Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Death Race to Oblivion!

Season: 2
Episode Number: 27
Season Episode Number: 1
Production Number: 203
Airdate: November 20, 2009

Writer: Greg Weisman
Director: Michael Goguen

Voices: Diedrich Bader (Batman), James Arnold Taylor (Green Arrow, Guy Gardner, Desmond), Tara Strong (Huntress, Billy Batson), Gary Anthony Williams (Mongul), Kevin Michael Richardson (Steppenwolf, Blockbuster), Jeff Bennett (Joker, Captain Marvel), Stephen Root (Woozy Winks), Tom Kenny (Plastic Man).

Plot: Mongel forces the greatest heroes and villains to race to the death against Steppenwolf, with cities all over the world at stake!

Teaser: Batman and Captain Marvel prevent Blockbuster from stealing a valuable diamond.

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Season two premieres with the third second season episode produced. It is unclear why this episode was chosen to kick-off what many fans are anticipating to be an even better season than the first.

For an episode written by Greg Weisman, it falls quite flat. The majority of the episode is made up a giant race with goofy cars and snappy one-liners. It's not at all the character driven writing that we have come to expect from the creative force behind Gargoyles and Spectacular Spider-Man.

There are only a few things that I don't really like about Brave and the Bold and the use of CG vehicles is one of them. So, to have an entire episode devoted to showing off how poorly the CG blends with the crisp, sharp line art of the 2D animation is not my idea of a good episode.

However, there are a few things that I liked. Seeing so many characters in one episode reminded me of some episodes of Justice League. Having a principle cast that voices multiple characters makes this a reality, yet there are still some characters (Catwoman, Gentleman Ghost, Black Manta) that don't speak at all.

Using the Joker as the race commentator was a smart move and sort of a throwback to Hanna-Barbera's Wacky Races cartoon from the 60s. Plus, he's driving his Jokermobile which probably hasn't been seen since the 60s!

Another throwback, this time from the 40s, is Woozy Winks, Plastic Man's comic relief sidekick from his Quality Comics days. This is his animation debut and is a welcome addition to the Brave and the Bold family.

Those things, plus the Captain Marvel teaser, was all that was good about Death Race to Oblivion. The rest of the episode is full of bland characters, no interesting story, and bad CG. Over the course of the first season, expectations got higher and higher. It's too bad that the second season had to begin with a disappointment.

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Orphen said...

I just re-watched this episode and overall it was just a mediocre episode. It was not anything special. The CG vehicles does look strange with the regular animation. It definitely sticks out and I'm not sure that it is a good thing.

dcfan100 said...

I thought the episode was pretty good, especially the little twist towards the end but yeah the cg here sucks.

Arkwulf said...

I really enjoyed this episode. It's ones like this that make me sad that the show is ending.

Paul said...

The first time I saw this episode I didn't like it at all, but it got better with repeat viewings.

Don't forget to update your episode guide to include "The Siege of Starro! Part One", which was the 13th episode of season 2 produced and it aired in the UK on 13th June.