History: It all started with '"Batman: The Animated Series" and continued with '"Superman'"and finally "The Justice League". These series were extremely popular with both adults and children, largely for their clever writing and the exceptional voice talents (Michael Ironside as Darkseid, Michael Dorn as Kalibak, and, last but not least, Adam West as a washed-up, stereotyped actor, for example) under the direction of voice director Andrea Romano. When they finally ended, the iconic character of the Batman was returned to screen in a new series, "Batman: the Brave and the Bold".
So how does it stand up?
It stands up very well. The writing is just as good and while I quibble about the animation quality, it suffices. But most of all, it stands up because of the change to the format. Whereas the original series were just about Batman, "B:TB&TB" takes after the original comic book, which is about the Bat teaming up with a number of other DC heroes, famous and not-so-famous. One episode can see him teamed with the Green Arrow (with whom he has a friendly rivalry, largely from Green Arrow's point of view) and the next episode in the future teaming up with Kamandi or in the past with the Demon Etrigan (and Sherlock Holmes.)
But all in all, it is obvious that the people involved are having fun with the series. And I think nothing demonstrates this any better than the following song and dance routine by the Birds of Prey.
Did anyone catch the adult humor there? (Flash being too fast or Aquaman's "fishie"?) Or did anyone notice the "Charlie's Angels" tribute pose?
And I have to say, the voice cast list is just as impressive (as I would expect from Andrea Romano) as the previous incarnations. I mean, David McCallum as Merlin the Wizard, William Katt as Hawkman, Julie Newmar, Tim Conway, R Lee Ermey, Olivia d'Abo, Mark Hamil (who is famous for playing the Joker in the previous series but this time played the Spectre), John Wesley Shipp (who starred in the unfortunately too-quickly-ended series "The Flash" but here plays the Flash's arch-enemy Professor Zoom), Peter Woodward: I could go on and on but that should give just a taste of the talent involved.
Recommendation: Definitely recommended! Catch it soon, because this third season is supposed to be the last. Groups of whole episodes can be found on YouTube if you search.
- According to Andrea Romano, a cross-over between Batman and "Scooby-Doo" is in the works.
- I would be remiss in not mentioning "The Brave and the Bold: the Lost Issues". The owner of the blog takes a classic B&TB cover and inserts a character, which can be anyone from the Silver Surfer to the Son of Satan.