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Batman: The Brave and the Bold Volume 2

Score: 85%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Warner Brothers Home

Region: 1
Media: DVD/1
Running Time: 88 Mins.
Genre: Animated/Family/Action
Audio: English, Spanish, Portuguese
           Dolby Surround Stereo

Subtitles: English, French, Spanish,


  • Episodes:
    • Day of the Dark Knight
    • Enter the Outsiders
    • Dawn of the Dead Man
    • Fall of the Blue Beetle

If you haven't tuned into Batman: The Brave and the Bold yet, this second release from Cartoon Network is a great place to start. Don't worry about continuity, just enjoy the show. If you ever collected team-up stories from DC Comics, under the label of "The Brave and the Bold," you know everything you need to about the basis for this series. Batman is always a kind of Lone Ranger type, with Robin as his perpetual Tonto, so it's cool to see him teamed up with other heroes from the DC Universe. In this collection, we find Wildcat, Green Arrow, Deadman, and Blue Beetle featured in four episodes. You'll wish there were more episodes, but that's about the worst you'll hear us say. Not only does this series give fans plenty of Batman action, it gives DC collectors a chance to see some other characters given a more central role opposite The Dark Knight. Even youngsters that don't know Batman from Barney will be drawn to the design, fast-paced action, and intelligent storytelling in the show.

The best way to describe Batman: The Brave and the Bold Volume 2, as compared to any other collection you've seen in the past from other series like Batman: The Animated Series or Batman Beyond, is that The Brave and the Bold goes for laughs. If you aren't cracking up at a few of the choicest lines, and if you don't have a smile on your face through 40% of these episodes, check your pulse. The action is here, the darkness is here, the toughness is here, but it's all wrapped around with witty dialogue and banter between Bats and his partner of the moment. In the episode "Day of the Dark Knight," we find a deep competitive streak between Batman and Green Lantern, often to the point that the show's villains have a hard time getting enough attention. It's nice to have humor as a pressure-release valve for younger kids that might otherwise view Etrigan's actions with growing horror. The Arthurian setting for this episode is just plain weird, but it works somehow in the way that so many fantastic storylines from the classic Batman comics worked. The macabre and equally weird episode, "Dawn of the Dead Man," has Batman fighting against time and Gentleman Ghost, with the help of Deadman. You can imagine that the old utility belt plays a very small role in episodes like this, which is refreshing for fans that always seem to know what's coming next. Wildcat features in "Enter the Outsiders," a play on the generational gap that shows more of the do-gooder Batman we remember from the original live-action show, pitted against disaffected teens that find an distasteful and destructive sponsor. Finally, "Fall of the Blue Beetle" is a continuation of the series' first episode, and we now unearth some of the mysteries behind the Blue Beetle's personal mission for peace.

There's not much in the way of extras to latch onto here, but you'll enjoy the episodes. Parents cringe at spending money on such a short snippet of entertainment, but kids will just enjoy the show and keep moving. We'd love to see at least a couple more episodes packed in, but the content here makes for great viewing. Batman: The Brave and the Bold Volume 2 shows a different approach to these characters, but one that DC is wise to promote. The entertainment here is palatable for older kids that will largely appreciate the action and storyline, while younger ones can just get off on the exciting visuals. A few images might be objectionable to conservative parents, but this isn't nearly as intense as past series. Think of combining the best elements of The Dark Knight with the campy Batman of classic television, and you can imagine the broad appeal of The Brave and the Bold. Then again, don't take our word for it, go check this out. If you have kids around the house, we'll wager that they'll vote to keep this in the DVD player and on repeat for quite some time. Fun, creative, and recommended.

-Fridtjof, GameVortex Communications
AKA Matt Paddock

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