Synopsis: Join the Caped Crusader and a wealth of DC’s finest as they team up to battle injustice in the third and final season of this cutting-edge series! Evil never sleeps in these diabolical schemes plotted by the world’s most infamous criminals, including The Joker, Lex Luthor, Equinox and Ra’s Al Ghul! Fortunately, Batman and his many allies, including Superman, Green Lantern, Aquaman and Wonder Woman, are always up for the challenge! Circle this globe and others, and even travel through time, in these 13 action-packed, fun-filled episodes!
by James Harvey:
Batman: The Brave and The Bold is back for a final round of thrilling adventures and genuine laughs! That's right - the final collection of Batman: The Brave and The Bold episodes is finally on Blu-ray, and here we get arguably some of the biggest adventures of the entire series. The DC Trinity takes the focus in one episode, Batman becomes a real creature of the night in a creepy corker, and we zip back to Batman's early days for a real treat, among many other assorted tales. There's a great mix of episodes here, but each one feels bigger and better than what's come before, as the creative team takes huge advantage of knowing the end is nigh, and running with it as a result. Courtesy of Warner Archive, we get to see the entire third season of Batman: The Brave and The Bold's third season, and each one is a solid keeper!
Now, since this series came to an end quite awhile back, and all these episodes are well-known to fans, I'll keep my comments brief on the series. That said, I do want to point out the final episode on this collection, and the show's final episode, too – "Mitefall." It goes without saying that "Mitefall" is arguably the best episode of the series, and a true hallmark in Batman animation. The episode stands tall alongside other great animated Bat-tales as just an emotional powerhouse, one that will undoubtedly leave you a little choked up at the end. There are piles and piles of great episodes in this collection, but "Mitefall" is easily the best of the set.
I know I'm sounding like a broken record, but Batman: The Brave and the Bold is a show that, without fail, is always interesting. It's fascinating to see how an episode unfolds because, honestly, sometimes things are just so unpredictable. Even the weaker episodes end up being something a little special. And with these included episodes, things do get ratcheted up a couple notches. Producer James Tucker told me in an earlier interview that, since the creative knew these would be the final episodes of the series, they went ahead and basically did what they wanted. No real plan - just fun. They were able to bring in more A-list characters to mix in with the others, and take a few chances with the storytelling. "Four-Star Spectacular" is a great example of the show turning its format completely on its head! This great Bat-toon always finds a way to keep viewers engaged, whether it's thanks to some truly crazy plot points or just fun takes on the characters.
Personal highlights for this release include the aforementioned "Mitefall!," "Shadow of the Bat!," "Night of the Batmen!," "Bold Beginnings!," "Time Out for Vengeance!" and "Triumvirate of Terror!" "Shadow of the Bat!" takes Batman into Vampire territory for an effectively creepy tale, and features countless homages to assorted Batman artists and horror movies. "Night of the Batmen!," an adaptation of a story from the spin-off Batman: The Brave and the Bold comic series, brings a pile of heroes under the cowl for this fun tale. "Bold Beginnings!" brings us back to Batman's early days, showing us his first team up with the likes of Green Arrow, Aquaman, and Plastic Man. "Time Out for Vengeance!" is a fun time-travelling jaunt inspired by some of Grant Morrison's work a few years back on the Batman comic titles. Lastly, "Triumvirate of Terror!" gives us the big three fighting side by side - Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman - and you just can't beat that! Again, every episode on this collection is worth checking out, but these are some of my favorites.
Episodes featured in this collection include "Joker: The Vile and The Villainous!," "Shadow of the Bat!," "Night of the Batmen!," "Scorn of the Star Sapphire!," "The Battle of the Super-Heroes!," "Time Out for Vengeance!," "Sword of Atom!," "Triumvirate of Terror!," "Bold Beginnings!," "Powerless!," "Crisis: 22,300 Miles Above the Earth!," "Four Star Spectacular!," and "Mitefall!" Reviews for each episodes can be found here.
Collecting the final episodes of the absolutely stellar animated series, Batman: The Brave and The Bold - Complete Season Three shows us this series may have truly saved the best for last. There's plenty of action, some flat-out hilarious moments, solid dialogue, some truly surprising character appearances and cameos (see the clips below for a couple examples) and plenty of in-jokes and nods for even the most die-hard Bat-fan to enjoy. Batman: The Brave and The Bold brings together so many different influences, creating a truly unique Batman experiences that pays homage to pretty much every interpretation of the character possible. The basis might be Silver Age fun, but barely any era is left untouched here, and this collection is proof of that. There's no question this cartoon can stand alongside the likes of Batman: The Animated Series as one of the best animated interpretations of our beloved Caped Crusader. While this may be the last collection for the show, it is never too late to start checking out what fans are talking about!
Moving on to Warner Archive's Blu-ray release of Batman: The Brave and The Bold - Complete Season Three, the show never looked better, without question. If you own previous Batman: The Brave and The Bold Blu-ray releases from Warner Archive, you know exactly what to expect.
In terms of video, the quality is absolutely stunning. Any flaws to the transfer are barely noticeable, save for the odd banding here and there and some slight ghosting. Given the bright color palette of the series, and how susceptible that is to blemishes and assorted visual hiccups from poor mastering, the transfer looks absolutely remarkable in all its widescreen glory. Quite honestly, any flaws are likely due to the source material more than the actual mastering. The audio work done here is just as great. The 24-bit DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is exactly what you'd want in a release such as this. The mix is very center-focused - understandable given the television nature of the series - but it still packs a wallop for your home entertainment system. Every explosion is beefy, every punch a stinger, every bit of clever dialogue clear and concise - it all sounds fantastic.
As with previous Batman: The Brave and Bold Blu-ray titles, there are no bonus features. Bonus content has become nearly non-existent on home video releases for these types of animated titles, something fans have grown begrudgingly used to. While it's a shame nothing is included, the sheer quality of the main feature should be more than enough to warrant a purchase alone. Although, with a little luck, maybe we'll get bonus content in a future home video release.
Warner Archive has given one of the most fun cartoons in recent history a great release with Batman: The Brave and The Bold - Complete Season Three. This awesome action/comedy cartoon has never looked better, and it's a great alternative to some of the more grim offerings coming from the DC Universe Animated Original Movie line and DC Comics itself. Batman: The Brave and The Bold embraces the sheer insanity of these characters, and the DC Universe as a whole, and out of that we get this amazing love letter to arguably the best superhero ever created. Fans of the series should pick this up as soon as possible - available through the Warner Archive website and most online outlets - and marvel in the sheer joyful lunacy of Batman: The Brave and The Bold - Complete Season Three. Highly Recommended!
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