Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Great Batman: Brave and the Bold Rewatch: Menace of the Conqueror Caveman!

Season One, Episode Seventeen: Menace of the Conqueror Caveman!
Written by Matt Wayne
Directed by Brandon Vietti

Plot Synopsis

Teaser: Wildcat rides on the top of a train and leaps to a passing train trellis at the rail yard to find Batman waiting, saying he called Wildcat to help him take down an escaped con. They see the man and Batman catches him with a Bataranng through the coat, which he seemingly can't remove. Wildcat laughs, not understanding why Batman asked for help with such a seemingly weak opponent, only for Batman to reveal the villain is Bane, who then uses the super steroid Venom to  grow to massive size. The heroes engage in an impressive fistfight with Bane, and it's only through quick thinking by Wildcat, using the Batarang to sever the tube that supplies Bane his Venom, spraying the third rail and electrocuting the villain, that takes him down.

Episode: The episode opens with with a video detailing the origin of Booster Gold, narrated by his robot sidekick, Skeets. Booster is at the Acme Toys company, pitching himself to the company for an actin figure line. As the Acme execs ask if Booster's origin about being a time travelling hero from the 24th century is true, he tells them it is, while a flashback to his origins shows that he is indeed from the future, but is a security guard who stole all this future tech to come to the present to make his fortune. The execs blow off Booster, saying he has no name recognition, and needs to team up with an A-list hero like Batman. When they kick Booster out, he decides that's just what he needs to do.

Batman is taking down the criminals Punch and Jewelee after they rob a jewelry exchange when Booster finds him, telling Batman that he's his new partner. Batman will have nothing to do with Booster since he feels Booster is a gloryhound, and while Booster is distracted, Batman just drives off. Batman makes it to the Batcave, and Booster pops up; since hes from the future, the Batcave is a tourist attraction then and Booster knows where it is. Booster asks Batman what he's investigating, and Batman tells him about recent thefts of lutonium and a stolen meteorite, which Batman connects to the ancient immortal caveman, Kru'll the Eternal; Booster flashes to a memory of himself in the future, encountering a nattily suited Kru'll and bumping into him, spilling coffee on the Caveman. Batman needs a way to track Kru'll, and Skeets can track the lutonium, as his battery is made from lutonium, so Batman grudgingly agrees to work with Booster.

At another building, we find Kru'll experimenting with a lutonium powered ray on the meteorite to no avail; Kru'll observes he needs more lutonium to awaken the meteor. Batman and Booster arrive, and Kru'll reveals he found the stolen meteorite ten thousand years ago, and charges Batman. The two begin to fight, and when Booster tries to aid Batman, Kr'ull grabs Booster by the arm and uses the wrist blasters in Booster's suit to blast Batman, before turning it on Booster himself. Booster awakens to find himself and Skeets shackled to a standing platform about to be passed into a super-collider where he will be smashed into a wall at high speed.

As Booster is spinning around the collider track, Batman is working the ropes binding him into a chair. As Skeets and Booster spin, Skeets says he can try to overload the magnetic field that is containing them and blast them free. As Batman frees himself and fights Kru'll, Skeets succeeds, just in time to keep Kru'll from killing Batman. Kru'll is shocked that Booster could escape the magnetic field, and Booster brags about Skeets's lutonium battery. Kru'll blows a water pipe with a blast from his club, creating steam, and escapes with Skeets and the meteorite.

Batman and Booster rush off in the Batmobile, Booster feeling very guilty about getting Skeets abducted, and when he says he's not much of a hero, Batman tells him that maybe he's never had a reason to be a real hero before.

In Kru'll's lab in the natural history museum, the caveman has gathered a group of henchmen dressed as historic conquerors, and is planning to grant them immortality and power like his own. He reveals it is the meteroite that granted him his immortality and more advanced intellect, and that he has grown weary of conquering just to see all that he has conquered pass away in time, so now he wishes to have an army of immortal super soldiers to do his bidding. But the meteorite needs a massive infusion of lutonic energy, which he plans to siphon from Skeets.

Batman and Booster arrive at the museum and head into the ducts, to surprise Kru'll. Kru'll has hooked Skeets up to the meteorite, and Booster shouts his robot friend's name, attracting Kru'll's attention, and Kru'll once again blasts Batman and Booster unconscious. As Batman awakes, he finds himself and Booster in a guillotine. As Kru'll prepares to behead the heroes, Booster says he'd happily help Kru'll form his empire with his knowledge of marketing and product placement. Kru'll disregards him and releases the blade. Batman begins working to pick the lock while Booster flips his prototype toy Boostermobile into the groove the blade runs in, stopping it in its tracks.

Batman pulls Booster free, and the heroes begin fighting Kru'll's henchmen, with the heroes clearly having the upper hand.But as they are distracted, Kru'll turns his ray on the henchmen, turning them into massively muscled super cavemen like him. Booster fights them as best he can, and holds his own for a time, as Batman takes on Kru'll himself. Soon, though, Booster is being pummeled by all the henchmen, and Kru'll seems to have Batman on the ropes. But Batman positions himself in such a way as to pull down a T-Rex skeleton on Kru'll, pointing out that brains trump brute force every time,

Hearing that, Booster tells Skeets to dump his charge, overloading the ray and returning Kru'll's henchmen to normal. Booster rushes to Skeets, worried he has lost his friend, but Skeets is still functional, assuring Booster he knew that he would save him.

