Brave And Bold Returns, Better And Weirder Than EverS

As if you needed any more convincing that Batman: The Brave And The Bold was the must-see superhero cartoon around, last night's return featured a mix of Venture Bros, mechasuits and Edward G. Robinson. Genius!

Even for those who don't appreciate Brave and Bold's clear and colorful visuals - It's the best looking cartoon since Foster's Home For Imaginary Friends, if you ask me - the series' blend of kid-friendly simple plots and action with more adult-orientated jokes and just plain weirdness was out in full force in last night's "Night Of The Huntress." On the one hand, the story was simply Batman teaming up with the Huntress and Blue Beetle to capture villains after a jailbreak, and then capturing them, but the real joy was in the details: Mrs. Manface, a beautiful woman with the face of a permanently be-stubbled man (Surely a nod to Venture Bros' Dr. Girlfriend)? Polecat Perkins, a supervillain whose power seems to be incredibly bad body odor? The Batmobile transforming into a giant robot, just so Batman can slug it out with a guy in a giant robot suit? These are signs that writer Adam Beechen was happily letting his sense of the ridiculous run amok, and it made for the most enjoyable 30 minutes of television you could find last night.

Anyone looking to Brave and Bold for something close to the famous 1990s Bruce Timm version of Batman - or even the lesser, but still enjoyable, Justice League/Justice League Unlimited shows - won't find what they're looking for with this show; it's much more comedy than drama, and also skewing at a younger (at heart, at least) audience. But that gives it the freedom to throw credibility out of the window in favor of giving you what you want to see, and it's all the better for doing so. Batman: The Brave And The Bold takes a fresh look at its characters and ignores the continuity and fan-worship that's been built up around them for years by an aging readership, and comes up with something that, ironically, demonstrates their appeal more ably than any of their comics have managed in years. Last night's episode was a great example, and a sign of twelve more weeks of awesome to come.