge is really the secondary plotline in this episode. The real story here is Robin (who sports the 1970s “Earth 2” costume) attempting to become his own man. He's now the protector of Blüdhaven and is desperately trying to separate himself from Batman and eliminate the “sidekick” moniker. If you’re like me, I'm sure you're wondering why didn't they make the adult Robin Nightwing? I don't know for sure either, but I suspect that they didn't believe this story would have worked as well if they had gone that route – and I agree. As this series has a very strong Gold/Silver Age vibe to it, keeping him Robin just makes more sense.
While Robin's trying distance himself from Batman, it appears as if Batman's trying to accept Robin as a partner, and not his junior sidekick. If you have kids, you know it is difficult to not to look at them as your child no matter how old they are. On the other hand, I'm sure we all have tried to prove that we're now grown up to our parents at some point, right? Consequently, there's a fantastic Father/Son dynamic here between Batman and Robin – one that also makes for some pretty funny stuff at times. Case in point, a couple of scenes involving The Batcycle. If you're thinking “Huh?” right now, you'll see what I'm talking about once you watch this episode.
BATMAN: "I thought you liked the sidecar."
ROBIN: "Yeah, when I was 8."
If you're wondering which Robin is featured here -- Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, or Tim Drake -- I'm pretty sure it's Grayson due to this statement, “Once a Flying Grayson, always a Flying Grayson.” (I'm sure my good friend F.J. DeSanto's geeking out like no tomorrow over this episode!)
All in all, a great episode here – probably the best of the lot. I'm becoming more and more impressed with the folks behind this show upon each episode I watch. The way they include all of Batman's history and different incarnations into almost every show is awesome. Thank goodness that there are some talented folks behind BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD -- talented folks who obviously love and respect Batman.
And remember old chums…
“The way to justice is blind!”
"The Color of Revenge" was written by Todd Casey and directed by Michael Chang and originally aired on May 22, 2009. It stars Deidrich Bader as Batman, Jeffrey Tambor as Crazy Quilt, Jeffrey Tambor as Adult Robin, Jeremy Shada as Young Robin, and Deidrich Bader as Solomon Grundy.