Brave & Bold Teaches Kids The Wrong Lesson

Last night's Batman: The Brave And The Bold managed to sidestep the biggest problem with guest-star Booster Gold (Namely, he's more interesting when he's a self-serving jerk). Who needs heroes when you have spoilers?

Booster Gold - the future schmuck who stole his supersuit and traveled back to the 21st century to become a fully-licensed superhero with more corporate sponsorships than he can handle - is, on the one hand, ideal fodder for cartoons like Brave and Bold (or JLU, which had a similar episode with the character), because you get to show him overcoming his selfish tendencies and - hey! - becoming a "true" hero in a way that other characters just don't offer, because they start out as good guys. But the problem with this is, Booster is more fun before his moment of revelation. After he sees the error of his ways, he becomes just another good guy with a troubled past and fairly generic powers (Okay, his robotic sidekick Skeets - this time, with the voice of Stimpy - stands out. But otherwise? Not so much). The lesson to kids, therefore, isn't the Han Solo "rogues are cool if they mean well" one, but "Hey, aren't dicks much cooler than good guys?" And that's not really the kind of thing we're supposed to be teaching the future of humanity, last time I checked.

Thankfully, last night's episode - "Menace of the Conqueror Caveman!" - managed to avoid that pitfall by managing to have Booster miss the point of his entire character arc. There's something to be said for the series' quirkiness that Batman can end an episode trying to spell out the moral for the audience, only to be interrupted by Booster trying to set up a toyline and book deal spinning out've the adventure, and it feels completely right. It's a good thing, considering that the rest of the episode - despite the presence of Michael Dorn as villain K'rull (or Vandal Savage, as he really was, even in the pre-release press; I'm guessing there were some rights issues over the name in the end) - was a disappointment after last week's particularly insane, inventive episode. Without the cynicism of Booster's non-arc, this would've been a well-done episode of any generic superhero show... which, while still enjoyable, is nowhere near as good as what this series is capable of. I hold out more hope for next week's episode, and not because of guest-star Robin (Even if it is surly teen Robin); no, I'm waiting for Crazy Quilt to get his day in the sun again. Supervillains need their bedsheet-inspired figureheads.