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
Review by Andrew
Media by Warner Bros. Animation
Diedrich Bader as Batman
Dee Bradley Baker as
Krebs / Giant Monster / JEB Stuart
Johnson as Ma Murder
Tom Everett Scott as
Billy West as Skeets
Wheaton as Ted Kord / Silver Age Blue Beetle
Theme Written and Performed by Andy Strumer
Music by Michael McCuisition, Lolita Ritmanis,
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.
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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