Batman: The Brave and the Bold S01 E14

Episode Title: “Mystery in Space!”

Original Air Date: March 13, 2009

After a nice two part story, the series brings us back to the comfortable format that we have come to expect with this show. Additionally the creators have brought back a favorite guest hero along with throwing in a couple of new faces (as well as one character with absolutely no face at all)

The teaser begins with Gorilla Grodd bound to a large scale over a vat of fire by the mysterious villain, Equinox. It is soon after revealed that hero The Question is bound to the other side of the scale, and Equinox plans to destroy both of them in order to “maintain balance”. As one would expect, Batman shows up and rescues the trapped pair, but Equinox escapes leaving all involved to wonder exactly who he is.

equinox

The story proper opens on an un-named tropical Island where Batman awaits a zeta beam to transport him to the distant planet of Rann. He hears a loud moaning noise behind a rock, and when he investigates he finds Aquaman singing a whale’s mourning song. Batman hesitantly reveals to the King of the Sea that he is embarking on an outer space adventure, and is surprised when Aquaman expresses no interest in tagging along. Concerned about Aquaman’s uncharacteristic melancholy, Batman insists that the two heroes travel to Rann Together. When they arrive at the distant planet, Bat’s and Aquaman are received by Adam Strange and his wife Alanna who inform them that Rann is being invaded by Gordanians and there superior military. The battle takes our heroes underwater, where Aquaman’s unwillingness to recruit locall sea life into the fray angers Adam Strange. Batman asks for a minute alone with Aquaman who explains that he was on patrol a month ago when he was summoned to help beluga whales only to discover that a whaling boat had killed them. The opposing forces ambush our heroes and manage to kidnap Strange’s true love Alanna as Strange is helplessly teleported back to Earth. By the Time Strange teleports back to Rann, The Gordanians have obtained an ancient solar powered weapon known as the Eye of Zared that is capable of destroying all of Rann if it isn’t stopped. Aquaman says they need to create an eclipse and they need to use Earth’s moon as Rann has no moon.Working together, the heroes use the Zeta Beam Cannon to move Earth’s Moon to Ranagar. The ensuing eclipse shuts down the devastating weapon while Strange slips in and rescues Alanna. The happily reunited couple share a moonlit embrace and Aquaman is satisfied with the conclusion of another thrilling adventure.

mysteryinspace

My first impression is that it is nice to have a typical teaser adventure back in the show, as I had missed it the past 2 weeks. It was made even more intriguing by the introduction of a new character, Equinox, who is obsessed with balance – specifically the balance between good and evil. Though this character is different in appearance, he does bear similarities to the mysterious villain from Grant Morrison’s Final Crisis, Libra. We don’t learn much about this character in this episode, but I look forward to explorations of his origin that will occur in future episodes. The story proper is a simple yarn about overcoming self doubt in the face of adversity told via Aquaman getting his “mojo” back. Though Aquaman is often considered one of the most fun characters in this series, this story seems to draw all the joy out of him during the first 15 or so minutes by having him gloomily down in the dumps. The brief taste of fun Aquaman we get in the final minutes doesn’t seem to be strong enough to wash the bland flavor away that he bears up until that point. I’ve always enjoyed seeing DC’s surrogate Buck Rodgers, Adam Strange, in action, but the story was middle of the road in terms of enjoyability. Overall, this episode demonstrates just how important those pre-credits teasers are, as it was the most compelling part of this episode.

Featured Characters: The Question (Steve Ditko, 1967), Gorilla Grodd (Broome & Infantino, 1959), Equinox (Wein & Dillin, 1974 {as Libra}), Aquaman (Norris & Weisinger, 1941), Adam Strange (Julius Schwartz, 1958)

To learn more about Adam Strange listen to Heroes & Villains ep. 91

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