So, I’m bored & I love “Batman The Brave & Bold” so I figured “what the hell” and wrote a review of a recent episode I enjoyed. Now note, this particular episode has yet to air in the US but it’s available to download from iTunes, Zune, PSN, & Amazon.com.
Last year at Comic-Con, it was announced that “Batman: The Brave & The Bold” has sadly finished its final season. Though to soften the blow, series producer James Tucker did announce that at long last Superman & Wonder Woman would appear on the show, each teaming up with Batman in separate episodes & all three would appear together. The only I could be more geeked up is if there would be an episode with them along with Aquaman in homage to the original “Superfriends” line-up.
Superman appeared in the episode “Battle of The Superheroes” in which was not just the usual love letter to the Silver Age but also a 30 minute long shout out to the website Super Dickery plus a tribute to “The Dark Knight Returns”. All in all, one of the show’s best. Wonder Woman on the other hand, only got to team-up with Bats in the cold open to “Scorn of The Star Sapphire” and while said cold open was entertaining it bugged me that one part of the Trinity (a nickname for Bats, Supes, & Wondy) got reduced to the spot on the show used for the C-list heroes that couldn’t get a part in the main role. And ironically the guest hero for main plot was Green Lantern (Hal Jordan) who fans has commented/complained that due to his prominence in the DCU in recent years he’s now the equal to the Trinity (or technically what you call four people) if not replaced Wonder Woman. But the fact they used a Wonder Woman baddie that isn’t the Cheetah or Circes, plus the use of Steve Trevor (Diana’s golden age love interest) and the Linda Carter theme makes up for it. Now it’s time to take a look at three of the greatest superheroes together in “Triumvirate of Terror”!
The cold open of this episode sets the episode right tone with a baseball game between the Justice League & the Legion of Doom with Jimmy Olsen as the announcer. Naturally, the LoD cheat with tricks like the Weather Wizard using his control of the weather to prevent a potential home-run & Lex Luthor using his technology to hit an easy homer, though the heroes did even things, like Wonder Woman using her magic lasso of truth on Amazo the umpire & Superman using his heat vision to stop the Weather Wizard. In the end, as you probably imagined, Batman scored the winning grand slam proving that even in Baseball good will triumph over evil.
The only downside is that there’s some continuity errors, example the League is referred to as Justice League International, which has previously appeared in two episodes, however the only member of that line-up that appears here are Batman, Aquaman, & Booster Gold, and they’re joined by Supes, WW, Green Arrow, & Plastic Man (who is firmly established never been a member of the league). And of top of that, Dick Grayson is there as Robin, even though it’s been established he’s Nightwing now. The only reason I think they did that is so that there can be a joke about him being called “Robin the Boy Bunter”. But there is a clever mythology gag, when Batman was rallying the League, he mentions that children were watching this game & lists a “little Julie Schwartz and Frankie Miller from Gotham” as examples. For those who don’t know, Julius “Julie” Schwartz was the editor at DC Comics during the Silver Age and if you don’t know Frank Miller, you’re not much of a comic book fan.
Anyway, the main plot begins with Batman, Superman, & Wonder Woman dealing with their arch-enemies: the Joker, Lex Luthor, & the Cheetah respectively, and easily their foes’ plans. Batman escapes the Joker’s death trap (and saved Vicky Vale who was also captured), Superman defeated Lex Luthor (who was in his Warsuit) & quickly dealt with Lex’s Kryptonite by knocking it into the lead sewer pipes with a manhole cover (even better was his dead pan “Here it comes” when Luthor pulled out the Kryptonite), and Wonder Woman stopped the Cheetah from (I assume) stealing a museum. Each villain cried out in defeat “It was fool-proof! FOOL PROOF!”
A nice gag is that when Lex escaped arrest, it’s revealed that he wears long johns under his battle armor. The Cheetah depicted here is the Golden Age version, Priscilla Rich, best known as a member of the Legion of Doom on “Challenge of The Superfriends”. I’m surprised that considering this show’s pension for obscure characters & obscure incarnations of characters, that they used the Silver Age Cheetah, Deborah Domaine. But I’m fine with GA!Cheetah, she was my first villain crush back when I was little & watched Superfriends. Something about that voice & skintight cheetah costume, to this day I prefer that version.
After that’s done, we see the funniest bit of the episode as it’s revealed that three heroes has regular meet-up at a diner in Star City. Yes, this series’ interpretation of the Dark Knight, the Spirit of Truth, & the Man of Steel like to hang out at a roadside diner, with the Batmobile & Invisible Jet, Superman putting on a 50s rock song on the juke box before he pretending he’s shoving a straw up his nose (it actually slid into his palm), and Wonder Woman complaining about the décor which Batman replies “It’s not the venue, it’s the company.” Then we have them ordering their food.
Superman: “Double bacon cheeseburger with fries.”
Batman: “Make it two.”
Wonder Woman: “I have the tuna club on whole wheat and a salad…”
Superman [INTERRUPTING WW]: “Make it three and shakes all around!”
Batman: “You’ll work it off, Princess.”
This scene introduces the b-plot of the episode, a super hero time capsule and each of the heroes need to find an item that defines them. And the scene ends with this line from Superman as the food is served.
Superman: “When I’m fighting for the American way, this [Cheeseburger & Milkshake] this is what I’m talking about!”
