Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Great Batman: Brave and the Bold Rewatch: Inside the Outsiders!

Season One, Episode Twenty-Four: Inside the Outsiders!
Written by Alex Van Dyne
Directed by Michael Chang

Plot Synopsis

Batman and Green Arrow are tied at the top a post that is slowly lowering as large jungle cats growl at them and try to reach them. Green Arrow is irritated that Batman didn't see the trap that got them into this situation coming, as Batman should know better having fought Catwoman numerous times. Batman and Catwoman talk, with batman trying to talk her out of her life of crime, and Green Arrow is shocked (and annoyed) when he realizes they're flirting. As they near the cats, Batman uses a Batarang to sever the ropes tying the heroes and they swing to safety. Green Arrow fights Catwoman's thugs, while Batman fights the villain herself. The heroes defeat Catwoman and her goons, and are preparing to take them in when Catwoman escapes, leaving Batman with a note including her phone number and a message that says, "Call Me."

Batman runs through a hallway covered in creeoy golden masks that shoot blasts at him, but he makes it through, crashing into a room where the Psycho Pirate sits in a high tech throne. The Outsiders are in glass tubes that are feeding energy into Psycho Pirate, who is feeding on their emotions. Batman plans to open the chambers, but doing that will fry their brains, and the only way Batman has to save them is to enter the dream world of Psycho Pirate to pull them out, so he dons one of Psycho Pirate's helmets and heads in.

He appears in what appears to be a Japanese temple, and he sees a younger Katana and her old master. She has revealed the location of a sword, and an evil ronin has now arrived seeking it. Katana watches her memory play out, seeing her master die, as Batman tries to snap her out of it. Katana tells Batman this is her nightmare, but this time she will get revenge, and grabs the sword to fight Takeo, the ronin. Takeo tells her that it was her mouth that killed her master, and she prepares to strike down her foe.

At the last moment, Batman intercepts her blade with the energy sword from his utility belt, and the two of them commence dueling, Batman telling her this is now their way, or that of her master. Takeo again goads her on, saying she is now silent because she was responsible for her master's death and feels guilty, while Batman says that she is silent to honor him. This reminder snaps her out of it, and she stops fighting. Takeo transforms into Psycho Pirate, who had been playing on her guilt, who then disappears. Batman knows Psycho Pirate feeds off rage, and he thinks Black Lighting is the main course.

Appearing in an alleyway, Batman and Katana head out to find Black Lightning, prepared for the worst. What they find is a Black Lightning who is attacking people not for crimes but for little social infractions and anything that irritates him. Batman talks to him, trying to get him to calm down, and instead Black Lighting attacks, annoyed at Batman's cape. Katana saves a bystander who turns into Psycho Pirate who tries to get her to again attack, but she does not and he seems offput by it.

Black Lightning continues to attack Batman, Psycho Pirate growing more powerful, and then Black Lightning sees on TV... Uni the Unicorn (an homage to Barney the Dinosaur), and his anger grows. Black Lightning says hugs don't solve everything, and Batman tells him neither does rage, and that his anger was just making Psycho Pirate stronger. Psycho Pirate disappears in a flash, but as he does he causes Uni to leap from the screen and break through the glass. Black Lightning blasts him into confetti, but an army of Uni's come at him. Batman again tells him to channel his anger and energy into stopping Psycho Pirate, and this time Black Lightning listens. he embraces the possibility of happiness and the Uni's disappear. Again Psycho Pirate disappears, and Black Lightning is sure the worst is behind them, since Metamorpho is a happy guy. But as the clouds turn into a huge, angry Metamorpho, Batman knows that the worst is yet to come.

Now in what looks like the wreck of a city, Metamorpho transforms into more and more destructive forms, destroying everything. Batman realizes that Metamorpho's bottled up rage has been fueling Psycho Pirate all along. Psycho Pirate hovers near Metamorpho's ear like the devil on his shoulder, feeding his anger: anger that he is a freak who can't go out in public, anger that part of him believes his friends are laughing at him, not with him. and Metamorpho attacks.

Batman tells the Outsiders they can't harm Metamorpho, since he would be hurt in real life too, and so they have to reason with him. Black Lightning tells him they count on him, that he has the coolest powers in the world, but Psych Pirate counters that all they're doing is using him, and Metamorpho attacks again, saved only by Batman flying them away in his jetpack. He tells Black Lightning and Katana to keep reasoning with Metamorpho while he takes care of Psycho Pirate.

While the Outsiders dodge Metamorpho, Batman attacks Psycho Pirate. Black Lightning and Katana stand under the giant Metamorpho, and it's Katana speaking that stops him. They talk to him, telling him that they're a team, friends, and that they need him, and as he calms down, Batman begins to gain the upper hand on Psycho Pirate. Finally, Metamorpho shrinks down and hugs his friends, back to his normal self.

