Keeping up with demand, we’re currently in the midst of the latest animated interpretation of everyone’s favorite Caped Crusader. A more light-hearted take on the character, but nonetheless enjoyable and completely addictive, Batman: The Brave and The Bold has been a big hit with both fans and Cartoon Network. So, it’s no surprise we’re quick to get episodes released on DVD, even if these releases are just the standard single-disc volume releases, collecting a handful of episodes. Here, we get five episodes, including the epic two-part which unleashes more Batmen than you can shake a stick at. There’s more after the synopsis.
Often outmatched in powers but never in wits, Batman and fellow DC Comics super heroes Green Arrow, Aquaman, Bronze Tiger and The Atom take down villains of all shapes and sizes in this enthralling collection, like the larger-than-life humanoid Despero and the microscopic toxin in Batman’s bloodstream that could be deadly. Just when “Bats” thinks he has this universe under control, he discovers a parallel world where Batman is the villainous Owlman! It will take all his cunning and courage to defeat this evil counterpart, especially when Owlman travels to Gotham City and convinces our world that Batman has turned criminal. So many heroes, so little time to showcase all the thrills from the hip and funny new animated series that has fans flying high!
For those who have been watching the show, or picking up the previous single-disc releases, prepare to have your expectations blown wide open. The two-parter included here, originally aired as a mid-season finale for the Batman: The Brave and The Bold’s inaugural outing, is a real gem here. It’s a great caper to the first half of the season and actually wraps up this release quite nicely. It’s also a testament to the format to the show, one fans were unsure of when it was originally announced. I think now it’s safe to say that not only does Batman: The Brave and The Bold’s format work, it works very effectively.
The five episodes included on this new DVD release serve up some of the best episodes. Sure, we get a weak one with “Return of the Fearsome Fangs,” but the other four are great ones. Everything comes together so nicely for this series. The animation is always top-notch, the stories are fun and unfold at breakneck speed, the characters are great, and everything just seems to…gel so perfectly. While every episode is different, and usually offers enough variety in story and location as to not get boring and repetitive, you kind of always know what to expect here. Granted you don’t know exactly how the story will unfold but you can always count on Batman: The Brave and The Bold to take you somewhere you’ve never seen in a Batman cartoon. It’s always fresh, always exciting, with even the weaker episodes having redeeming qualities.
Once again I feel the need to point out the solid casting work done on this series, especially with that of the title role. As we all know, Deidrich Bader provides the voice of the Caped Crusader here, but this bears repeating since, with each episode, he just gets better and better as Batman. While he may have stumbled a bit here and there early on in the series, though rarely so, he’s really found the right pitch with these episodes. He brings a gruff seriousness to the role, but also brings a light-hearted softness to it, as well. Bader is able to flip from being tough to wise-cracking without missing a single beat, and it’s completely organic to the character and the show. Even in the new episodes debuting on Cartoon Network, he continues to just knock it out of the park week after week.
Bader fits this rendition of the Batman so well, too. This Batman is a costumed adventurer who can crack wise with the best of them, a Batman who doesn’t take himself too seriously. But, not once, does this show do any disrespect to the character. There’s plenty of action, some flat-out hilarious moments, good dialogue, and a bevy of great guest-stars. How can you not like Aquaman here? He’s a real break-out character and we get plenty of him in the homage-riddled “Journey to the Center of the Bat!” episode. Batman: The Brave and The Bold harkens back to a pre-“grim and gritty” Batman and it’s actually a bit refreshing to see. This version of Batman isn’t better or worse than what came before, just a different take on a great character and every bit as valid.
The episodes included on this release are “Journey to the Center of the Bat!,” “The Eyes of Despero,” “Return of the Fearsome Fangs,” “Deep Cover for Batman,” and “Game Over for Owlman!.”
How can one deny such a fun series as this one? Batman: The Brave and The Bold is an absolute joy to watch, and the five episodes included here are such a kick. Not all of them are homeruns but, to be honest, this collection is worth owning for the two-parter included. Not only does it serve as a ncie pay-off to the first 13 episodes of Batman: The Brave and The Bold, but it raises the stakes in such a brilliant way and, at the same time, opens the door for the series to expand its roster of heroes and villains. Batman: The Brave and The Bold continues to be one of the brightest animated series going today, and an ingenious take on the Batman franchise. Batman: The Brave and The Bold comes Recommended without a doubt, full of fun adventures for fans of all ages.
Disappointingly, Warner Home Video continues the same trend from the previous two Batman: The Brave and The Bold home video releases. Those expecting a nice helping of bonus content should look elsewhere.
A surprisingly sparse release, Batman: The Brave and The Bold – Volume Three arrives in a standard single-disc Eco Amaray case. A promotional insert is included, boasting Warner Home Video’s Blu-ray releases, but that’s it. Disc art is pretty basic and menus are simple and easy to navigate. Outside of trailers (both pre-menu and accessible through the menu), there are zero extras on this set. I imagine any extras are being saved for the inevitable first season collection. While the disc may lack bonus features, but the A/V quality here is pretty solid. Audio is a standard English Stereo mix and the video presentation is an anamorphic widescreen encode, resulting in a surprisingly stunning image. If you’ve been watching this on Teletoon or Cartoon Network, you should notice an immediate step up in the visual clarity.
Overall, it’s a sparse release but one worth at least a rental. Collectors will definitely want to add this to their collections, as well as fans of the show, but the limited selection of episodes does hamper this release. Still, if you’re a fan of the series and want some Batman: The Brave and The Bold on DVD now, then this is a Recommended release, but with reservations. However, if you’re hoping for more bonus content in the future then I would maybe hold out for a season set release. This show really deserves a more in-depth and expansive release, and I’m hoping Warner Home Video will provide just that soon enough, but until then, I’d suggest picking up Batman: The Brave and The Bold – Volume Three to support the show and get a chance to enjoy five great episodes – including the solid two-part mid-season finale – in solid DVD quality.
Batman: The Brave and The Bold – Volume Three is now available to own on DVD.
–Batman: The Brave and The Bold – Volume Three DVD Talkback (Spoilers)