BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD “Joker: The Vile and the Villainous” Review

batman

BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD “Joker: The Vile and the Villainous” Season 3 Episode 4 – What puzzles me more than anything is the fact that this show has gone three seasons. And really, it’s probably the most niche of niche shows. It’s A. an animated series about B. Batman but told C. in an alternate “What If” sort of storytelling fashion that holds no real continuity with the rest of the DC universe, save for the premise of rehashing some of the lamer characters in DC’s universe.

Like who exactly is the target audience? I know I posed this question before, but…

Well it’s in its third season, so I can’t talk much junk. It must be finding someone. But to me it feels like a one-trick pony. It feels like they’re SO BORED of Batman stories … really, this is all they have left. A nudge-nudge / wink-wink show. Sure the jokes are sometimes clever, sometimes skewering the comic book genre so deftly you hardly know it was stabbed until it falls over dead. Sometimes it’s just completely over-the-top.

But I have ultimately decided it’s not really for me. I found my hand twitching for the remote more than once, trying to fast forward through all the bad puns (“I’m going to turn you into a fillet o’ Fisherman!”) in order to just see where the hell this was going.

Is it twisty and funky cool to have the entire episode shot as if it’s the Joker’s show? Sure. And that laff-riot lasts about ten seconds, amusement-wise. It needs more.

As usual (this seems to be a theme) the show starts in an alternate dimension, and features (once again) Kamandi vs. Misfit and his … what are they, Cyber-Tanks? And “the last boy on earth” is aided by … rakshasas, I think. I dunno. The tiger dudes are worshipping a tall white monolith with big red letters stamped on the side:

I
C
B
M

(HAH GET IT?)

They call their god “Ickbim,” and come under attack by the vile Misfit and his tiny misfit hands, and—stepping out of yet another dimensional portal is the Joker, who swoops in to save the day!

Well he saves Misfit’s day, at any rate. Good is soundly defeated by evil; Misfit has control of the InterContinental Ballistic Missile and can now assume lordship over the—

“Ooooh, what does this one do?”

The Joker pushes the Big Red Button.

Pull back to an establishing shot of the earth. It blows up. EL OH EL!

And that, ladies and germs, is only part of the wacky hijinks you can expect from BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD.

The main thrust of today’s episode was the recruitment of Mortimer Gloom, aka The Weeper, the “crying crime king.” Joker wants a sidekick, dammit, and he isn’t going to give up on ol’ Mortimer. “The Montbank of Mirth teams up with the Duke of Downers!” the Joker boldly proclaimed. And why not? It was a worthy enough task: Batman had just created the—

I need to start over. Batman created the Batpr—I can hardly get through this. One more time:

Batman created: the BATPROBE.

(And yes, it’s as painful as it sounds.)

The Batprobe is bad. The Batprobe threatens to wipe out all crime in Gotham by detecting criminal thoughts as soon as they occur anywhere in the city (suspension of disbelief, okay?) … and this monstrosity needs to be taken down, pronto! Alas, the poor Weeper just didn’t have the ol’ mojo working. He failed at bank robbery… failed at old lady robbery… and even when he succeeded in stealing candy from a baby I suspect the event was rigged. (Note the mechanical whizzes and whirs the baby made.)

Here was an exchange for the ages:

Joker: “At least you’re not crying any more.”

Weeper: “I’m beyond tears, Joker. The one time this city really needed a villain, and I failed. I’m just not evil enough.”

Joker: “From one who should know, that’s crazy talk!”

Who writes this stuff? (Jim Kreig … but I’m partly blaming director Ben Jones as well.)

I dunno. I probably would have liked it. If I had been nineteen years old, back in college. And stoned off my ass.

But don’t just listen to me. Here’s what other lauded critics say about Batman: The Brave and the Bold:

“What?” –my mom

“Lol this is dumb.” –my wife

“It’s like almost 7:00. Feed me!” –my dog

Didn’t find any of that funny? Then why the hell do you watch this show? Go do something useful with your lives. Join the Peace Corps. Ride a bike. Learn to rob a bank.

Or, follow me on Twitter! That’s @Axechucker, you Misfit wannabes!