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Mystery in Space!
Original Airdate - March 13th, 2009
Aquaman joins Batman in a thrilling space adventure on Adam Strange's home planet of Rann. There our heroes join forces to battle Gordanian General Kreegaar and his reptilian horde. It’s the power of justice and a good old fashioned fight that resurrects Aquaman’s heroism as he leads the team to on a mission to destroy the Eye of Zared!

This week’s teaser gives you a first look at the villainous Equinox and introduces the Question.

Written by Jim Krieg
Directed by Brandon Vietti
Animation by Digital eMation
Review by Andrew
Media provided by Warner Bros. Animation
Cast
Deidrich Bader as Batman
John DiMaggio as Aquaman / Gorilla Grodd
Richard McGonagle as Saradath
Michael T. Weiss as Adam Strange
Catherine Cavadini as Alanna
Oded Fehr as Equinox
Nicholas Guest as Question

Music
Theme Written and Performed by Andy Strumer
Music by Michael McCuisition, Lolita Ritmanis, Kristopher Carter
Video

Media







Review
Is that the smell of burnt Gorilla hair? It must be, as this episode leaves you hanging. Or rather, Grodd hanging. As Batman comes across a seemingly new villain proclaiming himself to be “Equinox,” the random foe has Grodd and the faceless Question hanging - literally - in peril. Now, this was a pretty interesting setup for this, especially as Equinox hits a button to begin lowering Grodd and Question into a pit of fire for the sake of “balance.” Taunting Batman to “choose” who to save, he simply walks away leaving the Dark Knight to immerse himself into the biggest copout of the show. How does Batman solve the dilemma, how does he halt the giant scale from lowering its helpless victims to their doom? He jumps on it.

That’s right, he simply jumps on it and for absolutely no reason it stops. He then proceeds to simply untie the Question. Meanwhile in the foreground Grodd’s limbs are hanging over the edge, amongst the tips of a barrage of flames, and the two of them simply ignore the large lump of furriness as they leap into action after Equinox. Wait, what? This scene makes no sense whatsoever! First, we have a contraption that conveniently stops when a hero decides not to just stand and watch, leaving Equinox to may as well have just asked “Cake or Death?” Then, not one but TWO heroes leave the poor monkey laying in what may as well be a frying pan with hair-laden limbs hanging over it. Considering that neither one of them were even courteous enough to first untie Grodd, he was likely quite roasted by the time they would have gotten back to him.

Ironically, the scene ends in a fantastic way that continues on with the lack of fear of on-screen deaths - or what appear to be - as Equinox leads Batman and himself to fall to their assumed doom. Of course, anyone familiar with Batman wouldn’t worry about the blue-clad hero as he commonly falls from great heights only to rescue himself with a grapple hook. Equinox, however, doesn’t. Although Equinox’s disturbing fall is blackened out, it doesn’t fall short of bravado. Leaving his inevitable end marked by a subtle sound effect as well as a plume of dust, we’re left mesmerized that not only did they use shadows to censor the rather dark incident, but they also used it to shroud the character in mystery as he walks out of the shadows! Absolutely fantastic - but still horrible. Unfortunately, the glorious maturity of the last minute of this sequence could not redeem it from the absolutely horrid trash the rest it contains.

The main story of the episode fairs a bit better, but it’s still not any redemption from the disappointment brought on by the opening scene. Starting off with Batman waiting around for something he seems to not want to mention, he comes across the returning character Aquaman. Crying like a whale. Dreading the thought of his depressed friend joining him on his pending mission, he eventually gets around to inviting him. Makes sense. Finally, we see what Batman was waiting for, but anybody unfamiliar with the wonderful world of Adam Strange will be left absolutely dumbfounded as a huge beam takes Batman and Aquaman on a ride through space. Trippy.
Finally, they land, or rather fall upon the planet of Rann, a 50’s serial-futuristic planet that the new-to-the-series hero Adam Strange helps protect. Only this time, just like everybody else in the universe, he needs Batman’s help with an invading alien force. This also makes sense, as we know even if they had invited along the entire Green Lantern Corps that Batman is the only one that can stop any force in the known and probably unknown universe. Even Batman’s gadgetry is up to the match as his decoding device manages to break the access code of an alien ship. Somehow, they end up getting captured by the most annoying (but not the lamest) villain to be on the show, and are rescued by…Batman…using a jetpack as a blowtorch. Wow. Throughout all this we’re subjected to woe-is-me whining from the depressed Aquaman, which we find out is thanks to his not being able to save some whales from being killed by whalers.

This is a very serious and current topic to include in a children’s show, but it still comes off as rather contrived as Aquaman’s depression is handled so immaturely. Conveniently, however, Aquman snaps out of it when Adam Strange begins acting depressed over not being able to rescue his wife, and decides that all is lost. Of course, somehow this also means that Aquaman has to come up with the plot to stop the invading force once and for all. Despite this, the idea was quite a brilliant one in using the bizarre transportation beam to bring a moon to the moon-less planet so the solar-powered ubership will somehow immediately lose power. If only there was some way to store power... Some device… Bah, too complex. I’m sure Batman will eventually come up with it, though, and it will be called Bat-something.

One problem with the moon bit, though (yeah, only one), in that for some bizarre reason they have to use Earth’s moon. This is problematic because Batman is said that even the slightest miscalculation will be devastating for the planet, but no reason is given as to why they simply can’t abdust one of the dozens of moons from the lifeless planets of the solar system. Overall, the main story is entertaining, but makes only a slight bit more sense the dreadful opening scene. Quite easily one of the most disappointing episodes of the show, and simply not a good way to start a second season. Then again, the first episodes of last season weren’t well liked either.

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