3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3 Cheers for James Tucker,
This review is from: Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Season 1, Part One (DVD)
I finally decided to buy this DVD,foregoing the various "volumes" offered before. I won't go into DC's crappy practice of breaking these DVDs up to squeeze more money out of kids... Plenty of other reviews have covered that already, hopefully they'll get the message. This DVD set was "complete enough" for my to just deal with it and buy it already: Moving on...
James Tucker is one of the many genius animators and designers behind Bruce Timm's groundbreaking Batman The Animated Series of the 1990s. Tucker's style and posture towards the DC Universe can be plainly seen in episodes like the "Legends of the Dark Knight" story in which the producers referenced different incarnations of Batman, notably: the Filmation studios' series; Dick Sprang's canonical take on the character; (and an homage to Frank Miller's Dark Knight Returns.)
Tucker clearly has had an affinity and reverence for the 60s live action TV series for a long time and used it to build the style, tone and parameters of this latest Batman cosmology.
First, it should be noted that this is a kid friendly series (as opposed to Tucker's contributions to the other Bruce Timm series which only got darker and more "adult" in tone,) which is not to say this series is just for children, it's definitely not. While lighthearted in theme and tone and devoid of cruelty and gratuitous violence, it is still replete with well directed action and features wonderful, if sometimes two dimensional character based stories.
What this series has unlike any other before it (including Tucker's contributions to "Justice League" and "Justice League Unlimited") is the most outsized celebration of the DC Comic book universe's vast cosmology, while giving even the obscurest and silliest of villains and heroes their moment in the spotlight. This is a series that breezily moves from Golden Age, to Silver Age to Bronze Age, to whatever age we are in now through the prism of a classic early sixties iteration of the caped crusader's world. It presents an engaging continuity for life long adult fans with encyclopedic knowledge of the comics, while also serving a wonderful gateway to young children who may be discovering all of this for the first time.
The design sense of the show owes much to the 1960s William Dozier/Lorenzo Semple Batman live action series, (everything's got red highlights from the bat mobile to the bat copter) and the drawing of Dick Sprang and Alex Toth.
Named after the DC Comic book showcase "Brave and the Bold" in which Batman was teamed up with various heroes, this new TV show takes Batman light years from Gotham's streets, literally.
Diedrich Bader headlines as Batman, and Will Friedle, Cory Burton and many other actors familiar to TV animation fans and movie goers do great work on the show. Batman never appears as Bruce Wayne, except oddly, in his own recollections or memories, and even then, the adult Bruce Wayne's face is always obscured in shadow; -a nice nod to the darker psychology of this mythology, namely that Batman believes there is no Bruce Wayne...
Bottom line: It's a great stylish show for the kids just discovering Batman for the first time, or adults who know, or will fondly remember the nuanced details and strange plots from the various comics, movies or TV shows they've seen across their lives.
This show will thrill the uninitiated, and also reward the dedicated fan, and ultimately surprise everyone.