Kru'll is ushered off by the police, and Batman tries to explain to Booster he was a hero because he was ignoring the glory, but Booster heads off to talk to his agent; Batman then heads off, saying no more. Kru'll watches Booster, swearing revenge for when they meet again. Flash one final time to the 24th century, we again see Booster bump into Kru'll, and the caveman remembering who Booster is as the episode fades to black.

Who's Who

Booster Gold (Voiced by Tom Everett Scott)
First Comic Book Appearance: Booster Gold #1 (February, 1986)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Seventeen- Menace of the Conqueror Caveman!

Skeets (Voiced by Billy West)
First Comic Book Appearance: Booster Gold #1 (February, 1986)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Seventeen- Menace of the Conqueror Caveman!

Michael Jon Carter was born in the 24th century, and looked like he had everything ahead of him: a promising football career and a charmed life. But when he was caught gambling on his own games, he lost it all. The only job he could get was as a nightwatchman at the Metropolis Space Museum. But deciding he wanted one more chance, he stole items from exhibits and reprogrammed one of the security droids, Skeets, and traveled back in time to make his fame and fortune as a superhero, using his knowledge of future events to stop crime. Booster had a lot of growing up to do, and he did it, slowly, joining the Justice League, where he became best friends with fellow Leaguer Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle. Booster and Beetle got into and out if trouble, got involved in get rich quick schemes, and eventually both retired from regular supeheroing. But when Ted was killed, Booster took up his costume again, and when he teamed up with Rip Hunter, Time Master, Booster Gold became the greatest hero you've never heard of, using his persona as a buffoon to hide the fact that he and Skeets now guard the timestream from those who want to change it. Booster Gold's costume grants him various powers, including a force field, laser blasts, and enhanced strength. He wears a Legion of Super Heroes flight ring that allows him to fly. Skeets can fly and fire energy blasts, and has a database of future knowledge. 

Kru'll (Voiced by Michael Dorn)
First Comic Book Appearance: None
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Seventeen- Menace of the Conqueror Caveman!

Kru'll is a Cro Magnon who was exposed to a meteor from space. The meteor granted him immortality and expanded his intelligence. He has spent millennia conquering and manipulating world events to make him one of history's great conquerors.  Read in the Connections section below to find out about how Kru'll ties to comic book characters.

Punch & Jewelee
First Comic Book Appearance: 
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Seventeen- Menace of the Conqueror Caveman!

Punch and Jewelee grew up together, fell in love, and after finding some leftover alien tech, decided nothing would be more fun than to be Bonny & Clyde in puppet costumes. They're nothing more than a minor inconvenience to most superheroes, having fought Captain Atom most often, but others on occasion. More often than not, they are seen as members of the Suicide Squad, as they are often incarcerated.

Wildcat (Voiced by R. Lee Ermey)
First Comic Book Appearance: Sensation Comics #1 (January, 1942)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Six- Enter the Outsiders!

Bane (Voiced by Michael Dorn)
First Comic Book Appearance: Batman: The Vengeance of Bane #1 (January, 1993)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Seventeen- Menace of the Conqueror Caveman!

On the Caribbean island of Santa Prisca, the child who would grow up to be Bane was born in prison, serving a life sentence; his father had taken part in a rebellion against the government, and his unborn sun had to carry out the sentence when his father escaped. Spending his formative years in the prison, the child trained his body and mind to human pinnacle, and became the test subject of the super steroid, Venom. when he finally escaped prison, he decided he must prove himself against the man who represented his childhood fear, a giant bat monster, the Batman. Bane would challenge Batman, and would go as far as breaking his back. Bane wold eventually straddle the line between hero and villain, aiding Batman almost as often as fighting him. But in the end, Bane's drive to conquer, to be the best, wins out, and he returns to being one Batman's most deadly enemies. Bane is a brilliant tactician and intellect, and his body is honed to near perfection. When he takes the drug Venom, his strength is enhanced to near superhuman levels, but at the cost of his intellect and self-control.

Continuity, Comics Connections, and Notes

Tom Everett Scott and Billy West return to voicing the characters of Booster Gold and Skeets; they had previously voiced those characters in the excellent Justice League Unlimited episode, "The Greatest Story Never Told." This makes them two of the few actors to play the same roles in the classic DC Animated Universe and Brave and the Bold.

Kru'll might technically be a Brave and the Bold original character, but he has two direct antecedents. His origin is taken directly for that of longtime JSA and JLA villain Vandal Savage, the immortal caveman. When producers found out they could not use Savage because of rights, they changed him to King Kull, a Captain Marvel foe, whose design Kru'll resembles very closely. Unfortunately, King Kull was not available either, so they renamed him Kru'll

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