STUDIO: Warner Home Video
MSRP: $14.98
RATED:  Not Rated
RUNNING TIME: 88 Minutes

The Pitch

Batman kicks it Adam West style. Green Arrow, Blue Beetle III and others team up with the Caped Crusader.

Who wants to touch the Scarab?

The Humans

Diedrich Bader, Will Friedle, James Arnold Taylor, Kevin Michael Richardson, John DiMaggio and Tom Kenny

The Nutshell

Batman: The Brave and the Bold is an effort to rebrand Batman as something that kids can watch. Nobody is getting blown up by the Joker and you don’t have to watch Dr. Light rape anyone. It’s good ol’ twenty-two minute romps that pair up random DCU heroes to help Batman fight an assortment of DCU villains. Blue Beetle and Batman fight against Kanjar Ro, while Batman and Plastic Man go after Gorilla Grodd. Unfortunately, you’ll only get to see four of these adventures on this DVD.

The Lowdown

Bruce Wayne returns to his Silver Age roots, as he actually gets to battle goofy villains. Toss out the Nolan attempts to make him a brooding goon and revisit the world that Julie Schwartz built. What sounded horrible to long-time fans turned to be a welcome blast to the past. Drawing in a record cable ratings share, a new audience discovered that Batman didn’t have to be as dark as Frank Miller’s taint to be interesting. Plus, it gave DC a chance to give first-timers their DCU Animated debut.

The current Blue Beetle was the first major guest-star and he gets enough time to be introduced to the impressionable masses. Young Beetle aka Jamie Reyes has been making a cult splash in the DC Universe since his debut in 2005, but the Animated Division has found a new vehicle for him. Taking cues from previous success with Batman Beyond, there’s a new youth dynamic being added to the Batman mythos. Fighting against the perceived baggage that comes with Robin, Batman gets a new sidekick that might be more powerful than everyone’s favorite Gothamite.

The cool, confident Batman comes across as revolutionary. It’s funny when you consider that this version of the character was the norm for what amounted to several decades. The later episodes team Batman up with Aquaman and Red Tornado. Ample time is given to the supporting characters, as new viewers learn about them. One being the deposed King of Atlantis, while the other is a sentient android given life by Dr. T.O. Morrow. The choices made behind these characters and the villains is refreshing.

I am getting pretty tired of seeing every other DCU Animated project being out the big guns. It’s the same point that came up during Disney’s recent purchase of the Marvel Entertainment properties. You’ve got a universe of characters that are waiting for their moment on the small and silver screens. Hell, DC has other universes that they purchased over the last several decades. Why do we only get to see the same fifty or so characters? What makes Wonder Woman more important than Kamandi?

Batman: The Brave and the Bold is much more than the some of its parts. Sadly, it takes the full season to see where they are going with this series. Unfortunately, Warner Home Video in their wisdom sought to only release four episodes on a Volume 1 sampler disc. It seems to be standard protocol for the companies’ kiddie titles. But, it just comes across as a money grab. The A/V Quality is standard for recent TV on DVD, though no special features are to be found.

The Package

to you with no special features. Maybe, a complete season release will get some love. It might, but that probably won’t street until 2010. Warner Brothers went ahead and already announced a second four episode disc to street in the Fall. So, have fun with the sampler discs.

Peter David is my homie.

7.0 out of 10