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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Brave and the Bold: "Shadow of the Bat!"

Forgive the lateness of this recap; normally the Shrine covers every Brave and the Bold episode that features Aquaman the first Monday after it airs. But I didn't know the Sea King was in last week's episode until he showed up as I was watching it!

After an intro featuring Batman, Robin, Catwoman, and Bat-Ape(!), we get to the episode proper: Batman and Etrigan the Demon tussle with a vampire named Dala, and Bats gets bit!

Soon after, Batman turns into a true Bat-Man, becoming a vampire!

After an appearance by Black Mask (one of my favorite and, IMO, most underrated, Batman villains), we cut to the JLA Satellite, where all the members are assembled after receiving a message from Batman:

(I love that Aquaman reads Aquaman Comix--which at least exist in this world:)
They all ask what the emergency is, and are thrown when Batman says there is no emergency; he's called them all together for an intimate dinner party so he can get to know his teammates better. Most of them find this more than a little unusual, though Fire and Ice seem to just go with the flow:
After dinner, the members split up and decide to stay aboard the satellite overnight. Beetle and Booster Gold fight for the top bunk, and Ice reveals to Fire she has a crush on Aquaman! (When Fire points out Aquaman is married, Ice replies, "I know, married to his work!")

Batman makes like Bela Lugosi (or Gary Oldman, if you prefer) and skulks around the satellite, attacking all of the JLAers and turning them into vampires, even Aquaman!

They then all gang up on Martian Manhunter, who only escapes their clutches when Etrigan reappears:
I won't get into the specifics of the end of the episode, even though anyone reading this can reasonably guess Batman does not remain a vampire at the end of this episode.

"Shadow of the Bat!" was written by comics legend, friend of the Shrine, and all around good egg J.M. DeMatteis, who gets to write some of his old JLI characters here again. Aquaman gets a couple of good, funny lines, and even though he doesn't get in too much of a donnybrook with Bat-Vampire, I was of course still happy to see him show up.

Over the weekend, I went scouring for stills of this episode and ended up reading a handful of reviews. This one, from The Onion's A.V. Club, features a priceless quote from writer Simon Abrams. See if you can guess what part I loved the most (hint: its in bold orange type):

"That having been said, I realize that the key to enjoying an episode like 'Shadow of the Bat!' and any episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold as an extension, is realistically focusing on the handful of colorful flourishes that make the show so memorable. There were a couple that I did get a kick out of in tonight’s episode, too, like Aquaman's amazement at the coupon on men's apparel that Booster Gold offers him: '15 percent off you say?! By Poseidon, those savings are outrageous!' Aquaman really is a can’t-miss character: There hasn't been an episode where he hasn’t had a great line or two like that."

What can I say? I agree!

(Post Script: Stills from this episode were provided via a link on the Shrine's Twitter Feed by Michael A. Garone. Thanks Michael, and welcome to F.O.A.M.!)


JD said...

Love that they seemingly modeled Aquaman after Steve Reeves for this series! It's a real hoot having grown up watching all those old Italian sword & sandal flicks Reeves was in, and now seeing Arthur of all characters looking like him. :)

Wings1295 said...

I missed it, too! Sounds like a fun episode. And what hasn't Aquaman been now? He's been dead, he's been an ape, he's been a zombie, he's been a water-elemental. Guess AqWEREman is next?

JasonMotesBowles said...

I don't think the vampire's name is "Darla." On TV.com, they list it as "Dala" but I actually think it's Talla, the Phantom Stranger villain that appeared as a sorceress on Justice League Unlimited. She wears the same necklace and her overall appearance is the same.

JD said...

Darla was a somewhat major vampire character on the Buffy & Angel shows, so this is either an homage or a name mix up.

Aaron said...

"Batman makes like Bela Lugosi (or Gary Oldman, if you prefer)"- Does anyone??