Sunday, November 01, 2015

Geek TV: Batman: The Brave and the Bold!

Fasten your seatbelt, friends... this is going to be a long one!


Batman with regular guest-stars Red Tornado, Green Arrow, Aquaman, Plastic Man, and
the Blue Beetle.
Concept: The Dark Knight teams up with a number of heroes from DC comics (and in one instance, a Hanna-Barbera cartoon) to battle evil in a loving tribute to the sometimes goofy comics of the Silver Age.

Total Episodes: 65

Original Air Dates: November 14, 2008 to November 18, 2011

Original Network: Cartoon Network


Batman (Dietrich Bader): Star of the series... do I really need to explain who Batman is? Very well then... orphaned as a boy when his parents were murdered by a thief, Bruce Wayne grew up training himself to be the best crimefighter possible. 

The rest of the characters listed here are those who made multiple appearances.

Aquaman (John DiMaggio): The series' breakout character, this version of Aquaman, still king of the seven seas and ruler of Atlantis, still able to communicate with fish, is here presented as friendly, boisterous, and happy-go-lucky, using the catchphrase "Outrageous!" He is known for telling others of his adventures, which he provides titles for.

Robin/Nightwing (Crawford Wilson as the adult Robin and Nightwing, Jeremy Shada as young Robin): Batman's first partner and sidekick, Dick Grayson was a circus acrobat whose parents were killed by a criminal. Batman took Dick under his wing, and the two worked together for years until Robin grew tired of being treated as a junior partner, when he broke out on his own and eventually took on the new identity of Nightwing.

Bat-Mite (Paul Reubens): Fifth-dimensional imp with magical powers, he makes life difficult for Batman to make his hero's adventures more exciting.

Huntress, Black Canary, and Catwoman
Black Canary (Grey DeLisle): Superheroine with hand-to-hand combat skills and a sonic "Canary Cry". She is the daughter of the original Black Canary of the Justice Society. When she first appears, she is romantically interested in Batman, but eventually she becomes interested in Green Arrow.

Blue Beetle (Will Friedle): The second Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes gains powers and armor from an alien scarab that has attached itself to him. Batman has been training him in the use of his powers.

Booster Gold (Tom Everett Scott): Adventurer from the future who uses devices from his era to be a crimefighter in the past. Not taken seriously by Batman originally, but eventually gains some respect.

B'wana Beast
B'wana Beast (Kevin Michael Richardson): Superhero who can communicate with animals as well as merge two animals into a single creature. Eventually becomes romantically involved with Vixen and dies a hero's death battling Starro.

Captain Marvel (Jeff Bennett/Tara Strong): Billy Batson, a boy, says the magic word "Shazam!" to become the World's Mightiest Mortal. At first without a family, he eventually meets his twin sister Mary and forms the Marvel Family when his sister gains the Shazam powers, as well as having Freddy Freeman as Captain Marvel Jr.

Detective Chimp (Kevin Michael Richardson): Super-intelligent chimp and Sherlock Holmes-type detective.

Black Canary and Green Arrow
Green Arrow (James Arnold Taylor): The world's greatest archer, close friend of Batman, and Batman's chief rival. The two team up often. Eventually becomes romantically involved with Black Canary.

Guy Gardner (James Arnold Taylor): The most annoying member of the Green Lantern Corps, Guy is arrogant, hot-headed, and generally a pain in the butt.

Huntress (Tara Strong): Masked vigilante and ally of Batman. Blue Beetle has a crush on her.

The Outsiders: Metamorpho, Black Lightning, and Katana
The Outsiders -- Black Lightning (Bumber Robinson), Katana (Vyvan Pham/Kim Mai Guest), and Metamorpho (Scott Menville): Originally a gang of teenage criminals manipulated by Slug, Batman and Wildcat convinced them to switch sides and fight crime with their abilities. Later joined by Geo-Force and Halo.

Phantom Stranger (Kevin Conroy): Mysterious and powerful, no one really knows anything about the Stranger, save that he seems to be on the side of justice.

