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Episode #7 - The Big Heat
Original Airdate - November 13th, 2004

While on the trail of Firefly, an arsonist/supervillain who uses refined flame-throwing technology and a jet-pack, Bruce Wayne must tend to issues with Mayor Grange and the Wayne Foundation. With Firefly at large, how can Bruce be at two places at once?

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 Christopher Yost & J.D. Murray
Directed by Seung Eun Kim
Music by Thomas Chase Jones
Animation Services by Dongwoo Animation Co., LTD.

Voices
Rino Romano as The Batman
Alastair Duncan as Alfred
Jason Marsden as Firefly
Adam West as Mayor Grange

Video

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Pans


Review

"Like the others, Wayne Industries will go down in flames."

I must say the first shot we had of Firefly made me think he was going to look like a complete idiot with that giant bug ass. Once it became clear the glowing cylinder was part of his jetpack I felt a whole lot better about it. I liked that the jetpack made a buzzing that sounded very much like a bug. It was a clever little addition that went well with the character rather than being annoying.

It could just be something for the kiddies, but with Mr. Freeze and now Firefly I like how their weapons have been worked into their suit rather than messing with a gun. In Firefly's case it made him more mobile and rather than fumbling with a flamethrower type weapon he just had to point at Batman. I also like the concept of Firefly being a corporate saboteur, which is an improvement over the other time we were introduced to fire-powered villain.

As much as I love both the animated and live action work of Jason Marsden his voice was not what I envisioned when I first saw the Firefly design. Don't get me wrong, in the end I liked his portrayal and it did work for me, but I always envision Firefly being more ominous than smart aleck.

The jet pack duel was greatly enhanced by the blue and yellow lighting as the two men flew through the city. No one can touch Firefly in the sky and I liked how despite all his power in the air he was no match for The Batman on the ground. It may make him seem weak, but since Firefly is the villain I can appreciate his superiority over Batman in one air but the match-up being almost laughable in another—sort of a "keys to victory" if this confrontation took place in the squared-circle.

If you ask me, it was a good move to have the subplot with Mayor Grange and the Children's Hospital in this episode. Not only did it give Firefly more of a direction, but I honestly question whether or not he could have held the episode up by himself.

It was great hearing Adam West's voice come out of the mouth of Mayor Marion Grange. I like the character concept that Grange was one of Thomas Wayne's closest friends and now he is trying to be a friend to his son Bruce while at the same time hoping to see more from him. While Bruce already has a second father in Alfred, I would be very interested to dig a bit deeper into the relationship he has with the Mayor.

"Or a full-time Bruce Wayne."

Some folks are down on this series' version of Alfred and I would imagine that this comment when Bruce is contemplating what his future should be will be cited as part of that. I have always been a fan of the Alfred character in general because he is often Bruce's conscience or minimally the voice of reason. This version of the butler, having raised Bruce more recently into the younger adult he is now, will always see the boy before he sees Batman and his constant support of Bruce over Batman is part of his adjustment period that he is not out of yet. Alfred is willing to help Bruce in any way he can, but deep down he wants what is best for Bruce Wayne the man, not what is best for The Batman.

 

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