Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Post Game: Batman: The Brave and the Bold -- When OMAC Attacks

Batman: The Brave and The Bold

"When OMAC Attacks"

"Hit hard or not at all, I always say." -- OMAC

Finally. After waiting months for new episodes of "Batman: The Brave and The Bold", it's back on! Now the thing is, Season One isn't technically over yet. We still have three episodes left until Season Two officially starts. I'm ridiculously envious of our readers from the U.K. or Australia who have already seen these episodes for almost a month now. Oh, well! Patience is a virtue I suppose.

We start this episode with in outer space with Batman being accompanied by Hawk and Dove. There have been a few Hawk and Dove incarnations, but they kept to the original duo: Hank and Don Hall. Of course they are shown fighting and squabbling over how to handle the current situation, which happens to be Batman trying to bring peace between two alien nations. Batman assigns the brothers to take out the ground troops while he handles the remaining warships. So Hawk and Dove spring into action, all the while bickering back and forth, but I liked how they made Dove not so much of a pushover pacifist. Later, Batman uses some sort of nullifier beam and takes out the warships and overhears Hawk and Dove fighting and thinks to himself "Lucky for me, I was an only child." Back on the ground, Batman has a peace treaty written up and the two alien leaders sign up. Who knew that also with being the world's greatest detective, he also excels in the field of interplanetary diplomacy. So after the aliens sign the treaty, Hawk and Dove start fighting again and Batman escorts the aliens away to his ship so they can toast to peace while the brothers duke it out. I'm not sure why Batman would think that bringing those guys into this sort of thing would seem like a good idea (he actually thinks to himself again about how he should have brought the Green Lanterns instead), but the rest of the episode deals heavily with war and peace subtexts.

Back on Earth, Batman is confronted by the Global Peace Agency, or GPA and they are disappointed in the fact that he has not caught a Russian general by the name of Kafka, who they claim is to disrupt the balance of the world's power. Apparently he is developing some sort of transient organic metal. So that Batman is assured a victory, he will be assigned a partner. The GPA tells Batman that the bumbling Buddy Blank will be his partner, Batman is a bit quizzical about this notion until the GPA activates Buddy's Brother Eye. Suddenly, Buddy is molecularly rearranged to become OMAC (voiced by Jeff Bennett), the One-Man Army Corps. OMAC has no memory of becoming Buddy or vice versa, and the two are sent to Kafka's base where he is developing the metal. Of course while Batman tries to take the more stealthy approach, OMAC is having none of that and goes fists first (after a small upgrade from Brother Eye) into the fray.

Once inside, OMAC goes after Kafka but one of his beams is misdirected and Kafka's body gets flooded with that organic metal. Also, enter Equinox (voiced by Oded Fehr). Now, we've seen him before, but this episode hints at him being actually more powerful than originally hinted. Anyways, OMAC destroys the base and think that he's defeated Kafka, though that's not how things turn out. Kafka emerges from he wreckage as Shrapnel. Now, Shrapnel from the comics was simply deranged and mainly a Doom Patrol adversary, but this version is based off of the OMAC villain who was from the future, so it's still technically DC Universe canon. A skirmish breaks out, and OMAC's powers are disabled when the link to Brother Eye (the eye symbol on his chest) is punctured by a shard made by Shrapnel. Forced to retreat, the GPA is again angered at Batman, especially this time with their human weapon malfunctioning. In the infirmary, Batman tries to console Buddy who feels inadequate, but just then Shrapnel is seen advancing towards the city and of course, OMAC emerges again goes after Shrapnel. Equinox then appears to Batman again and continues with his talk of balance and it appears that he is behind the fight between OMAC and Shrapnel.

Meanwhile the fight between OMAC and Shrapnel gets more intense and explosive. Shrapnel explains that the GPA came to his village and destroyed it and he wants revenge. They continue the brawl into a nuclear power plant where some serious damage is done. A meltdown is now imminent though they still continue to fight. Batman tries to stop the meltdown, but guess who, Equinox with more talk of balance how Batman should appreciate that since he is equal parts dark and light.

OMAC has been trying his best to physically beat Shrapnel, but he's figured out that hitting him only makes him stronger. He tells Brother Eye to concentrate the rest of its power on shields and defense. Shrapnel's powers come from other people's energy and once OMAC essentially gives up, Shrapnel is powerless and easily taken down and wrapped up. Of course that has drained all of Brother Eye's power and OMAC transforms back to a very confused Buddy Blank who witnesses Batman take a beating or two by Equinox and decides to jump into action by tackling Equinox to the ground while Batman darts for the central control and tries to abort the meltdown. He succeeds, but barely. The radiation took its toll and he is weakened and dying. That is until Equinox shows up for the last time. Batman exclaims that he is in control of his own fate, but Equinox begs to differ. He heals Batman and even repairs his torn costume, but vanishes in a way that reminded me of Quantum Leap just as Buddy came in to help Batman out of the plant. Of course Buddy is ecstatic that he took on a supervillain, but Batman hints that we haven't seen the last of Equinox.

What did I think of this episode? Well, Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko creations in the same episode was all-out awesome. The action was fast-paced, but almost too prominent where it seemed like there was always fighting going on. I guess we have to wait to see what Equinox's game is. I like how they used Fehr's voice as he has voiced DC characters before (he was Dr. Fate on JLU). I waited so long for this show, and I'm glad it's back. I just wish Cartoon Network would plug this show now that it has returned. I didn't see hardly any promotional ads for its return or anything. That's kind of sad in my opinion.

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