Plastic Man (Tom Kenny): Lighthearted, naiive, and sometimes clumsy, the former "Eel" O'Brian was a henchman of the Kite Man when he was transformed by a vat of chemicals into an elastic-powered hero who tries to do good, but is sometimes overcome by his desire for wealth and riches.

Blue Beetle, Batman, Red Tornado
Red Tornado (Corey Burton): Android who is trying to understand mankind and feel what they feel with limited results. He considers Batman a close friend.

Spectre (Mark Hamill): The Spirit of Vengeance, who gained his powers from God.

Wildcat (R. Lee Erney): Former Justice Society member, Wildcat trained Batman in fighting, as well as other heroes. He apparently has nine lives. He resents being considered old (although he is), and has a tendency to be a bit paternal (overly so) around younger heroes.

Geek Pedigree: This show has it in spades! Ben Jones, who directed most of the episodes, had previously directed episodes of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Teen Titans, and Legion of Super-Heroes, and later directed several of the "DC Nation" shorts. Michael Chang, who directed 15 episodes, previously directed episodes of Jackie Chan Adventures and Teen Titans, later directing episodes of Young Justice and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012-2015). Michael Goguan, who directed 15 episodes, had previously directed episodes of Men in Black: The Series, Dilbert, Jackie Chan Adventures, and Spectacular Spider-Man, and more recently directed episodes of Max Steel (2014-2015). Brandon Vietti previously directed episodes of Max Steel (2001), Jackie Chan Adventures, Spider-Man (2003), The Batman, and Legion of Super Heroes, and later directed Batman: Under the Red Hood.

Dove and Hawk
Writers who wrote two or more episodes included Steven Melching (X-Men, Extreme Ghostbusters, RoboCop: Alpha Commando, Godzilla: The Series, Avengers: United They Stand, Men in Black: The Series, Max Steel, Jackie Chan Adventures, The Batman, Legion of Super Heroes, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Hulk and the Agents of SMASH, among other writing credits), Todd Casey (Transformers: Animated, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights, Thundercats, Marvel's Avengers Assemble), J.M. DeMatteis (scores of comic book writing credits, along with episodes of The Twilight Zone, The Real Ghostbusters, Superboy, Spider-Man, Justice League, Legion of Super Heroes, Thundercats, and Teen Titans Go!), Joseph Kuhr (Masked Rider, The Zeta Project, Justice League, Astro Boy, Krypto the Superdog, The Batman, Legion of Suer Heroes, Transformers Prime), Paul Dini (co-creator and chief writer on Batman: The Animated Series, his credits also include Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, The Incredible Hulk, Dungeons & Dragons, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Ewoks, Tiny Toon Adventures, Family Dog, Animaniacs, Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond, Duck Dodgers, Justice League, Krypto the Superdog, and many, many others), James Krieg (X-Men, Spider-Man, Monk, What's New Scooby-Doo?, Ben 10: Alien Force, Super Hero Squad, Green Lantern: The Animated Series and others), Adam Beecham (X-Men: Evolution, Static Shock, Teen Titans, Jackie Chan Adventures, The Batman, and others), Greg Weisman (Gargoyles, Men in Black: The Series, The Batman, Legion of Super Heroes, Ben 10, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Young Justice, and others), Paul Giacoppo (The Batman, Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Heroes, Wolverine and the X-Men, Generator Rex, The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Thundercats, Young Justice, Marvel's Avengers Assemble, and others), Tom Pugsley (Men in Black: The Series, The Mummy: Secrets of the Medjai, Teen Titans, The Batman, Jackie Chan Adventures, Ben 10, young Justice, Teen Titans Go! and others), Michael Jelenic (Jackie Chan Adventures, The Batman, Legion of Super Heroes, Wonder Woman, Superman/Shazam! The Return of Black Adam, Thundercats, Teen Titans Go!), Matt Wayne (Static Shock, Krypto the Superdog, Justice League, Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms, Legion of Super Heroes, Ben 10: Alien Force, The Spectacular Spider-Man, Super Hero Squad, Green Lantern: The Animated Series), Marsha F. Griffin (Jumanji, Men in Black: The Series, Action Man, X-Men: Evolution, and others), Ben Jones (best known as a director for Teen Titans, Legion of Super Heroes and a bunch of DC Nation shorts).

