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Menace of the Madniks!
Original Airdate - October 15th, 2010
Booster Gold misses his late best bud, Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), but when he travels back in time to hang with him, he throws the present into chaos and Batman must travel back with him to fix the mistakes and get one last adventure in with the hero before he passes on.

Written by Jim Krieg
Directed by Michael Goguen
Review by Andrew
Media by Warner Bros. Animation
Diedrich Bader as Batman
Dee Bradley Baker as Krebs / Giant Monster / JEB Stuart
Lauri Johnson as Ma Murder
Tom Everett Scott as Booster Gold
Billy West as Skeets
Wil Wheaton as Ted Kord / Silver Age Blue Beetle

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

Video Clip


In the past I've complained about Brave and the Bold using very obscure characters without sufficiently giving us an idea as to who they are, or even what they're called. This time around it's a stark contrast as most of the dialogue feels devoted to explaining who the new characters are for this teaser. This is immediately done to the point of redundancy, with Ma Murder introducing herself and then Batman again introducing her, but in a lengthy manner. The same is nearly done for The Haunted Tank, a definition of obscurity as it's a WW2-era Stuart tank possessed by Confederate soldier J.E.B. Stuart (clever). The reason why this is so noteworthy is because while it's nice to know who these characters, disregarding ad nauseam, there is ultimately no point to know who these characters are. We can get that Ma Murder is apparently a gangster, and she has done something to warrant Batman's focus, but why... oh why... do you bring something as ridiculous as a Haunted Tank? It's never given much point and comes off as solely set up for having a tank rampage recklessly through Gotham, which you would think Batman wouldn't condone. It's easily one of the worst teasers for Brave and the Bold, so far.

Not having much a point continues on through the main story, although there is redemption to be had despite that. We're loosely introduced to the titular villains, the Madniks, who Batman is fighting to apparently get final justice for his lost friend Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), who we saw the fate of in "Fall of the Blue Beetle." This is the primary focus of both Batman and eventually Booster Gold throughout the episode, but we're never given any reason as to why the Madniks are significant despite being important enough to be in the title. Especially since Ted Kord's inevitable death had nothing at all to do with the Madniks, which is even backed up by the end of this very episode. Of course, since time travel is involved in order to allow Ted Kord to be featured at all, the future ends up a mess thanks to Booster Gold meddling with Kord's final confrontation with the Madniks. Batman, set as automatically superior in all ways to Booster, helps him fix the messed up timeline. This even leads Batman to berate Booster Gold for not understanding how time travel works, and doesn't even attempt to explain how they can possibly fix things. However, it seems that even the writers weren't aware of how time travel works, since the solution ultimately leaves the beginning of the episode unable to happen.

Overall, it's not a terrible episode and is certainly heartwarming with focusing on the friendship between Booster and Batman so closely, but it really feels as though it needed a final polish before being made. Admittedly, I'm biased since I am tired of time travel episodes, but it can be a useful plot device when used well. This is not one of those times. Its usage leaves the plot ultimately pointless, and Batman frequently feels annoyingly immature when it comes to Ted Kord being friends with Booster Gold - who Batman hasn't had much problems working with by now. To be fair, though, it was great to see Ted Kord again.

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