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Monday, October 24, 2011

Brave and the Bold: "Powerless!"

There was a new episode of Batman: Brave and the Bold last Friday--and even better, it featured Aquaman!

The episode opens with a commercial PSA, starring Captain Atom where he essentially belittles two kids for trying to be heroic, despite their not having superpowers. Atom clearly believes that superpowers = hero.

We pan out and see that the commercial is being watched by the elder members of the Justice League--Batman, Aquaman, and Martian Manhunter. They are less than pleased at what they see:
To make matters worse, Captain Atom berates Batman for not having any superpowers, even going so far as to stating that heroes and villains alike have "bought" into the idea that Batman is to be feared, and we even get a couple of fantasy cutaways (featuring Despero, Giganta, Star Sapphire, and Weather Wizard) of Batman being smited, immolated, and crushed.

Before the other heroes can protest further, an alarm goes off and we see supervillain Major Force attempting to steal some nuclear-powered device. The League arrives, and after dealing with Batman, Aquaman, and Manhunter, Force turns his attention towards Captain Atom, and manages to steal his powers!

Back at the satellite, the three heroes and now-powerless Captain Atom survey what they think Major Force can do with the device:
As you might guess, the heroes want Captain Atom to stay behind at the satellite, because he is now so vulnerable. Atom of course is offended at this, but demurs--for the moment.

While the rest of the League (who we haven't seen to this point) goes after Force, Batman tries to get Captain Atom's mind off is problems by putting him through a Danger Room-style training session. When that doesn't work, Aquaman takes a different tack, but breaking into a full-blown musical number he calls "Aquaman's Rousing Song of Heroism", which features the Sea King trip-hammering through the DCU while signing about what being a true hero is all about--heart!:
The rest of the League calls for help with Major Force, and Batman, Aquaman, and Manhuter head down to Earth. They try and fight the nuclear-powered villain, but find themselves outmatched. Then Captain Atom--still powerless (and in his old Charlton togs, a nice touch)--arrives:
Despite having no powers, Captain Atom uses guts and brains to defeat Major Force, by using the device he stole to go into "overload", causing a massive explosion and knocking Force out. With Force's powers halted, Atom regains his abilities and returns to his previous form.

Later, we see Captain Atom has made another PSA about being a hero--unfortunately, he's learned all the wrong lessons. He now tells the kids not to be heroes because, being non-superpowered, they are so very, very fragile:
...the end!

This episode's musical number is Aquaman at probably his goofiest (I mean, check out that still of him as Black Canary), but it warmed my cold, cold heart seeing him so vociferously defending his pal, Batman, seemingly being even more offended by Captain Atom's comments than Bats himself.

These Season Three episodes have had a real "what the hell" quality to them; like the writers and producers figured why not just let their imagination really run wild, since they knew the show was ending. Having the main hero of this episode essentially learn nothing is a fairly downbeat message, but it goes down easy, wrapped as it is in the candy-colored trappings of your average Brave and the Bold episode.


jim said...

I couldn't find a screen cap for it, but there's a scene in the JLI satellite's kitchen, where Aquaman is wearing a "Kiss the Cook" apron.

Ha~Ha~Ha Priceless.

Joe Slab said...

For Aquaman's full Rousing Song of Heroism (video) click here:


Joe Slab

Orin's dad said...

@ jim: I loved the apron he wore too! I think it actually made me laugh louder than the song did (although the song was quality). While this year has been much more offbeat, I am still very much enjoying this show.

collectededitions said...

Yes, Aquaman's song was nothing if not gratuitous, but with only three episodes of this show left, I think the creators have earned a little wackiness. I'll be curious to see how they play Aquaman against the Justice Society next episode; unfortunately *sniff* it looks like that might be about it for this incarnation of the Sea King.

Shellhead said...

Didn't care for this episode at all.
A little too far off the deep end.

Wings1295 said...

I love when shows have fun like this. I need to catch this one, seems like a blast!

Wings1295 said...

Oh, and when does Cartoon Network start airing The Aquaman Family Variety Hour? Cause, you know... I'd watch!

Earth 2 Chris said...

I liked this episode, but it felt a little flat compared to many of the greats of B&B. But everyone has their off day.


MichaelRbn said...

That Aquaman/Black Canary mashup is pure nightmare fuel.

Diabolu Frank said...

I'm not sure about the characterization, but seeing Captain Atom in his old gear is sweet! Dug Aquaman's crossdressing, too.