Captain Marvel
Dietrich Bader, who voiced Batman, is probably best known for playing Oswald on The Drew Carey Show from 1995 to 2004, but he's got lots of other geek credits, too, including guesting on single episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Quantum Leap, and providing voices on shows like Gargoyles, Hercules, Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, The Zeta Project (where he voiced Zeta), and others. As well as Batman, Bader also provided the voice of Solomon Grundy and Kilowog, as well as Batman's other-dimensional parallel Owlman. He later voiced Guy Gardner on Green Lantern: The Animated Series, Ace the Bat-Hound on Super-Pets segments of DC Nation, and Kraven the Hunter on Ultimate Spider-Man.

Robin and Batman
John DiMaggio, who voiced Aquaman, Mr. Freeze, Hellgrammite, Gorilla Grodd, Captain Boomerang, Vigilante, Black Mask, King Tut, Toyman and others, has scores and scores of voiceover credits. Some highlights from his career are: The Scotsman on Samurai Jack, Brother Blood on Teen Titans, Dr. Drakken on Kim Possible, Hammerhead and Sandman on The Spectacular Spider-Man, Bender, Elzar, URL and all sorts of other characters on Futurama, Galactus on Hulk and the Agents of SMASH, and many, many others.

Adam Strange
James Arnold Taylor, who voiced Green Arrow, Major Disaster, and others, has also done voices for shows like Static Shock, Teen Titans, Star Wars: Clone Wars (voicing Obi-Wan Kenobi and others), The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, What's New Scooby-Doo?, Legion of Super Heroes (voicing Lightning Lad and others), Harry Osborn, Frederick Foswel and others on The Spectacular Spider-Man, The Flash on Young Justice, the title character on Johnny Test, The Leader on Ultimate Spider-Man, and will be voicing Yondu on the announced Guardians of the Galaxy animated series.

Dee Bradley, who voiced Etrigan, Jason Blood, Clock King, Misfit, Brother Eye, Ace the Bat Hound, Detective Chimp and many others, was the announcer and Olmec on Legends of the Hidden Temple, Dad on Cow and Chicken, Cinderblock, Plasmus, Gnarrk and others on Teen Titans, Dark Helmet on Spaceballs: The Animated Series, Dr. Curt Connors/The Lizard on The Spectacular Spider-Man, Wolf on Young Justice, and many, many other roles.

The Justice League International: Guy Gardner, Aquaman, Booster Gold, Batman,
Blue Beetle, Ice and Fire
Jeff Bennett did the voices for the Joker, Abra Kadabra, The Ultra-Humanite, Captain Marvel, El Gaucho, Rubin, The Penguin (as done by Hanna-Barbera), Rubin (in the "Batboy and Rubin" segment of an episode), OMAC, and The Red Hood, and just a few of his credits include Horace "IQ" Boothroyd on James Bond Jr., H.A.R.D.A.C. and the Batcave Computer on Batman: The Animated Series, Maxwell Madison Jr. and Sr. on Phantom 2040, Johnny Bravo on Johnny Bravo, Jack Ryder and the Scarecrow on The New Batman Adventures, Professor Porter on The Legend of Tarzan, Dad and other voices on Dexter's Laboratory, Ace, Big Billy and others on The Powerpuff Girls, Red Tornado on Young Justice, Tomar-Re on Green Lantern: The Animated Series, and many more.

Kevin Michael Richardson voiced Black Manta, Lex Luthor, B'Wana Beast, Steppenwolf, and Despero. Some highlights of his career include Hunk and King Zarkon on Voltron: The Third Dimension, Robert Hawkings on Static Shock, General Wells on a handful of episodes of Justice League, Nasty Canasta on Duck Dodgers, Trigon, Mammoth and See-More on Teen Titans, The Joker on The Batman, Bishop on Wolverine and the X-Men, Panthro on the revival of Thundercats, Jabba The Hutt on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, J'onn J'onzz and others on Young Justice, Kilowog and Mogul on Green Lantern: The Animated Series, The Juggernaut and Groot on Ultimate Spider-Man, and many others.

Will Friedle voiced the Blue Beetle, he's known onscreen for playing Eric Matthews in Boy Meets World, and had previously voiced Terry (Batman) McGinnis on Batman Beyond, reprising the role elsewhere, Ron Stoppable on Kim Possible, Lion-O on the revival of Thundercats, and a few other roles.

The Justice League of America: Red Tornado, J'onn J'onzz, Superman, Aquaman, Batman,
Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Arrow, and Green Lantern
Tom Kenny did the voices for Plastic Man, Babyface, Amazing-Man, and Mirror Master. His previous voice credits include Heffer Wolfe on Rock's Modern Life, Asok and Ratbert on Dilbert, the Narrator and Mayor on The Powerpuff Girls, Jonathan Carnahan in The Mummy: Secrets of the Medjai, the narrator and other voices on Dexter's Laboratory, Carl Chryniszzswics on Johnny Bravo, The Penguin on The Batman, Eduardo on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Iron Man, MODOK, Space Phantom, Captain America and others on Super Hero squad, Dr. Octopus on Ultimate Spider-Man... and he voices Gary and the title character on some obscure program called Spongebob Squarepants, perhaps you've heard of it.

Corey Burton provided voices for Doc Magnus, Dr. Mid-Nite, Mercury, the Golden Age Green Lantern, Red Tornado, Thomas Wayne, Killer Moth, and others, he'd previously voiced Tomax and other characters on G.I. Joe, Spike and others on The Transformers, Dale and Zipper on Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers, the title character on James Bond Jr., Brainiac and others on Superman: The Animated Series, Zeus on Hercules, the current Disney voice for Ludwig Von Drake, Count Dooku on Star Wars: Clone Wars, he reprised Brainiac and did the voice of Weather Wizard, the Key and others on Justice League, Jaga and others on the revival of Thundercats, Dracula on Marvel's Avengers Assemble, and is the current Disney voice for Captain Hook on Jake and the Never Land Pirates and other programs and videos.

The Freedom Fighters: Black Condor, Phantom Lady, Batman, Plastic Man, Uncle Sam,
the Ray, and the Human Bomb
Greg Ellis did the voices for the Cavalier, Gentleman Ghost, Mr. Mind, Dr. Canus, and Dr. Fate, he may be better remembered for playing Michael Amador on the 2003-2004 season of 24. His other voice work includes the title character in Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future and Dr. Morocco and others on Transformers: Rescue Bots.

Grey Griffin, the voice of Fire, Black Canara, Dala, and Daphne (yes, from Scooby-Doo), counts among her credits Emily Elizabeth Howard and others on Clifford the Big Red Dog, Evy O'Connell on The Mummy: Secrets of the Medjai, Major Dr. Ghastly on Evil Con Carne, Daphne in several incarnations of Scooby-Doo, Padmé Amidala on Star Wars: Clone Wars, Samantha Manson on Danny Phantom, Lizzie Devine on Codename: Kids Next Door, Betty Brant and others on The Spectacular Spider-Man, Scarlett, the Baroness and others on G.I. Joe: Resolute, Frances "Frankie" Foster and others on Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Ms. Marvel, The Enchantress, Volcano and others on Super Hero Squad, Wubbzy on Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!, Mandy on The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Aya and others on Green Lantern: The Animated Series, and many, many others.

