Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Deep Cover for Batman!

Season: 1
Episode Number: 12
Season Episode Number: 12
Production Number: 112
Airdate: February 27, 2009

Writer: Joseph Kuhr
Director: Michael Chang

Voices: Diedrich Bader (Batman, Owlman), Corey Burton (Silver Cyclone), James Arnold Taylor (Blue Bowsman), Will Friedle (Scarlet Scarab), James Sie (Dyna-Mite), Jeff Bennett (Red Hood).

Plot: Batman must travel to a parallel Earth disguised as Owlman, the alternate world version of Batman, in order to stop the Injustice Syndicate from destroying his home world.

Teaser: The Red Hood attempts to reach out to a parallel world for help but is met by the Injustice Syndicate who want to prevent him from doing so at all costs. This teaser is the set up for the rest of the episode.

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Deep Cover for Batman is the first half of the first season finale. And it looks like this season is going to go out with a bang! It was just a matter of time before we would see elements of Batman's Gotham roots such as the Batcave, which is featured at the beginning of this episode (with homage to the classic Adam West series).

But the main bulk of this story takes place in another dimension. A dimension where heroes are villains and villains are heroes. It is here that Batman meets the Injustice Syndicate which is made up of evil versions of heroes that we have met previously in the series: Owlman (Batman), Scarlet Scarab (Blue Beetle), Blue Bowsman (Green Arrow), Silver Cyclone (Red Tornado), Dyna-Mite (The Atom), Blaze (Fire), Rubber Man (Plastic Man) and Barracuda (Aquaman).

I never realized just how many of the characters in this show incorporate colours into their names until this episode (there's also Black Manta, Black Lightning and Bronze Tiger).

While the heroes of the DC Animated Universe have visited other dimensions in past series, this is the first time in animation that a show has tried to explain the DC Multiverse. The alternate Earth in this episode is a variation on Earth-Three in which the world is overrun by an evil version of the Justice League called the Crime Syndicate.

On Earth-Three in the comics, Alexander Luthor is the only hero able to stand up to the Syndicate. This role is played by the Red Hood, who seeks Batman's help after all the heroes on his world have been captured. And if you couldn't tell by the major hints in this episode, the Red Hood is...... Joker!

While the Joker's origin has been mentioned in the past, this episode is the first time Joker's origin has included his past as the Red Hood. The story of the Red Hood falling in a vat of chemicals at the Ace Chemical Plant which bleach his skin and cause him to go insane is true to the comics, however, this Earth-Three version of the Joker is not totally insane and acts as a hero.

Jeff Bennett takes a very different approach to the Joker's voice for those who are used to Mark Hamill from Batman: the Animated Series. It is calm, yet creepy. Almost Christopher Walken-esque. It will be really interesting to hear Bennett voice the full-out crazy Joker in the next episode.

Deep Cover for Batman is a joy to watch. Everything from the whole season has been building to this point. There are plot twists, plenty of fight, lots of violence and evil versions of our favourite characters! What more could you want?

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

  • Back to Episode Guide


    Chip Chief said...

    This was a great episode. Like other DC animated series (Teen Titans), this season 1 has slowly improved and built itself into a decent little show poised for a great season 2.

    Also, I thought Joker's chemical bath was at least alluded to in The Batman season 1 (the rubberface of comedy). I could be wrong though.

    Anonymous said...

    Mark Hamill should of reperised his role as Joker.

    Kurtis said...

    Chip Chief, you are correct. The Batman did show the Joker falling into chemicals, however, this series told the story of the Red Hood, which is what I meant to talk about. I have reworded the post to reflect this.

    Anonymous, while I loved Hamill as the Joker, I'm glad it's not him. This is a different series and a different Joker. Let's leave Mark Hamill's Joker in the past where instead of trying to shoehorn it in a series where it doesn't belong.

    Anonymous said...

    Well Joker was funny in the cartoon series boy did he make me laugh ha ha ha ha ha .