Well, I guess when you’re faster than a speeding bullet, you don’t have to worry about obesity. Meanwhile, at the Hall of Doom (Yes as in the Legion of Doom’s hideout from the Superfriends), Luthor vents his frustration that he, & the other two villains can’t seem to beat their respective enemies.
Joker: “Face it Lexy, the act’s gone stale, our respective nemesis know all the punch lines.”
Cheetah: “Like Kryptonite, can’t you do anything creative with it?”
Luthor: “I don’t need advice from a cut-rate Catwoman!”
The Joker steps in and suggests the idea they should go “Strangers on a Train” and switch enemies. The Joker will take on Wonder Woman, Luthor will fight Batman (which he states is a downgrade), and the Cheetah will deal with Superman. And they would attack the heroes at their respective home turf. As luck would have it, each hero went back to their respective homes (Paradise Island, the Fortress of Solitude, & the Batcave) in order to find something for the Time Capsule.
The Joker manages to sneak on Paradise Island (in drag) and manage knock out Wonder Woman, Queen Hippolyta, & presumably some of the finest Amazon warriors with his assorted deadly tricks.
The Cheetah ambushes Superman at the Fortress and thanks to a magical mcguffin called the Amulet of Urtzkartaga (a nod to the MA!Cheetah’s backstory) & Kryptonite laced nail polish, managed to curbstomp Superman.
Luthor gets the drop on Batman, who was out of costume, in the Batcave & Lex expounds that it was because a tracking device & a teleporter that the villains get to surprise their opponents. In order to keep the identity of Batman a secret, Alfred dresses up as Batman to distract Luthor long enough so Bruce can get into his costume but thanks his Warsuit, Luthor beats up Batman & his Bat-Transformer. He even got to take of the cowl of the Caped Crusader, but thanks to a special gizmo the generates a new mask, Lex can’t get a good look at him.
Batman tells Luthor to finish him because it’s better to die with dignity rather in front of an audience, which gives Luthor an idea. He uses the teleporter to teleport himself, Batman, the Cheetah, Superman, the Joker, & Wonder Woman back the Hall of Doom so he can broadcast the defeat of the Trinity to world, and the viewers included the Daily Planet staff, Vicky Vale, Steve Trevor, & Alfred. But Luthor states “The world is not enough” (my favorite Brosnan!Bond film) and broadcasts so that the entire universe can see this, we get a few mythology gags, like one planet shown is the home planet of Green Lantern Tomar Re and we see Rohtul, the Lex Luthor stand-in from the “Super-Batman of Planet-X” episode, watching this.
So the Cheetah briefly interrupts Luthor’s introduction with Cheetah introducing herself as “the Cheetah, in the adorable fur” (Writer’s note: damn straight) and then the Joke butts in & does an intro that even Darkwing Duck would find excessive until Luthor regains control.
Batman turns the tables by tricking the villains to argue of who gets which heroic hometown, giving him time free himself & his super-friends. The Big Three proceed to fight their proper foes, but eventually gang up, divide, & conquer.
They take down the Cheetah, then Lex Luthor, destroying his warsuit in the process.
Joker: “Three against one? Where’s your sense of fair play?”
Batman, Superman, & Wonder Woman: ***BEAT***
(JOKER GETS KO’D BY ALL THREE)
So, with the villains defeated & humiliated at a universal scale, the only thing left is to resolve the time capsule plot. Fast forward to 50 years later as the now elderly Clark Kent, Diana Prince, & (the wheelchair bound) Bruce Wayne witness the President (depicted as a blonde pretty boy with a surfer accent & a sweater that has an emblem that says “PREZ USA”) opens the time capsule.
(EDIT-Apparently the “Prez” character is from a DC mini-series called “Prez The First Teen President” that was made in 1970s and written by Joe Simon, the creator of Captain America. Nice one show, even I didn’t get that one at first.)
I won’t give away what’s in the time capsule, I can’t reveal everything. Then (possibly alien) tripod robots attack, Clark runs into a telephone booth (apparently their bound for a comeback within 50 years) and changes into Superman, Diana spin-transforms into Wonder Woman, & Bruce’s wheelchair transform into Bat-battle armor, ending with a shot of the heroes still united in the fight against evil.
Overall, “Triumvirate of Terror” was great fun all around, we get to see Batman team-up with two heroes instead of the usual one guest hero or team, great fight scenes, nice mythology gags (the Joker can be seen wielding a laughing fish in the climax), and nice chemistry from both the good guys & bad guys.
Joining Diedrich Bader’s Batman & Jeff Bennett’s Joker is Roger Rose as Superman, Kevin Michael Richardson as Lex, Vicki Lewis (Posey from Mission Hill) as Wonder Woman and Firefly’s Morena Baccarin (who previously voiced Black Canary on JLU) as the Cheetah. While I can’t say Bader, Rose, & Lewis have the same chemistry as Kevin Conroy, George Newbern, & Susan Eisenberg but the scenes together had that sense of comradery that the comics’ Trinity has.
I also like that the villains actually do beat their enemies when they switched. One thing that bothers me is that the Kryptonite is colored yellow instead of green, at first I thought it was gold Kryptonite, a rare variety that would strip a Kryptonian the ability to harness yellow sunlight. (Wow, I feel so pathetic for knowing this.) Still it’s annoying screw-up on the other good animation.