Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Great Batman: Brave and the Bold Rewatch: The Color of Revenge!

Season One, Episode Eighteen: The Color of Revenge!
Written by Tod Casey
Directed by Michael Chang

Plot Synopsis

The Bat Signal shines in the Gotham skies in the not too distant past, as we see Batman and his young ward, Robin, head into Gotham. Robin looks at a painting that is a clue from Crazy Quilt, which Batman knows is leading them to an experimental Stimulated Emission Light Amplifier (SELA), a powerful laser. Batman and Robin arrive and intercept Quilt and his men, and when Quilt uses the SELA against them, firing blasts of energy, Robin reflects them back at him, seemingly blinding him.

Episode: Solomon Grundy is robbing the Bank of Blüdhaven, Gotham'e neighboring city, and an "R" Signal calls out to the now adult Robin. Robin defeats Grundy using a combination of acrobatics and intelligence, and the police thank him, making him feel confident, although he harbors some resentment clearly directed at Batman.

As he rides off on his motorcycle, he looks up at the sky and sees a large blinking eye projected into the clouds. He begins to deduce what the eye is, but Batman pulls up on his motorcycle, telling Robin the eye is blinking an address in Morse code. Batman tells Robin that Crazy Quilt has escaped and is gunning for Robin. The two bicker as they ride towards the address, Robin bitter that Batman is acting like he's in charge despite this being Robin's city.

The address is that of a closed club, and Batman continues to act like he's in charge, while Robin continues to act bitter. In the club, the lights flash on, and cut paper fish begin to fall from the air, a double clue from Crazy Quilt, whose voice begins to pipe in from the club speakers. Batman and Robin fight Quilt's color themed stooges, Red, Blue, and Green, but after their defeat, Robin dives at Quilt, only to find it's a dummy, set to lead them into a trap, a spinning room that will flatten the Dynamic Duo into two dimensional "art."

Robin thinks that he can use a Batarang, combining his strnegth and the force of the spinning to cut through the wall, but Batman believes they will be crushed first, thinking to use his bat laser to blast the spinning lights, thinking blowing them out will short the power. Robin doesn't listen and begins his plan, but it's Batman's that works, and Robin angrily says his way would have worked. They head out to stop Quilt, only to find the villain has trashed Robin's bike, leaving the former sidekick to ride on the Batcycle's sidecar, to his chagrin.

The two heroes continue to not connect, as Robin provides Batman a clue, and the Dark Knight doesn't even listen as his former sidekick makes the same deduction he did first, heading to S.T.A.R. Labs. The guard at S.T.A.R. runs up to Batman, not Robin (heightening Rabin's annoyance), and tells batman that Quilt is after the SELA again. Quilt is inside, again using scissors and paper to make art, but sees Batman and Robin as blobs, but sees well enough to duck Robin's thrown bolo. Again, Batman and Robin fight Quilt's henchmen, but this time Quilt is prepared, wielding the SELA. Robin plans to go after Quilt, but Batman orders him to pursue Red, who has run off. Robin does so, finding Red waiting with a gattling gun.

Quilt fires at Batman, but his very limited vision keeps him from hitting Batman. He brags that he plans to wire the SELA into his optic nerves and use it to make art by carving things with his new vision. He is finally able to connect with the SELA, knocking Batman unconscious, and escapes with Batman in the tank he's mounted the SELA on, but not before gloating at Robin about weaving Batman into a rug he will walk all over and blasting the lab walls, crumbling them on top of Robin.

At the Blüdhaven textile mill, Quilt has Batman tied up on a loom, and monologues about destroying the city and blaming Robin. Back at S.T.A.R., Robin pulls himself from the rubble, broken but unbowed, and takes the Batcycle. Remembering Quilt's brag, he deduces that Quilt is at the textile mill. He infiltrates the mill and takes out the henchmen, and finds a series of paintings all featuring Robin, showing the depths of Quilt's obsession.

Batman calls out to Robin, and begins to give him orders on how to free him from the loom. But with a captive audience, Robin begins to enumerate his grievances at Batman, telling him he's not a kid anymore and that he needs to be treated as an adult in his city. By the time he turns around Batman has freed himself, and thanks Robin for taking out the henchmen. Quilt reappears, now with the SELA hooked into his helmet, and begins to attack the heroes.