The dream world splits apart, and Batman awakens, but finds Psycho Pirate out of his throne, standing by a switch which the villain throws, obliterating the Outsiders. In a rage, Batman begins to pound on Psycho Pirate, who is feeding on the anger of the righteous, but Batman realizes this is still a dream, and Batman centers himself, feeding Psycho Pirate happy thoughts, which he can't take, and proceeds to happily knock out the villain.

With the Psycho Pirate finally defeated, Batman and the Outsiders stand over the defeated Psycho Pirate. As Batman walks off to call the authorities, the Outsiders wonder what are Batman's happiest thoughts.

Who's Who

Black Lightning (Voiced by Bumper Robinson)
First Comic Book Appearance:  Black Lightning #1 (April, 1977)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Six- Enter the Outsiders!

Katana (Voiced by Vyvan Pham)
First Comic Book Appearance:  The Brave and the Bold #200 (July, 1983)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Six- Enter the Outsiders!

Metamorpho (Voiced by Scott Menville)
First Comic Book Appearance:  The Brave and the Bold #57 (January, 1965)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Six- Enter the Outsiders!

Psycho Pirate (Voiced by Armin Shimmerman)
First Comic Book Appearance:  Showcase #56 (May-June 1965)
First Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Twenty-Four: Inside the Outsiders!

The Psycho Pirate who appears in Brave and the Bold is the second character to use that name in the comics, Roger Hayden. He was a villain of Earth-2, the Justice Society's Earth, who received the Medusa Mask, a relic that allowed him to manipulate emotions, from the original Psycho Pirate. Psycho Pirate would be a thorn in the side of various members of the Justice Society, but would reach new prominence during DC's legendary crossover event, Crisis on Infinite Earths, where he would become an accomplice and agent of the Anti-Monitor. He would survive the Crisis, and would be the only person with a full memory of the existence of the Pre-Crisis multiverse, knowledge which drove him mad. He would appear very sporadically over the course of the next twenty years, most notably in Grant Morrison's Animal Man, before he was recruited by Alexander Luthor during Infinite Crisis, where he was killed by Black Adam. Psycho Pirate has recently reappeared in the Rebirth era Battman series, as a part of Task Force X, and is the mcguffin of the new arc of that series, which begins today. While Psycho Pirate has no innate abilities, the Medusa Mask which he possesses allows him to force emotional states on others and to enhance emotions they already feel.

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

Catwoman (Voiced by Nike Futterman)
First Comic Book Appearance:  Batman #1 (Spring, 1940)
First Full  Brave and the Bold Appearance: Season One, Episode Twenty-Four: Inside the Outsiders!

Selina Kyle is Batman's most persistent female foe. Her origins have changed and morphed over her more than seventy-five years of existence, but it always comes around to her being the world's best cat burglar and a lover of all things feline. In some versions she is abused wife, in others a prostitute, and other times simply a runaway kid. She and Batman spar, each often trying to win the other over to their side of the law, and in recent years, she has been as often an anti-hero as she has been a villain. She is probably Batman's greatest love interest (at least in my opinion), and in more than one universe in the multiverse or adaptation of Batman in other media, it is Catwoman who Batman winds up with. She is one of the greatest characters in comics, and one of the most visible female characters, bot defined by the male hero she is attached to, by clever, powerful, and often wickedly funny in her own right. Catwoman has no superhuman abilities, but is an expert thief, acrobat, escape artist, and hand-to-hand fighter. Her weapons of choice include a cat o'nine tails whip and claws built into her gloves.

Continuity, Comics Connections, and Notes

So, if you're watching along on DVDs, you will notice that this is not the next episode on the DVD. There care three orders in which the last three episodes of Season One  ("Inside the Outsiders", "Menace of the Music Meister", and The Fate of Equinox") can be looked. There is the DVD order, which places this episode last in the season, the order in which they were aired which puts Music Meister before this episode, or the episode numbers, which is the order I chose, meaning this episode is next, followed by Music Meister, and and ending with the Equinox episode, which feels like a season finale.

Catwoman gets her Who's Who entry this week, despite having cameoed twice before, in Legends of the Dark Mite! and Hail the Tornado Tyrant! However, both of those were silent cameos, and this being her first full appearance, I held off spotlighting her until now.

Armin Shimmerman, who voiced Psycho Pirate this episode, and is best known to genre TV fans as Quark on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Principal Snyder on Buffy the Vampire Slayer,  has appeared on Brave and the Bold once before, voicing Calculator in Night of the Huntress, and will appear one more time, but that's for the future.

I just want to call out a very cool visual in this episode. During the Black Lightning sequence, the whole world in in grey scale except for the people who are frustrating him, who appear in color.

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