Finishing off the week before swinging back to Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends with a trio from Batman: The Brave and the Bold!
Deep Cover for Batman! (by Joseph Kuhr)
Pre-credits: A lone hero prepares to travel to a parallel Earth, pursued by the villains of his world, including a seemingly familiar caped crusader. That hero… is the Red Hood.
Main episode: Episodes 12 and 13 function as the “mid-season finale” for season one. Picking up from the teaser, the evil Owlman travels to our Earth. As mentioned before, especially in the comments section, Diedrich Bader is a great actor here, and as the two opposite characters he gets to play good, bad, good being bad and bad being good. Batman takes the Owlman role to infiltrate the Injustice Syndicate, which is comprised of the likes of Silver Cyclone, Blue Bowman and Scarlet Scarab.
Interesting take on the alternate versions of characters too. Silver Cyclone (from Red Tornado) is a sinister interrogator. Scarlet Scarab appears innocent at first, but is revealed to be a sadist. And Red Hood, the heroic version of the Joker, is played well by Jeff Bennett (Joker’s regular voice actor in this series) as a good mix of straight hero and deranged and damaged psycho.
Batman seems to have the drop on the Syndicate at the end of the episode, freeing the heroes of the other world, including an albino Gorilla Grodd, but too long he has been gone and he returns to his world a fugitive, leaving the story to be concluded in the next episode. Notable omissions are Crime Syndicate heads Ultraman, Superwoman and Power Ring, but the unavailability of Superman and Wonder Woman for the first two seasons rendered that impossible.
Injustice Syndicate (Silver Cyclone, Blue Bowman, Scarlet Scarab)
Game Over For Owlman! (by Joseph Kuhr)
Pre-credits: Recap of the last episode. Also, appropriate that this two-parter would ape the rhyming episode naming convention of the sixties Batman show.
Main episode: Owlman, wearing the original garb of Batman from his initial appearance, has commenced a crime spree to make Batman appear to have gone bad. His old friends, like Green Arrow, are also after him. He finds unlikely help in the form of… the Joker!
Yes, Joker is jealous that the new Batman is public enemy number one, so he’s teaming up with the original to take him down and regain his place. This leads to wacky Vince Russo “partners that hate each other” antics en route to sending Owlman home.
Even though it’s an accurate reproduction of the silver age Joker, I never really liked the look of this one with his triangular face and teeth permanently on show. Luckily, the acting and lines make up for that. Joker has to be Joker and ends up reverting to his usual nature, meaning Batman has to get some new backup from other parallel Earths, which are worth checking the episode out for.
Night of the Batmen! (by Paul Giacoppo)
Pre-credits: Vigilante sings the Western ode Gray and Blue as Batman takes down crime on the streets of Gotham
Main episode: Batman is injured in a battle with Kanjar Ro, so his friends Aquaman, Captain Marvel and Green Arrow take his place. Arrow can’t really master the tough talk, the gadgets or taking on being outnumbered against Deadshot, the Cavalier and more. Aquaman does better against the Penguin until he reveals his submarine has tank treads and takes to the land. Captain Marvel has superpowers, but it still hurts to take a kicking from the musclemen of the Rogues Gallery (including Killer Croc with a terrible Cajun accent). And Plastic Man just can’t resist checking out the tail of the new look Catwoman. Worse, Batman has to deal with the bedside manner of Martian Manhunter.
This is all about seeing different guys as Batman plus different versions of Batman, including homages to the comics (The Dark Knight Returns and Red Rain, for example) as well as other cartoons (Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, The Batman) for the fun of it. Not the best episode, but worth watching to spot the Easter eggs.