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The Malicious Mr. Mind!
Original Airdate - April 8th, 2011
Batman and the Marvel family take on the evil Dr. Sivana and the Monster Society!

Written by Dani Michaeli
Directed by Michael Chang & Michael Goguen
Review by klammed, Andrew
Media by Bird Boy
Diedrich Bader as Batman
Dee Bradley Baker as The Misfit
Jeff Bennet as Captain Marvel
John Devito as Freddy/Captain Marvel Junior
Greg Ellis as Dr. Canus, Mr. Mind
Mikey Kelley as Kamandi
Jim Piddock as Dr. Sivana
Tara Strong as Billy Batson, Mary Marvel

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


Review (klammed)
Teaser: We got to see some more of Kamandi and Dr. Canus. Humour on the part of, what shall we call it, cultural gaps between the extreme future and present time. Never doubt the power of a pack of AA batteries. We are also now aware of how truly dangerous hip-hop music is. Wasn’t too sure about the timing of some of the lines, as Dr. Canus tried to rally help from the city’s animals, but the humour there was enough. Batman’s punch line at the end, sold.

Main Episode: This episode was nicely rounded with a good dose of action and humour, both. Personally, I’m not familiar with the Marvel family beyond the tres weird changes it went through during the 52 comics arc, so I wasn’t that excited about seeing ‘The Big Red Cheese’, as Dr. Sivana calls him. I expected relative action and piecemeal humour, but this episode was one which exceeded those expectations, and I found myself, once again, genuinely laughing.

Let’s though, start with Mr. Mind. Now, we’ve already had a mixture of current and Silver/Golden age incarnations of characters on the show, like Stargirl and Jaime Reyes as Blue Beetle. So, we’re never really quite sure of how the next character introduced will turn out. Here, we get both Mr. Mind’s Pre-Crisis and Post-Infinite Crisis incarnations. Crazy, but true, and you would expect the creators of Brave and the Bold to do something like this. He starts off looking the way he did back in the days of the Monster Society (who also appear), a very cartoonish bookworm with the voice box slung miraculously about him.

Is it another studio in-joke that Greg Ellis, who played an intelligent, speaking anthropomorphed dog in the teaser now plays an evil evil geeky worm? Perhaps, and the stock menacing, sneering tone that Ellis put on for the first half of the episode was so jarring with the comical little Mr. Mind that it somehow worked. Of course, once the effects of the growth ray were in place, the body matched the mind, as it were, and so did the voice. Mr. Mind in his Multiverse consuming form must be easily recognisable to any recent comics reader, but even without looks formidable. The design worked well, and kudos to the storyboards and animators for doing the little things like having his shoulders jiggle when laughing evilly. Greg Ellis did superbly as Mr. Mind, delivering some of the best lines like “this scintillating battle of wits” in response to Batman’s less than witty insult.

It was nice to see the Marvel Family together, having only seen Captain Marvel in the DCAU, but Batboob- I mean Batma- I mean, Batbaby, stole the show. Bader does an amazing job as the teenaged Batman, till the sound effects have to take over as Batman got younger, and after that, the lisp he did, “bad catuawpillah, BAD” added so much more to the absurd entertainment. The designs were also fantastic throughout the whole deaging process. As Mary Marvel says later, Batman was “sooo adorable” (“yes, you are, you know you are”) as a baby/child. The drawings he sent to the Marvels were amusing to say the least, and watching a little Batbaby spying while his interior thoughts were still that of the adult made me laugh. Cuteness factor was to the point where my mother happening to chance on me watching the episode laughed herself at the now gurgling Batbaby. Reminiscent of both Young Justice: Sins of Youth, and JLU’s Kid Stuff (jokes on Batman’s constant ‘race you to the Batmobile/wherever), I enjoyed it immensely. A different sort of transformation from the mecha type the show was so fond of in the earlier seasons, and a good change. I’d give this episode 4.5/5 stars.

Review (Andrew)
Throughout the various ages of the comics that make up DC’s repertoire there have been few names that transcend the decades and remain common among even the most casual of fans. One of those names is certainly the legendary Jack Kirby and his numerous influences into the vast universe of DC’s superheroes. Brave and the Bold has remained subtle in its honoring of the almighty Kirby such as this episode’s teaser which yet again features the boy, Kamandi, from the dominant species-crossed future world. There’s nothing in particular that sticks out as really notably good or bad, and maybe that’s due to myself not being able to understand the appeal of Kamandi. Even though this show has featured him in multiple teasers and one full episode’s story so far, I just don’t feel that they have properly introduced him. There was a single point in particular that I didn’t care for, which was the twist that the plot device turned out to be presently common Double-A, or AA, batteries which were being referred to as “5-5s.” It could’ve been a humorous twist, but it’s a punchline without a setup given that we’re given no reason as to why they were being referred to as “5-5s.” The failure of that simply left it as boring, aside from the surprise of Batman quipping Dr. Canus with somewhat racist connotations.

The main story of the episode surprisingly features Captain Marvel, now teamed up with his reunited sister (as of “The Power of Shazam”), as Mary Marvel, as well as their not-previously-introduced friend as Captain Marvel, Jr. His existence is given extremely brief exposition via his own sense of humor, but it really would have been nice to have a bit more focus on that. Captain Marvel is a hero that’s been slowly been clawing his way back into mainstream conscience, so it wouldn’t really be considered a downside to attempt to flesh out his compatriots instead of simply shoving them into a story. Although I’m certainly not a fan of Captain Marvel and have only become familiar with him in recent years, the writers of Brave and the Bold have managed to make each of his episodes an enjoyable watch. It’s an interesting contrast compared when compared to Kamandi, who I only know exists thanks to this show but still just can’t manage to interest me. Although the Marvels seem a bit too painfully G-rated for my tastes, this romp with the trio of magically-powered kids was pretty decent.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, the villains that team up for the episode’s league of villainy don’t manage to gather much interest. The majority haven’t been featured before, and aren’t even really introduced, and the two returning villains were pretty lame. The only worthwhile villainous character was the sinister critter, or evil caterpillar, known as Mr. Mind. Given the non-featured history of Mr. Mind, I’m suspect that this will eventually lead to an episode that will tie into events from the recent decade of the comic canon. One of the best aspects of this episode I would have to say was the entertaining treatment of Batman as a continually regressing child. Although it could certainly be said to have been done better in JLU’s episode “Kid Stuff,” there was a well featured balance of obligatory regressing maturity and Batman continuing to be himself, despite the diminutive size.

Overall, I can’t say this is an episode that I would watch multiple times but it was definitely better than I had expected it to be. It’s simply a fun episode and continues to help show that even though an intentionally overly cheesy character such as Captain Marvel is far different from the attitude of the more popular heroes, his mythos can be entertaining fodder to dip into. A Recommended watch.

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