A few years ago I discovered the Timmverse, and I was immediately hooked. I watched everything I could find (not always easy in the Antipodes) and found it far more satisfying than most of the live action movies and TV shows I had seen. From the noir feel of the Batman series to the gritty story arcs of Justice League Unlimited, for me this will always be the definitive interpretation of the DC Universe against which all others will be judged. I am afraid that as good as Christian Bale is, Kevin Conroy will always be the REAL Batman to me.
So, when I finally got Foxtel (a sorry saga I may relate for cynical amusement sometime, Dear Reader) I was disappointed to see that they weren’t currently showing any of these episodes. Needing a DC fix I decided to start watching Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from it.
To say I was pleasantly surprised was an understatement. Once I got over how different it was from the Timm style cartoons, I began to enjoy it more and more. I wouldn’t call it campy, but it is definitely tongue in cheek. It is full of nods not only to the comics, but also to the Timmverse and eschews story arcs for self contained and over the top action.
It is built around Batman’s interactions with a supporting DC character of the week, and that is where most of its strength lies. From Blue Beetle to Red Tornado, there is an incredibly vast supporting cast, plus the required villians. So far, I have gotten to see Batman fight everyone from Gentleman Ghost to Owlman!
So far though, my favourite cameo has been, of all people, Aquaman. The Aquaman of the Timmverse was, quite frankly, a jerk. He was moody, snobbish and ungrateful, and it made him rather hard to like. Of course, anyone who cuts off their own hand to save their child is a badass and deserves respect, but I didn’t like him. The Aquaman of B:TBATB couldn’t be more different.
This Aquaman is extroverted and larger than life. He continually tells everyone about his adventures, but he is so good natured it is hard not to like him. As a foil to the stoic Batman he is perfect. He reminds me of Lord Flashheart from BlackAdder, but minus the caddishness and nastiness. He is an all round good guy, but probably one you would like better in small doses.
Plus, he has the best catchphrase on the show. I have had to stop myself randomly shouting “Outrageous!” at work!
But, despite his sometimes comical demeanour, he is still one of the most powerful beings in the show. That’s lucky for him, because he only knows one style of fighting.
I am looking forward to the continuing adventures of this incarnation of Batman. While it is different from the Timmverse, it is still highly recommended for any DC fan.