Terror on Dinosaur Island!
Original Airdate - November 21st, 2008
Batman and Plastic Man thwart Gorilla Grodd's
plot to devolve humans into primates.
Written by Steven Melching
Directed by Brandon Vietti
Animation by Digital eMation, Inc.
Review by Scott Lochmoeller/"Style"
Media provided by Warner Bros. Animation
Diedrich Bader as Batman
Grey DeLisle as Fire
John DiMaggio as Gorilla Grodd
Greg Ellis as Gentleman Ghost
Tom Kenny as Plastic Man
Theme Written and Performed by Andy Strumer
Music by Michael McCuistion, Lolita Ritmanis, Kristopher Carter
The Brave and the bold launches its sophomore effort
with stylish aplomb, as Batman and Plastic Man (later
joined by Fire) team to defeat Gentleman ghost at a
Mexican Day of the Dead celebration. This sequence is
colorful and kinetic, with a great amount of energy and
satisfying action. One also admires the design of
Gentleman Ghost, allowing us to see his visible self on
occasion. His villainous shtick also intrigues, with his
taunts to Batman to join him in the realm of the dead.
Much more so than the previous episodeís use of the
Clock King, I would very much appreciate Gentleman Ghost
getting a starring villain role later in the series
line. His design coupled with this M.O. suggest he may
have an interesting origin story to share with us.
Speaking of interesting origins, I enthusiastically
enjoyed Plastic Manís story and Batmanís involvement
there in. Let it be known that I do not know Plastic Man
from Adam, but as laid out here his story finds nice
situations and thematic variations on the
superhero/villain profile to explore. It is enjoyable
that he started as just a costumed goon to an existing
villain. Those guys never get much attention. But even
though his powers origin is derivative, recalling the
Joker and The Batmanís take on Mr. Freeze, I found what
came after a very good moment for Batman. It says a lot
about this Batmanís character that, rather than just
fish him out of the soup and take him to the hospital
and wash his hands of it, as previous animated
incarnations of the character might have, This Batman
takes the time to make sure Plastic Manís condition is
stabilized, help him get back on his feet, and even take
him under his wing and try to make him a Superhero. I
have never seen a Batman be so invested in a villainís
attempt to reform, (unless that villain was a friend of
his.) Letís face it, The BTAS version of the character
regarded both Poison Ivyís, Riddlerís, and Jokerís
attempts at rehabilitation with paranoia and suspicion.
The fact that he was justified hardly seems to matter.
(Okay, he went easier on Harley Quinn and Arnold Wesker,
Iíll admit.) This new version of Batman taking such
personal attention in Plastic Manís character really
What didnít quite impress me was Gorilla Grodd or his
plan. So far in the series history, if it has one major
flaw itís the vapid and thin villains. (The Golden rule,
after all, is to put more effort into your villain than
your hero if you are going to cut corners. The series is
inverting that to itís own detriment.) Grodd is just
standard in his personality and plans. His ultimate goal
of turning humans into apes is reheated from JLU. In JLU,
this revealed interesting things about his character,
(that, despite his view of humans as a lesser life form,
he liked the company of humans better than the
intelligent apes of Gorilla City.) This does not really
come across in the new version of the character. Why is
this his goal? He does get one good line with an
interesting view point about humanity being an
evolutionary dead end determined to destroy earth, but
lets face it, that a fairly standard cynical view of
human achievement by now used in many such stories. And
it doesnít really excuse the sloppy lose ends of his
plans: Why steal the cruise liner and other treasure?
Was there a reason? Why set up on Dinosaur Island? Was
it just strategic location? Was the presence of
Dinosaurs just incidental? Were those other Gorillas
helping him intelligent gorillas, regular gorillas, or
something in between? None of these questions have clear
answers, meaning they are just there for ambiance.
Still, Iíll give Grodd this compliment: he is voiced by
John Dimaggio, and he finds a voice for Grodd that is
neither Drakken nor Bender, and I appreciate that.
Let me also say that Diedrich Bader continues a strong
performance as Batman. Bader by now seems to understand
what the point of this Batman is, how this Batman is
being played, and has supplied a confident voice for the
character. It works in that he just comes across as just
being Batman, where as, Iím sorry to have to say, Rino
Romano went to the end always sounding like he was
trying to be Batman. (But to mitigate that, it should be
noted that that whole series had issues with how to play
Batman. Brave and the Bold has just clicked right out of
the gate.) But I will also mention that there seems to
be a consensus among some fans that this episode played
Batman ďdarkerĒ than the previous episode. I very much
disagree with that assessment. Batman hasnít changed
between episodes, heís just reacting to Plastic Man
differently than he did Blue Beetle. If it is true the
series is aimed more at children, the point seems to be
about what tough love is and why itís important.
Otherwise, the series seems to have a fairly good handle
on the character, and Batman as presented here has some
interesting quirks. He seems to have a trait where he
can come across strange phenomena, quickly generate a
theory to explain it, and use that theory to project an
aura that he knows more about a situation than he
actually does. In this episode, Batman explains that
Dinosaur Island is a mystical island with unique
properties that exists outside the regular time
continuum, and when Plastic Man asks how he knows this,
Batman just shrugs and points to ďa giant Dinosaur,Ē
(Compare this to the line from ďRise of Blue BeetleĒ
when Batman internally admits, ďOf course, thatís just a
fancy way of saying ďThatís weird.Ē)
But in summation, Terror on Dinosaur Island is an
enjoyable action piece with well drawn heroic
characters. But one would hope that future entries would
put more effort into the villains that Batman and his
Justice League friends face.
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