Quilt fires blasts from the SELA, destroying the mill, and corners Batman and Robin. When Robin asks Batman for a plan, Batman tells him, "Your villain. Your call." Robin smiles, draws a small laser torch, and says he has this. Batman jumps out to distract Quilt, while Robin gets above him, cutting a girder which falls on top of the SELA breaking it. Quilt fires blasts from his helmet, but Robin acrobatically dodges them, before landing in front of Quilt and decks him.

In the aftermath of the battle, Quilt is carted back off to Arkham, Robin thanks Batman and says he's glad Batman finally has faith he can handle things on his own. Batman says he's always had faith in Robin's abilities, and Robin thanks Batman. Commissioner Gordon gets in touch, saying Killer Moth has hijacked a train, and the two heroes head out together to stop him, although Robin still has to ride in the sidecar.

Who's Who

Robin (Voiced by Crawford Wilson; Young Robin voiced by Jeremy Shada)
First Comic Book Appearance: Detective Comics #38 (April, 1940)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Eighteen- The Color of Revenge!

Dick Grayson was a circus kid, the son of John and Mary Grayson, the aerialists known as the Flying Graysons. But when Haley's Circus stopped in Gotham City, Boss Tony Zucco, on of Gotham's local mobsters, tried to extort money from Mr. Haley, and when he refused, Zucco decided to show Haley he meant business. He tampered with the Grayson's ropes, and Richard and Mary fell to their deaths. But two other things happened that night that changed Dick's life: he witnessed Zucco threatening Mr. Haley, and Bruce Wayne was in the audience. Bruce Wayne took in the young circus performer, and began to train him to be Batman's partner in crime fighting, Robin the Boy Wonder. Robin became the first of the kid sidekicks, leader of the Teen Titans, and a great hero. The two would work together until Dick grew to adulthood, when he would strike out on his own, taking on the identity of Nightwing. Dick has been a fixture of the DC Universe since its earliest days, has led the Titans and the Justice League, and has been a stand in for Batman when Bruce was lost in time. He has been a hero, a spy, a ladies man, and a friend. Dick Grayson is one of the most talented acrobats in the world, a talented martial artist, and a well trained detective.

Crazy Quilt (Voiced by Jeffrey Tambor)
First Comic Book Appearance: Boy Commandos #15 (June, 1946)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Fifteen- Trials of the Demon!

Solomon Grundy  (Voiced by Diedrich Bader)
First Comic Book Appearance: All-American Comics #61 (October, 1944)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Sixteen- Night of the Huntress!

S.T.A.R. Labs 
First Comic Book Appearance: Superman #246 (December, 1971)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Four- Invasion of the Secret Santas!

Continuity, Comics Connections, and Notes

This entire episode is filled with references to the classic Batman TV series from the '60s. The teaser features many direct pulls, including the bust of Shakespeare used to trigger the Batpole entrance to the Batcave and the moment where Batman and Robin climb up the wall at the villain's target. Crazy Quilt, while not a villain from the show, has the same broad personality, obsession with his motif, and clue riddled speechifying. The deathtraps are also very broad and feel like something from the old TV show, especially Batman being turned into a rug on a loom.

Blüdhaven, the city that Robin patrols, was the city that Nightwing lived in and guarded when he was given his own ongoing. Created by Chuck Dixon and Scott McDaniel, the city was considered Gotham's uglier sister, a city that had gone downhill and didn't have a Batman to protect it. It was often considered Newark to Gotham's New York City.

The eye blinking signal that draws Batman and Robin into Crazy Quilt's trap sends them to the, "Corner of Haney and Aparo." Bob Haney, writer, and Jim Aparo, penciller, were two of the creators on the classic Brave and the Bold comic series from the 60s, 70s, and 80s that inspired the animated series,

The club where Crazy Quil laid his trap is Club 38. 38 is the issue number of Robin's first appearance, Detective Comics #38.

While fighting, Robin uses a bo staff, the weapon that has been often associated with Robin in recent years thanks to it being used by the version of the character in the Teen Titans animated series. However, this is not a weapon usually used by Dick Grayson in the comics; he uses escrima fighting sticks. The bo is the weapon of Tim Drake, the third Robin, that he adapted as his own in his first solo mini-series.

The paintings that Robin finds in Crazy Quilt's lair of him include onces ispired by Munch's "The Scream," as well as works by Warhol, Lichtenstein, and Picasso.

No comments: