Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Great Batman: Brave and the Bold Rewatch: Game Over for Owlman!

Season One, Episode Thirteen: Game Over for Owlman!
Written by Joseph Kuhr
Directed by Ben Jones

Plot Synopsis

A recap of the events of the last episode, the first part of the two-parter, segues into Batman using a smoke pellet to escape the Gotham police.

Episode: Batman heads across the rooftops, avoiding the police, finding the Phase Oscillator warps time as well as space and that he's been gone for three weeks in this world, and trying to figure out why the police are after him. He then sees another Batman, dressed in an old version of his costume, escaping a bank with stolen money. He deduces that it is Owlman, having escaped, and they begin to fight. Again, the two are so evenly matched that neither can easily defeat the other, but Owlman escapes, leaving Batman holding the money bag, and Green Arrow appears to capture Batman. Batman tells Arrow the truth, but he doesn't believe him, and so Batman throws the moneybag at him with a small explosive and escapes in the confusion.

Batman slips into a hidden tunnel, as we see all his friends now hunting for him, coordianted by Green Arrow, except Plastic Man, who Green Arrow tells they don't need. Blue Beetle sees Batman as he pops out onto the street, but Batman hits him with an electric blast, and then ties up Plastic Man, who nearly grabs him, and escapes again, this time to be nearly grabbed by Red Tornado. Batman tries to summon the Batmobile, but realizes Owlman has reprogrammed it. Trapped in a blind alley, Batman thinks he's about to be taken out by his best friends when a hook, like those used to pull bad acts off stage, appears out of the darkness. and pulls him into the shadows and into a warehouse. And in the warehouse is the Joker, oversized pistol in hand, waiting to shoot him for changing their game and trying to out-criminal him.

Joker pulls the trigger and a bang flag pops out, and Batman punches him. Joker tosses up a white flag, and tells Batman he wants to team-up against the impostor. Batman wants to know how Joker knows there's an imposter, and Joker more or less says he knows because he knows Batman and what he would or wouldn't do. He wants to team up to stop Owlman, and Batman initially refuses, leaving Joker handcuffed, but Joker points out that since the two are evenly matched, Batman will need the Joker's help, as Owlman still craves order, and the Joker's chaotic nature will work in Batman's favor. Batman begins to consider it just as Plastic Man finds him. Joker offers a ride in his Jokermobile, and as the heroes wait outside, the Jokermobile breaks out of the warehouse.They stop it, only to find a trussed up Plastic Man inside.

Meanwhile, Batman and Joker try to figure out their next move. Batman calls an old Batmobile to them, and they head off. Batman makes Joker give his word no one will be hurt. Joker agrees, and offers to shake, but Batman gives him a look and joker reveals the little needle he has on his hand, waiting to poke Batman. Joker chalks it up to old habits, and start asking what all the buttons in the Batmobile do. Batman tells him that he really shouldn't touch one, and Joker naturally does, and is hit with knockout gas.

Batman awakens Joker in the Batcave, and Joker sees all the mementos from their previous encounters. Batman begins to consider what Owlman's next target is, looking for a pattern. He finds out Owlman has accessed his files on his fellow heroes, and found the ways to neutralize them, and we see him starting to do it. Batman again knocks out Joker and they head out of the cave. Batman contacts the others, and only Plastic Man responds, just as Owlman takes him down. Batman and Joker arrive, and Batman begins to fight Owlman, who demands the Phase Oscillator back so he can return to his Earth.

Joker starts to go through his weapons, trying to find one that won't hurt anyone, and settles on a rocket launcher, which he fires at the dueling Batman and Owlman. He thinsk Batman will move, but instead it Batman knocked down as Owlman nearly hits them with the Batmobile. Joker takes a grappling hook from Batman's utility belt and escapes, saving Batman's life. A car chase begins, Batman contacting Owlman, who offers to trade the heroes he's captured for the Phase Oscillator. Batman refuses, and Owlman begins to threaten innocents, so Batman turns the Batmobile over to Joker to drive as he saves people Owlman is endangering with reckless driving and weapons. Joker even stops chasing Owlman to save an innocent.

Joker asks Batman  why he took a chance on working with him, and Batman remembers Red Hoo,d Joker's counterpart from Owlman's world, who is a hero. He looks up in the sky and sees an Owlman version of the Batsignal. At the signal's source, Owlman has the heroes captured in tailor made deathtraps, with various villains surrounding him. Batman and Joker arrive, and tells Owlman that if he doesn't free the heroes, Batman will destory the Phase Oscillator, stranding him. The villains attack, But Joker proves a good ally.

However, as they face down the villains, Owlman offers Joker a new option, a tailor made trap for Batman, and the trigger to start it. Joker is tempted, and then decides that he' a villain, and hits the button, which should encase Batman in rubber. But Batman used the Phase Oscillator to escape, and pops out on the other side of the villains, where he promptly punches Owlman but Dr. Polaris is able to magnetically pull the Phase Oscillator from Batman and send it to Owlman.

But Batman had counted on the Joker's betrayal, and user the Phase Oscillator's time bending abilities to spend a week gathering Batmans from alternate worlds and appearing only a second later back on his Earth. The Batmen begin to not only fight the villains, but free the imprisoned heroes. Now that the villains are outnumbered two-to-one, they are easily defeated, leaving Batman to take down Owlman and Joker on his own, but the two villains begins arguing over which one will take down Batman, and Batman uses the distraction to use the trap Owlman designed for him to capture them both.

The fight over, the villains are carted away, and Batman goes to his counterparts, who old a tied up Owlman, who swears to return for revenge, and Batman says he'll be waiting to stop him before the other Batmen take him away. The Joker is the last of the villains to be carted away, and he says if they weren't opposites they could be friends, and Batman knows, from having met the Red Hood, that's true, and there's a good man in there. But then Joker swears he'll get him next time and Batman thinks, "Or maybe not."

Who's Who

The Joker (Voiced by Jeff Bennett)
First Comic Book Appearance: Batman #1 (April 1940)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Thirteen- Game Over for Owlman!

The Clown Prince of Crime. The Harlequin of Hate. These are but two of the nicknames for The Joker, Batman's arch-foe. Formerly the criminal known as the Red Hood, he lost his mind after chemicals bleached his skin and turned his hair green, and has since been an agent of sheer chaos. At times a madcap clown crook, at other a terrifying murderer, Joker's personality is as variable as the winds. His history with Batman goes back to the Dark Knight's earliest days, and no one villain has inflicted more pain on Batman. The Joker believes the two of them are a duel act, and that they are meant to fight until the end. The Joker is a master criminal with a brilliant, if twisted mind. He has myriad lethal gadgets and gimmicks, most notably his Joker Venom, a poison that leaves his victims with a rictus grin similar to his. But his greatest weapon is his sheer unpredictability, a person is never sure if Joker will shake their hand or wring their neck.

Owlman (Voiced by Diedrich Bader)
First Comic Book Appearance: Justice League of America #29 (August 1964)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Twelve- Deep Cover for Batman!

Green Arrow (Voiced by James Arnold Taylor)
First Comic Book Appearance: More Fun Comics #73 (November, 1941)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode One- Rise of the Blue Beetle

Blue Beetle  (Voiced by Will Friedle)
First Comic Book Appearance: Infinite Crisis #3 (February, 2006)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode One- Rise of the Blue Beetle

Aquaman (voiced by John DiMaggio)
First comic book appearance: More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941)
First Brave and the Bold appearance: Season 1, Episode 3- Evil Under the Sea!

Red Tornado (Voiced by Corey Burton)
First Comic Book Appearance:  Justice League of America #64 (August, 1968)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Four- Invasion of the Secret Santas!

The Atom (Ryan Choi) (voiced by James Sie)
First comic book appearance: DCU Brave New World (August 2006)
First Brave and the Bold appearance: Season 1, Episode 3- Evil Under the Sea!

Plastic Man (Voiced by Tom Kenny)
First Comic Book Appearance: Police Comics #1 (August 1941)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Two- Terror on Dinosaur Island!

Black Manta (Voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson)
First Comic Book Appearance:  Aquaman #35 (September, 1967)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Three- Evil Under the Sea!

The Brain (voiced by Dee Bradley Baker)
First comic book appearance: Doom Patrol #86 (May 1964)

Dr. Polaris (Voiced by Lex Lang)
First Comic Book Appearance: Green Lantern #21 (June, 1963)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Eight- Fall of the Blue Beetle!

Gorilla Grodd (Voice by John DiMaggio)
First Comic Book Appearance: The Flash #106 (May, 1959)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Two- Terror on Dinosaur Island!

Gentleman Ghost (Voiced by Jonny Rees)
First Comic Book Appearance: Flash Comics #88 (October, 1947)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Two- Terror on Dinosaur Island!

Clock King (Voiced by Dee Bradley Baker)
First Comic Book Appearance: World's Finest Comics #111 (August, 1960)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode One- Rise of the Blue Beetle

Continuity, Comics Connections, and Notes

As opposed to simply being sharing a title and being called part one and part two, this two parter shares a connected title, "Deep Cover for Batman!" and "Game over for Owlman!" These kinds of constructions are similar to to ones from the classic Batman TV series, although in most of those cases, the titles also rhymed.

When Owlman makes his first appearance in the episode, he is wearing Batman's original costume from Detective Comics #27, down to the purple gloves he wore in that first issue, and he is striking the exact pose from the final panel of the first origin story of Batman in Detective Comics #33.

Similarly, the Batmobile Batman uses when chasing Owlman is the design of the first bat branded Batmobile ever used in the comic; Batman drove cars before that, but they were just roadsters and sports cars without the signature Batman touches.

This episode marks the first appearance of the Joker in the series, and is the first major Batman villain to appear: eventually, most of the major Bat-foes will appear, but before now it's been mstly non-Batman foes like Grodd or C-Listers like Cavalier. Joker's design, like Batman's, hearkens back to the '50s, especially the art of legendary Batman artist, Dick Sprang. The Jokermobile was right out of the same era, by the way.

The Batmen of the Multiverse are mostly versions of Batman who have appeared in Elseworlds. The vampire Batman is from the Doug Moench/Kelly Jones vampire Batman trilogy; there are a few Cowboy Batman incarnations, although this one resembles a cross between Batman and the DC western hero, Nighthawk; the superstrong, bulky Batman is drawn from Brave and the Bold #68; Pirate Batman is Captain Leatherwing from Chuck Dixon's Elseworlds annual Detective Comics Annual #7; the Big Brain Batman is from World's Finest #151, where he's the "Batman of 800,000 A,D."; and finally, the armored Batman is one I can't place. If anyone knows where he comes from before this episode, or knows for certain it's an original creation, let me  know.

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