The Joker
Tom Everett Scott, the voice of Booster Gold, will always be Guy Patterson from That Thing You Do! to me (hey, it's one of my favorite movies, and one I should write about some day). He'd previously voiced Booster Gold in an episode of Justice League. Nicholas Guest, the voice of J'onn J'onzz and The Question, had played a cadet in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and did the voices of Ardeth Bey in The Mummy: Secrets of the Medjai, and voiced a French Peasant on Mr. Peabody & Sherman. Jason Marsden voiced Paco, Speedy, and "Scooby-Doo Robin", and some of his other credits include playing Eddie Munster on The Munsters Today, Dash X on Eerie, Indiana, Garrett Miller on Extreme Ghostbusters, young Clark Kent on episodes of Superman: The Animated Series, Burt Ward/Robin in Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt, Gear and Richie Foley on Static Shock, Snapper Carr and others on Justice League, Firefly and others on The Batman, Nova in two episodes of Super Hero Squad, Duke on G.I. Joe: Renegades, Impulse, Kid Flash, and Ray Palmer on Young Justice, and a number of voices on various "DC Nation" shorts.

The Justice Society of America: Dr. Fate, Hawkman, Green Lantern, Spectre, Batman,
Flash, Dr. Mid-Nite, Starman (a brilliant move, since his secret ID was Ted Knight,
was to do his voice as a Ted Knight impression), Wildcat, Hourman, and someone
in the back I can't quite make out.
Tara Strong, the voice of Billy Batson, Mary Marvel, Georgia Sivana, Huntress, and Toddler Batman, has a huge resume! Her best-known roles are probably Batgirl on The New Batman Adventures, Bubbles on The Powerpuff Girls, Raven and others on Teen Titans, Ben Tennyson on Ben 10, The Scarlet Witch and H.E.R.B.I.E. on Super Hero Squad, Mary Jane Watson and others on Ultimate Spider-Man, Twilight Sparkle on My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and many, many others!

OMAC and Batman
Nika Futterman voiced Catwoman and Lashina, some of her other credits include Adam and others on My Gym Partner's A Monkey, Lady Jaye and others on G.I. Joe: Renegades, Sif and Hela on The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Gamora on Ultimate Spider-Man and other shows, as well as other roles. Jeremy Shada, the voice of Robin, had previously voiced Jean Francois on Team America: World Police, and currently voices Finn and others on Adventure Time. Lex Lang, who sounds like a missing character from Silver Age Superman stories, voiced Gold, Dr. Polaris, Hourman, and others, his other credits include Goemon Ishikawa XII on Lupin the 3rd, Atomic Skull, Blue Devil, Captain Cold, Heat Wave and others on Justice League, Clayface, Metal and others on The Batman, Grimbor and R.J. Brande on Legion of Super Heroes, Agent Decker on two episodes of Agents of SHIELD, Mike Mason on Constantine, and was a Sokovian Soldier on Avengers: Age of Ultron

Batman and the Batman of Zur-En-Ahr
Billy West did the voice of Skeets in several episodes, and that voice should've sounded familiar, as it's almost identical to the voice he uses as Philip J. Fry in Futurama, for which he also voiced Zapp Branigan, Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth, Dr. Zoidberg, and probably a few others! Other credits of his (a very selective list, as he's had a very successful career) include both title characters on Ren & Stimpy, Slimer on Extreme Ghostbusters, Jeebs on Men in Black: The Series, and the current voice for Elmer Fudd for The Looney Tunes Show. He also did a great Popeye for the direct-to-video Popeye's Voyage: The Quest for Pappy.

The Music Maestro!
Jennifer Hale did the voices for Ice, Killer Frost, Zatanna, Poison Ivy, and Plastic Man's wife Ramona. Her other voice credits include Spider-Woman in Iron Man, She-Dragon in The Savage Dragon, Jessie Bannon in The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, The Black Cat in Spider-Man, Ms. Gsplitsnz on Superman: The Animated Series, Ms. Keane and others on Powerpuff Girls, Gigantic, Killer Frost and others on Justice League, Emerald Empress and others on Legion of Super Heroes, Jean Grey in several incarnations of X-Men, Ms. Marvel in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, Carol Ferris in Green Lantern: The Animated Series, and many other roles.

