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Batman: Brave & The Bold – The Battle of the Superheroes Review

4 min read

Batman heads to Metropolis to have some fun with his old chum Superman.

What They Say:
The Battle of the Superheroes

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
After a far too lengthy hiatus, Brave and the Bold returns with one of Batman’s greatest cases that lets it jump about with some different stories. The opening piece is a good piece of classic styled fun as the Pharoah arrives in Gotham to do some heists using his zombiefied mummies to rob banks. It’s a simple bit of action but it’s got a good bit of style about it as Batman and Robin arrive on the scene wearing mummy outfits themselves, though with their normal capes and utilities belts. And masks. It’s the kind of opening segment that works nicely in showing something that’s definitely goofy but it has its own sense of style that fits perfectly, especially if you do like the classic Batman 60’s material.

The meat of the show though, involves bringing in Superman to the series along with a good chunk of his supporting cast and elements. It starts off with a really fun bit, though a little out of character perhaps, as Jimmy Olsen tries to pull a hoax over on Superman in order to find out his true identity. Superman of course can see through it, but what makes it so much fun is that it does let him jump out of a window using the “Up! Up! And Away!” tagline that certainly brings back some memories. The old school style here is strong as Superman and Batman team up to deal with a bank robbery that has Luthor using his classic green and purple ship that I remember having a toy of as a kid. It’s a good way of bringing everything together in Metropolis that lets Superman take center stage but reinforces the friendship he has with Batman as the two decide to hang out together to work on some things for a bit.

Much like the rest of the Brave and the Bold episodes, it lets this team-up showcase superman and his rogues gallery. This episode really goes all out as it has a good story style retrospective by Lois Lane that shows who he is and covers a lot of material, from Kandor to Krypto and everything in between. There’s a good range of villains and some neat little nods, especially where Batman thought he had a really strange villain in Bat-Mite until he meets Mr. Mxyzptlk. The show feels like a huge love song to classic Superman villains as it goes through numerous short encounters, sometimes with Batman in tow, sometimes not, as we see how he deals with the villains he has in his life. Having Lois and Jimmy as the observational side works well in this context too, since they get to provide some commentary to it.

One of the things I did appreciate them doing is having him get hit with some Red Kryptonite, which turns him into a real jerk for awhile. Going from wanting to kill Toyman to just making life in Metropolis suck, he does it all. Hell, he even two-times Lois Lane by dating someone else and calls her out on the way she comes up with all sorts of schemes to trap him into marriage. The episode naturally goes the angle of having Batman trying to figure out what’s going on, and he has to do it as Superman takes out Mayor Swan, a nice nod to Curt Swan, and demands that everyone kneel before King Superman. The real team-up here is between Batman and Krypto though as they work through the plan with Batman wearing a costume very similar to what we saw in the Dark Knight Returns comic series. The episode simply has so many references and nods to classic material that it’s making me grin far, far too much..

In Summary:
With the Brave and the Bold series, we often seen a lot of love for a ton of DC Comics characters, but someone as iconic as Superman is able to take it to a whole other level simply because of the scale of material and the accessbility of it. Similar to the way Batman has so much material from a campier time, so does Superman and it translates exceedingly well into the format of this series. With all the prime players here, a good bit of action and some spot on comedy, Brave and the Bold returns with one of its strongest episodes of its run with two of the most iconic superheroes out there. This is definitely the way to get things rolling again. The ending moment alone begs for more of this kind of material as well. Everything here works just right and leaves you wanting more, which is the best thing of all.

Grade: A-

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