Batman – The Rise of the Blue Beetle!

by Alan Rapp on February 16, 2015

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Rise of the Blue Beetle!
  • wiki: link

Batman - The Rise of the Blue Beetle!

In honor of Batman‘s 75th Anniversary we turn out attention back to the Dark Knight’s more memorable moments on the big and small screen with the first episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Although it would take the show a few episodes to permanently embrace the Silver Age style which would become its trademark, “Rise of the Blue Beetle!” does feature an odd space story and a super-hero origin setting up the show’s premise of Batman teaming up with a different hero every week (as was the concept of the comic from which the show took its name).

“Rise of the Blue Beetle!” delivers the show’s first pre-credit sequence which is usually, although not always, disconnected from the main story. Here we get Batman (Diedrich Bader) and Green Arrow (James Arnold Taylor) stuck in a death trap at the hands of the Clock King (Dee Bradley Baker) as Batman’s inner monologue fills us in on the Caped Crusader and his rivalry with Green Arrow. Eventually escaping the trap and capturing the villain, the episode begins in earnest as Batman recruits the new Blue Beetle (Will Friedle) for an outer space mission that takes the pair far further into space than Batman had planned.

Batman - The Rise of the Blue Beetle!

Jaime Reyes’ infectious attitude to crime-fighting and partnering up with Batman, and his bewilderment and finding himself light years from Earth where he’s considered a bigger hero than his idol, makes the episode work as neither the pacifist fuel-filled aliens nor their tormentor Kanjar Ro (Marc Worden) are all that interesting by themselves. In all it’s a solid first episode for a series that would continue to get better over time. Blue Beetle would return quickly in an episode that also featured my favorite hero to use that name, but more on that later.

The series certainly plays into my wheelhouse as fan of Batman’s classic blue and grey look complete with trunks and utility belt of custom capsules rather than simple pouches. And the more the show embraced Silver and Bronze Age storylines the more fun I would have. I originally thought Bader was odd casting for an animated Dark Knight, but he proves up to the challenge here and, like the show, will gradually improve throughout its run.

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