Geek Guests:

If you think the list above was full of coolness... just wait! Paul Reubens voiced Bat-Mite, and of course you known him better as Pee-Wee Herman! Ace Morgan was voiced by Armin Shimmerman, aka Quark on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Phil Morris voiced Fox and Jonah Hex, and he played J'onn J'onzz on Smallville. The voice of the Spectre was Luke Skywalker himself, Mark Hamill, who also was known for voicing the Joker on Batman: The Animated Series. The Silver Age Blue Beetle was voiced by Wil Wheaton, geek blogger and of course, Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Thomas F. Wilson voiced Catman and the Sportsmaster, but of course you'll better remember him as Biff Tannen in the Back to the Future trilogy.

The mechanical Proto-Bot and Thomas Wayne were both voiced by Batman '66's Adam West! Just as cool was Kevin Conroy (the voice of Batman on Batman: The Animated Series) voicing Batman of Zur-En-Arrh and the Phantom Stranger! Hal Jordan was voiced by Loren Lester, who was the voice of Robin on Batman: The Animated Series. Bane was voiced by Star Trek: The Next Generation's Michael Dorn. David McCallum, of The Man From UNCLE fame and others, voiced Merlin in an episode. Ms. Minerva was voiced by Saturday Night Live alumni Lauraine Newman! Jarvis Kord, Ted Kord's evil uncle, was voiced by Tim Matheson, who was the original voice for Jonny Quest! Dr. Ecks and Double X were voiced by Ron Perlman of Hellboy and Beauty & The Beast fame. Queen Hippolyte was voiced by The Birds' Tippi Hedren! The Guardian and Evil Star were voiced by original Spider-Man movie trilogy J. Jonah Jameson himself, J. K. Simmons. Deadman was voiced by Michael Rosenbaum, also known for playing Lex Luthor on Smallville and voicing the Flash on Justice League! Hawkman was voiced by The Greatest American Hero's William Katt! For Per Degaton and Rothul (the Lex Luthor of Zur-En-Arh) they went to Superman: The Animated Series' Lex Luthor, Clancy Brown!

Two-Face, appropriately enough, was voiced by Richard Moll, who voiced Two-Face in Batman: The Animated Series and was Bull on Night Court. The Music Meister was voiced and sung by Neil Patrick Harris, who not only was Doogie Houser, M.D., but was the title character of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Martha Wayne was voiced by original Catwoman Julie Newmar! One of the coolest castings was for Professor Zoom, aka the Reverse Flash... for which they cast original TV Flash (and Henry Allen on the current Flash) John Wesley Shipp! When they needed a Batboy for the episode "Batman's Strangest Cases!", they went with Frank Welker, who also reprised his roles of Fred and Scooby-Doo for the same episode! Weird Al Yankovic played himself in that same episode! Vilsi Vaylar, the Lois Lane of Zur-En-Arh, was voiced by Dana Delany, who voiced Lois Lane in Superman: The Animated Series! The Weeper was voiced by Tim Conway. Gary Owens reprised his role of Space Ghost in an episode. And Henry Winkler, the Fonz himself, voiced Ambush Bug in the series finale!

The Ted Kord Blue Beetle and Booster Gold
DVD Release: All seasons are available on DVD, as well as on Amazon Instant Video, and at least in the past on Netflix.

Website: No official site exists, but there is a Wiki, and the Cartoon Network, at least at the time I'm writing this, still had some games on their website.

Notes: After the tour-de-force that was the Bruce Timm DC animated universe (consisting of Batman: The Animated Series and succeeding series, Superman: The Animated Series, and Justice League), seeing the follow-up show The Batman made me wonder if there'd ever be another Batman animated series I could enjoy... and this one, while I had some initial trepidations about it, filled that void nicely! The variety of characters that interacted with Batman, some of the ongoing plots over the second and third seasons, as well as adaptations of classic comic book stories made it a series well worth watching over and over again... I just wish they hadn't stopped after 65 episodes!

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