Batman: The Brave and the Bold S02 E12

Episode Title: “Gorillas in Our Midst!”

Original Air Date: April 16, 2010

So we have the return of Detective Chimp, the character whose name describes him perfectly because he is a detective who is also a chimp. Along with Batman, the hirsute Sherlock Holmes is out to stop a trio of criminal gorillas, so when the shows throws in B’Wanna Beast and Vixen it seems perfectly set up for a real rumble in the jungle. Read on to find out how it unfolds.

The teaser has the Sinister Professor Milo controlling rats in order to perpetrate a diamond heist. On a mission to stop him are Batman and the vengeful Spectre. Batman manages to prevent the theft of the priceless gems, but insists that Spectre allow the police to handle the doling out of Justice. After Batman disappears into the night, Spectre decides that the best punishment is to turn Milo into a large piece of cheese and leave him to the rats.

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The story proper begins with Batman and Detective Chimp infiltrating Grodd’s Gorilla fortress where they discover a meeting between Grodd, Monsieur Mallah, and Gorilla Boss. The three apes are discussing a plan to replace all of Gotham’s human population with sentient Gorillas. Most people are familiar with Grodd, the mind controlling, super intelligent gorilla enemy of the Flash, but Mallah is a staple member of the Brotherhood of Evil, and is rarely seen without his brain in a jar companion The Brain. People are probably less familiar with Gorilla Boss, a beast that was formed by putting the brain of a Gotham Gangster into a gorilla from the zoo, who has casued problems for Batman on a few occasions. Apparently the trio of silverbacks have formed an organization named G.A.S.P. (Gorillas and Apes Seizing Power) and the Dark Knight and Detective Chimp must stop them in order to protect humanity.

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Detective Chimp is worried about the state of Gotham while Batman is away, But Bats assures the Chimp that Gotham is safe in the bizarre but capable hands of B’Wanna Beast and Vixen. Vixen is a moderately well known and capable heroine (who now has her own animated series on CW Seed) who can channel the abilities of the animal kingdom into her own body (sort of like a more exotic Animal Man). B’Wanna Beast, on the other hand, has what might well be one of the strangest super powers in all of comic books as he has the ability to combine two or more animals in his vicinity into a chimera that is under his control. A couple of B’Wanna creations in this episode include a cat-horse and an Ostrich-Alligator, so you can imagine what a challenge it is for writers to help Beast take down Villains. Vixen and B’Wanna successfully take down Killer Moth in Batman’s absence.

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Batman and his companion aren’t faring as well at Grodd’s fortress where the evil gorillas discover that their monkey butler is actually Detective Chimp and put him in a hallmark villain’s death trap from which the Dark Knight has to rescue him. As Batman is saving Chimp, the army of gruesome gorillas depart for the city that never smiles, Gotham. The Caped Crusader and the investigative simian give chase.

All involved parties converge on the ark in Gotham, with B’Wanna and Vixen initially combatting the Gorilla army and Batman and Detective Chimp soon join in the fray. The battle does not go well for our heroes as Vixen has her power taken away, and Batman is captured. The unlikeliest of heroes emerges when B’Wanna merges Batman with a lizard, a lion and an eagle forming a Bat-Griffin that the gorillas cannot contain. As the Gorillas are defeated, Batman returns to normal, Detective Chimp is still donning his deer stalker cap and B’Wanna and Vixen reveal that they are very much in love.

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This episode is good, light hearted fun with the sort of absurd characters that I am a sucker for. On the first viewing I did feel a little unsatisfied, but after rewatching I began to enjoy it for the farcical story that it was. I have always like the more comedic characters like Detective Chimp (and continue to hope that someday he will begin to show up on tee shirts), and am always curious about how B’Wanna’s powers will be shoe horned into any adventure. As for my recommendation for this episode, skip the first viewing and go directly to re-watching it. Also, if you can figure out a way to do that, please let me know.

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