Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Return of the Fearsome Fangs!

Season: 1
Episode Number: 11
Season Episode Number: 11
Production Number: 111
Airdate: February 20, 2009

Writer: Todd Casey
Director: Brandon Vietti

Voices: Diedrich Bader (Batman, Ace), Gary Anthony Sturgis (Bronze Tiger), Phil Morris (Fox, Jonah Hex), Edoardo Ballerini (Vulture), Paul Nakauchi (Wong Fei), (Top)

Plot: The Terrible Trio have returned to Wudang Temple to steal the mystical Wudang totem. Batman must convince Bronze Tiger that the only way to save the temple is to team up and bring down the Trio.

Teaser: Batman saves Jonah Hex from almost certain death at the hands of the Royal Flush Gang.

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Once again, the production team of Batman: the Brave and the Bold have introduced a new generation to a character that is grossly underused in the comic book world. The Bronze Tiger was big in the 70s through the 90s but has only popped up here and there for the occasional cameo in the last ten years. So to have Bronze Tiger take centre stage in his first major animation appearance is a treat for fans of the character.

The origins of Bronze Tiger and the Terrible Trio have been changed to fit this continuity. Batman, Bronze Tiger and the Trio all studied Martial Arts years ago at the Wudang Temple under the tutelage of Master Wong Fei.

Since all five of these characters use an animal as their theme, the writers have created this temple in which part of the gig is that you wear the helmet of an animal that represents you. This is particularly useful as a plot device when they all turn into their respective animals later in the episode.

The Terrible Trio have appeared in the past two Batman series with very different origins. Batman: TAS saw the Trio as wealthy business men out for a thrill with their animals representing an area of business from which they gained their wealth; The Batman saw the Trio as three outcast college students who mutate themselves into animal creatures and take revenge on those who have cast them aside over the years.

While all three of these origins are different than the comics (the Trio are famous inventors who get bored and turn to a life of crime), the Brave and the Bold is my favourite as it gives the characters a closer tie to the Batman and takes the characters seriously. They are very dangerous and are not to be taken lightly.

Return of the Fearsome Fangs is the first episode of this series that does not use the show's signature use of comedy. This is a very serious episode, which is great to see such variety while still maintaining the tone of the show, and it should make those who were on the fence about this 'lighter, funner' Batman smile a bit.

The teaser, featuring Jonah Hex, was short and sweet. The re-imagining of the Royal Flush Gang as a western gang has potential and I hope that there will be a whole episode devoted to the Wild West in season two. And bonus points for including yet another obscure villain, this time the often Flash villain, Top!

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

  • Back to Episode Guide


    Anonymous said...

    The Terrible Trio cheated so why can't Batman and Bronze Tiger.

    Anonymous said...

    in the other Batman one of the Trio members was a female well who directed this episode.

    Anonymous said...

    In batman the animated series in the 1990's the trio were all male.