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Episode #39 - Gotham's Ultimate Criminal Mastermind
Original Airdate - May 13th, 2006

Professor Hugo Strange introduces the Digitially Advanced Villain Emulator (D.A.V.E.). An a.i. designed to help the Gotham PD capture criminals, it has been programmed with the psychological profiles of The Batman's greatest enemies all rolled into one. When D.A.V.E. manages to upload itself off of the Arkham server, it's up to The Batman to defeat Gotham's ultimate criminal mastermind.

Reviews by The Penguin
Media by Bird Boy
Credits
Written by Alexx van Dyne
Directed by Brandon Vietti
Animation by Dongwoo Animation Co., LTD.
Music by Thomas Chase Jones

Voices
Rino Romano as Bruce Wayne / The Batman
Alastair Duncan as Alfred
Richard Green as Hugo Strange
Mitch Pileggi as Commissioner Gordon
Jeff Bennett as D.A.V.E.

Video

Screen Grabs






Pans

Review

"Hello Gotham, I am D.A.V.E. For years, you have listened to the idle threats of criminals who have vowed, and failed to bring the city to its knees. Well I am no ordinary criminal. I am Gotham's ultimate criminal mastermind. And I'm about to prove that even the most heavily secured institutions can't prevent me from committing the ultimate crime. A crime of such scope and genius, that soon all of Gotham will be mine."

It wasn't perfect, but overall I really enjoyed this episode. The Digitially Advanced Villain Emulator was something different and while still a 'super villain' it offered something different than The Joker or Penguin gives us on a regular basis. As an added bonus, we got Commissioner Gordon is a supporting role without his daughter getting in The Batman's way.

In the first Hugo Strange appearance since Frank Gorshin's passing, Richard Green did a fantastic job stepping in for the former Riddler. I barely noticed the difference and I could have believed it was still Gorshin. Recasting is almost never good and in this case was unfortunate, but the crew made a very solid choice in Green. Now that Strange no longer has his position at Arkham to hide behind, it should a new complexity to his character if he ever makes it out of those padded walls to torment The Batman once again. The professor now has nothing to lose and that can be very dangerous to those who cross his path.

Jeff Bennett followed up his role as Ragdoll last season to bring D.A.V.E. to life. Bennett's voice was not doubt digitized to some extent, but he still turns in a great performance for what is a very different villain.

"A tad cliché isn't he?"

D.A.V.E. was a bit stereotypical, but that's one of the reasons I enjoyed the episode so much. I can appreciate some 'mustache-twirling' villainy if it's done well and it was here. D.AV.E. executed the "ultimate crime" and while it obviously didn't need money for anything, the effort it took to steal everyone's money rather than just rob a bank was a good one. The elaborate trap has been used by the regular villains in this series and D.A.V.E. used its knowledge of The Batman to create a true test. No one else has come all that close to figuring out Bruce's double life. Every move the program made was calculated and part of a means to an end. The glaring flaw to me was the way Batman did D.A.V.E. in. I suppose the only way to beat a super-computer is to confuse it, but it just seemed too easy.

Has The Batman defeated Gotham's ultimate criminal mastermind? Someone truly deserving of the title, would probably take steps to plan against defeat in all its forms. The only way to defend against a system crash is to create a back-up file.

 

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