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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Brave and the Bold: "Crisis: 22,300 Miles Above Earth!"

Batman: Brave and the Bold aired one of its final episodes (*sniff*) last Friday, and--as you could guess from the title--it was a doozy!

After an opening team-up between Batman and comedian Jefferey Ross(!), this episode opens aboard the JL Satellite, as the new League eagerly awaits a visit from the legendary Justice Society. Martian Manhunter, who is in charge of the the whole event, is particularly nervous, medicating himself with cookies. Aquaman, confident as ever, takes Manhunter's snacks away from him and tries to get him to relax:
But where's Batman? Well, he's busy on the trail of the deadly Ra's Al Ghul, who is engaged in yet another plot to destroy the Earth, in the guise of saving it from the scourge that is humanity.

Back at the satellite, the JSA arrives, and Aquaman welcomes them:
The JSA is taken aback by the group of heroes welcoming them: where's Superman, where's Wonder Woman, where's Green Lantern? It dawns on these veterans that they didn't quite read the invite closely enough, and these heroes greeting them are the Justice League:
The party is an awkward, painful affair. Alan Scott openly derides Guy Gardner, who is none-too-impressed with these "fossils." Wildcat is horrified at the slovenly conditions of Blue Beetle's room, and says so. Its gets so bad that Aquaman decides to entertain them all with an old Atlantean spiritual, "Nearer My Fins To Thee." It, too, doesn't go over well:
Batman sends out a distress call to the JL, but no one hears when a fight breaks out among the two groups, complete with pie-throwing--he's on his own. Or is he?

While being dangled over some nightmarish-looking sea creature, Batman is rescued by Ra's' daughter Talia. Batman, now safe for the moment, asks why she did that. Her answer?
Finally, the fight aboard the satellite ends, and our heroes finally notice Batman needs help. Ra's is not happy when, just as the thinks he's got the drop on his nemesis, the roof if blown off his place by the two teams! Aquaman invites Wildcat to go first ("age before beauty"):
...but of course, he can't wait and jumps in ahead of everyone.

The JL and the JSA work well together, taking on all of Ra's' goons. Aquaman and Dr. Mid-Nite make a particularly good team:
Ra's' sea monster attacks the heroes, and Aquaman uses his telepathic powers to not only stop it, but take control of the monster and ride it like a sea-horse, turning it against Ra's own men:
Ra's launches his doomsday weapon (with Batman and Talia strapped to it), but the two Green Lanterns combine their powers and rescue them. Batman faces off against Ra's, only to end with Ra's falling off a ledge, to this death. Sure.

The heroes regroup at the JL Satellite, and everyone has learned to admire one another. Everyone is hungrily gulping down some of Manhunter's pies, even Batman!

"Crisis" is a wonderful episode, very funny but also featuring lots of great action. Aquaman gets a ton to do, and it was wonderful seeing him use his telepathic powers one last time. I've said it many times before, but its worth repeating: I think Batman: Brave and the Bold did more for Aquaman for than it did for Batman.

In terms of order of production, there are two more episodes of the show left, and Aquaman does appear one more time--
in the final B&B ever, "Mitefall!" But that episode is extremely meta, so in my mind, that makes this episode is the Sea King's last real "straight" hurrah as an prominent member of the Brave and the Bold cast.



Anonymous said...

Sorry to ask. What do you mean by saying the last episode is "extremely meta"? What does meta mean?


rob! said...

I just mean its a very in-jokey episode, mostly humor with the characters being aware they're in a TV show. This is the last mostly straightforward superhero episode with Aquaman.

Ryan said...

I think you mean Atlantean spiritual.

A very fun episode, I love how old geezer Flash needed to keep using the bathroom.
Glad to hear Aquaman will appear again. When does the finale aire?

rob! said...

Oops. yeah.

"Mitefall!" airs 11/18.

Orin's dad said...

I just love this show and will be very sad to see it go off the air. Like you, rob!, I think this show has done wonders for Aquaman. He totally rocked in this episode. I loved how he was the first in the fight, and kicked henchman arse with Dr. Midnight, and then used his telepathy to stop the monster. And the song was another "outrageous" Aquaman moment from the show.

@Ryan, the Flash constantly having to go was solid and made me laugh out loud too. So did the Ted Knight voice sound-alike they had for Starman.

Earth 2 Chris said...

This one had an almost Venture Bros. type vibe to it, which I loved.

I wonder if CN will ever air "The Ballad of Matches Malone", which is an unaired episode from Season Two? Apparently the producers had to edit the song that leaked out on the internet, where the Birds of Prey comment on how other heroes don't...stack up to Batman. Or certain parts of him!!!