"Batman: The Brave and The Bold - Season One, Part Two" DVD Review
March 15, 2011 by James Harvey
If you didn't enjoy the previous thirteen episodes of Batman: The Brave and The Bold, then I doubt this latest collection will change any minds. However, there's just so much here to love that it's impossible for me not to implore readers, even those who have never given this show a chance, to give it a spin. Yes, it's different than any Batman cartoon that has come along in recent times, but there's just so much going for it - it's so fun, so inventive and completely unique - that it's hard not to be won over by the charm it exudes in droves. And thankfully, Warner Home Video has given us thirteen more episodes to chew on in this new home video DVD release.
Batman wings into an exciting new era, teaming with a mighty honor roll of DC Comics Super Heroes in the action-packed Batman: The Brave and The Bold: Season One, Part Two. Through the show’s final 13 animated adventures in this 2-disc collection, the Dark Knight allies with Aquaman, Plastic Man, Blue Beetle, Red Tornado, Green Arrow, Wildcat, Deadman, Bronze Tiger and Atom to take on an array of evildoers ranging from mad scientists to intergalactic crooks, from power-mad dictators to out-of-control teenagers. He even travels to a parallel world, becoming the villainous Owlman! In this cool, cutting-edge and often funny series bringing back old-school comic-book styling and dry wit to crimefighting, Batman faces any peril – including other heroes stealing the show – in his relentless pursuit of justice.
It's more of the same with Batman: The Brave and The Bold - Season One, Part Two, and I couldn't be happier. Like I said, you either like this show or don't at this point of the game, and whatever is included here may not change any minds. However, I still think fans (casual or die-hard) should give this show a chance, and there's some real gems on this latest release that any Bat-fan would love, I believe. In fact, there's plenty in this latest episode collection that just dwarfs what came in the first half of the season. We get Robin, The Music Meister, Huntress, Sherlock Holmes, and that's just to name a few. Aquaman's back for more, we see Jonah Hex stranded in the future, a great nod (via costume) to Batman: Gotham By Gaslight, and piles upon piles of references to classic DC Comics lore. Basically, if you liked the first thirteen episodes of Batman: The Brave and The Bold, well, you're going to love these!
Batman: The Brave and The Bold is a show that just continues to surprise. It does its own thing, and almost always zips when it should zag. It's rarely boring, always engaging, and pretty much always enjoyable. Even the weaker episodes end up being something a little special. Here we get Batman at his most heroic. He's a crime-fighter and hero first, putting himself out there with the best (or most obscure) of DC Comics. Heck, I'd even call this version of Batman the most "innocent," for lack of a better term, we've ever seen. While the show doesn't focus on the character's dark, brooding nature, that doesn't mean we're denied it. It's a part of him, but all of that is pushed to the back and, instead, we get Batman at his most...ideally heroic. There's more to it than that, yes, but here he's a super-hero through and through.
This collection includes what I believe to be some major key episodes for this series, specifically "The Color of Revenge," "Legends of the Dark Mite," and "Mayhem of the Music Meister." "Color..." for the fact that it introduces Robin into the series and "Legends..." because of Bat-Mite and, well, there's that great speech about how versatile the character of Batman is. And "Music Meister" because it's such a perfectly crafted episode in nearly every regard. Who would have thought we'd ever see a Batman musical that works as well as this one does? I promise you'll be humming songs from that episode for days after giving it a spin. Pretty much every episode in this collection is top-notch, some more than others, but these three are definitely fan-favorites among what's counted here.
Episodes featured in this collection include "Mystery in Space!," "Trials of the Demons!," "Night of the Huntress!," "Menace of the Conqueror Caveman!," "The Color of Revenge!," "Legends of the Dark Mite!," "Hail the Tornado Tyrant!," "Duel of the Double Crossers!," "The Last Bat on Earth!," "When Omac Attacks!," "The Fate of Equinox!," "Mayhem of the Music Meister!," and "Inside the Outsiders!"
With this release, the first 26 episodes of Batman: The Brave and The Bold are now collected in two very affordable DVD titles. It would be a crime if Warner Home Video doesn't release the remaining 39 episodes to this series, and I can only assume they will (likely on three more thirteen-episode, 2-disc collections) since Batman remains a heavy cash-cow for the Time Warner family. That's besides the fact, however. This entire deserves to be released because, when you get down to the bottom of it, it's just a fantastic cartoon from start to finish that all Bat-fans, young and old, should be able to get into. Not only is it a good Batman cartoon, it's just a good show - period. It's just impossible not to enjoy.
Batman: The Brave and The Bold - Season One, Part Two collects thirteen more stellar episodes from this flat-out excellent animated series, wrapping up the first season on DVD. Lots of folks out there may think this isn't "their" Batman, but that honestly shouldn't stop anyone from giving this 'toon a whirl. There's plenty of action, some flat-out hilarious moments, solid dialogue, and plenty of in-jokes and nods for even the most die-hard Bat-fan to enjoy. Batman: The Brave and The Bold harkens back to a pre-"grim and gritty" Batman and it's actually a bit refreshing to see, in light of recent portrayals both on the big screen and the comics (both of which are still excellent in their own way, I should add). This version of Batman isn't better or worse than what came before, just a different take on a great character, and this cartoon is easily becoming one of the best animated incarnations of our beloved Caped Crusader. Find out why this cartoon is always showered with accolades by checking out the thirteen episodes featured in this collection, all new to DVD. Without a doubt, Batman: The Brave and The Bold is Highly Recommended.
Another sparse release, Batman: The Brave and The Bold – Season One, Part Two arrives in the standard two-disc Eco Amaray case. As to what should be no surprise, there are no inserts or anything to be found, though the Amaray case is nicely snuggled in a snazzy cardboard slipcase. Disc art is as basic as can be, and now bafflingly black-and white, and menus are simple and easy to navigate. Outside of a single trailer for a CGI Hot Wheels cartoon, there are zero extras on this set. Basically, this release is a carbon copy of the previous release. Just the episodes and nothing more, really.
While the disc may lack bonus features, the A/V quality here is actually pretty solid. Audio is a standard English Stereo mix and the video presentation is an anamorphic widescreen encode, resulting in a surprisingly stunning image. If you've been watching this on Teletoon or Cartoon Network, you should notice an immediate step up in the visual clarity.
Overall, it's a sparse release in terms of bonus content but worth picking up for the 13 collected episodes, all of which are new to DVD. Batman: The Brave and The Bold - Season One, Part Two finishes off the first season of this great series on DVD, and actually bodes well for the next two seasons to see subsequent collections down the line. That being said, this show really deserves a more in-depth and expansive release, and I'm hoping Warner Home Video will provide actual extras in future releases of Batman: The Brave and The Bold. Even though the first season is collected, it's not too late. This series has so much going on for it, and so many great nods for comic fans and Bat-fans alike, and I have no doubt there’s a wealth of material just waiting to be set free. However, for this release, despite being significantly bare bones, Batman: The Brave and The Bold – Season One, Part Two is very easy to Recommend and should definitely be sought out by fans. The strength of the main feature here, thirteen great episodes of this excellent Bat-toon, is strong enough to overcome any deficit caused by the lack of extras. Pick up this release!
Batman: The Brave and The Bold - Season One, Part Two is now available to own on DVD from Warner Home Video! Please click here for more details!
-Batman: The Brave and The Bold - Season One, Part Two DVD Talkback (Spoilers)