Saturday, January 10, 2009

Enter the Outsiders!

Season: 1
Episode Number: 6
Season Episode Number: 6
Production Number: 106
Airdate: January 9, 2009

Writer: Todd Casey
Director: Michael Chang

Voices: Diedrich Bader (Batman), Kevin Michael Richardson (B'Wana Beast, Black Manta), R. Lee Ermey (Wildcat), Bumper Robinson (Black Lightning), Vyvan Pham (Katana), Scott Menville (Metamorpho), Alex Polinsky (Slug).

Plot: Batman and his mentor, Wildcat, must stop a group of rebellious teen calling themselves the Outsiders who are destroying businesses that they feel are shunning them from society based on what they sell.

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Though a mostly enjoyable episode, the real treat in Enter the Outsiders is the teaser featuring a little known super hero with really amazing powers, B'Wana Beast! With his ability to combine two animals to create one really useful animal, B'Wana Beast helps Batman stop Black Manta who is rampaging through the city having stolen an armored car.

However, this teaser has its share of problems. The poor use of CG really takes away from the unique style of the show, and the fact that B'Wana Beast and Black Manta are not in their element (the jungle and the ocean respectively) is sort of strange.

This episode introduces us to the Outsiders, a group of teens who are angry at the world and are using their powers to emote extreme angst. The Outsiders play an important role in the history of Brave and the Bold. It was in Brave and the Bold #200, the final issue of the series, that Batman quit the Justice League and formed the Outsiders. The series was then renamed Batman and the Outsiders.

Batman formed the team to take on the tasks that the Justice League wouldn't handle due to their morally questionable scenarios, an origin that the creators of Brave and the Bold have seemed to forgotten/ignored. Instead, they are a group of young punk kids who are being led astray by an ugly monster of a person who lives in the sewer. Doesn't quite have the same feel. The Outsiders featured in this episode are three of the founding members of the team, Black Lightning, Metamorpho and Katana, whose personalities are changed to fit this new emo version of the Outsiders.

This is the first time Black Lightning has made an animated appearance, although many other black super heroes with lightning powers have made appearances over the years (Super Friends' Black Vulcan, Static Shock's Soul Power, and JLU's Juice). Metamorpho's powers were well represented in this episode, making good use of both his elemental powers and his shapeshifting abilities, although changing his design and attitude to make him a hulking dimwit wasn't the best move. Katana was redesigned quite a bit for this episode, baring an uncanny resemblance to Gogo Yubari from Kill Bill.

I've already gone on quite a bit about this episode and I haven't even talked about Wildcat! So I'll just quickly mention a few things. Any time R. Lee Ermey does a voice for a cartoon it is always in a military role due to his famous role of Gunnery Sergeant Hartmann in Full Metal Jacket. But voicing Wildcat is a different role, one that Ermey fit into nicely.

The role of an aging super hero is one often addressed since superheroes don't have the tendency to age, but Wildcat's appearance in this episode serves a greater purpose. He is able to relate to the Outsiders which was important to the plot, but it also allows Batman to have another side to his personality which, up until this point, was very shallow.

Enter the Outsiders wasn't terrible, but it tried too hard to be an episode with substance in a series that really doesn't need it.

DVD Releases:
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Volume Two

  • Back to Episode Guide

    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    He looks like a pug dog to me, and Scott Menvile he voiced Robin, Katana has a lame outfit.