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Episode #2 - Traction
Original Airdate - September 25th, 2004

The Batman battles the masked criminal Bane, and once Bane activates his chemical-steroid-infusion, Batman finds himself outmatched by brute strength.

Review by The Penguin
Media by Bird Boy
Credits
Supervising Producer Duane Capizzi
Supervising Producer Michael Goguen
Producer Linda M. Steiner, Jeff Matsuda
Associate Producer Kimberley A. Smith
Written by Adam Beechen
Directed by Sam Liu
Animation by Dong Yang Animation
Music by Thomas Chase Jones

Voices
Rino Romano as The Batman
Alastair Duncan as Alfred
Steve Harris as Detective Ethan Bennett
Ming-Na as Detective Ellen Yin
Joaquim de Almeida as Bane
Michael Bell as Crime Boss #2
Joe Lala as Crime Boss #1 and #3

Video

Screen Grabs






Pans




Review

"I am Bane—the last opponent you will ever face."

The first thing I thought after Bane sent the Venom coursing through his veins was, "Damn he's big!" I wasn't bothered in the least by the fact that the man had turned red, but I just didn't know what to do with the fact that he also grown several feet! I did adjust to it though and I really like how this animated version of the character starts out as a smaller man and then grows to accent his increase in strength when the dial is turned up.

Joaquim de Almeida, who is better known to live-action fans as drug lord Ramon Salazar from the third season of "24" was just plain awesome as the monstrous mercenary. De Almeida delivers all his dialogue with an evil intensity that brought the character to life.

The first fight between Bane and The Batman was probably more evenly matched that the big red machine expected. Bats tried to use his brain to take down the other masked man, but it wasn't enough and Bane left him beaten and broken. Bennett and Yin were closer to finding our hero than even they realized! The infamous 'sweat drip' as Yin walked away created a bit of tension, but after it was used so well in the movie Spider-Man it makes it tough to use it any place else without comparisons being made. I did like how they almost got into the Batmobile and then Bats sent it away with his last big of strength.

"Being summoned to pick you up has never been a good omen Master Bruce."

Adam Beechen did some good work here by inserting Alfred and young Bruce at the police station after his parents' murder. I was so touched and impressed by it I don't know quite what to say, but I thought the whole thing was very well done.

We got a nice serving of Alfred wit in this episode amid all of his personal issues, "If only we could build a cleaning robot to assist The Batman's butler." The light-heartedness did not last long once Master Bruce had been beaten up by Bane however. In the events that followed, we got to see even more of the father-son relationship Alfred and Bruce have. First, Alfred insisted that Bruce go to the hospital and refused to take no for an answer, but once he saw the police cars outside, he had no choice but to take his "son" back home and care for him there. The ultimate in this conflict of sorts was when Alfred caught Bruce in his wheelchair trying to work on what would become the Bat-Bot and told him to find another butler/physician/getaway driver. He had his blow-up, he made his threat, and then he knew he had to help Bruce succeed because failure would kill him.

The evolution of the Bat-Bot was nicely done over the course of the episode. I liked how Bruce didn't even know what he was playing with at the beginning when he dumped his soon-to-be delivered nachos on Alfred. Anything that shows Bruce adjusting to his life as The Batman I really appreciate because we have never really had a series like this before. He still knew what to do though and just when it seemed The Batman and the Bat-Bot were down and out, he targeted Bane's only weakness—the source of his greatest strength.

 

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