EPISODE REVIEW: Batman: The Brave and the Bold: “Night of the Huntress” (Season 2, Episode 3)

Republibot 3.0
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Hello. I’m Republibot 3.0. I’m pinch hitting for R2, since he was off watching some crazy movie with space ships and monsters and stuff like that there, and couldn’t make his normal beat.

PLAY BY PLAY:

The teaser has Batman and Black Canary - drawn exactly like she was in JLU a few years back - fighting a kind of creepy version of Solomon Grundy. This time out his mouth is partially sewed shut. They quickly make mincemeat of the Grundy gang (Since when do zombies have gangs?), but really this is Canary’s show, jumping around, being hot, and using her feminine wiles to taunt/destroy Solomon. Then she makes Bats buy her dinner.

In the episode proper, Blue Beetle (Always welcome) and his brother (Not as welcome) are touring Gotham University and talking about super-hot super villainesses and super heroines. They agree Huntress is the baddest good girl out there, and at that moment an improbably hot female professor shows up to tour them around, and asks point blank why a genius like Beetle wants to go to a crappy school like Gotham U.

While discussing this, there’s a prison break at Black Gate. Beetle and the Prof. humorously and politely excuse themselves to change in to their secret identities, unbeknownst to each other, and head to the jail. (Or, for the benefit of my English readers, “Gaoil”).

The main villain this time out is someone I’ve never heard of named “Babyface,” a full grown, strapping man with a head the size and shape of a baby’s head. His wife/mol/floozie is “Mrs. Manface,” a deliberately gender-bending bearded woman. It’s deliberately creepy when she rubs her face along Babyface’s cheek, and we can hear her beard stubble scraping him. Ewww. Anyway, Baby face - who delivers his lines in full-on Edward G. Robbinson style, see? Yeah, see? - breaks out most of his old gang, a surprisingly Dick Tracy kind of Rogues’ gallery. Beetle and Huntress show up, some chop sockey ensues, but the bad guy gets away by releasing all of Season 1’s villains as a distraction. Beetle is smitten by the very hot Huntress.

The three of them go to the suburban home of a criminal mastermind called “The Calculator,” who seems like a Tick villain - 40-ish, lives in his mom’s basement, comb-over, morbidly obese - and they beat the information out of him. Beetle attempts to ask Bats for advice on girls, but he’s not exactly forthcoming. Huntress is openly hitting on Bats, to his annoyance.

They head off to “Warehouse X,” where all the impounded super villain toys are kept. More chopsockey ensues, but this time the good guys loose because Beetle is “Distracted by Huntress’ hotness.” They get put in one of Clock King’s old traps and left to die. After she gropes Bats’ butt for a while - “Huntress!” - the three of them get free and head to the big criminal underground summit held in “The center of everything that is evil in Gotham.” This happens to be a warehouse in between a Convent/Girls’s School, an old folks home, and a Chuck-e-Cheeze-styled pizzeria. (good gag). Babyface wants to take over the entire underworld of Gotham, but team Bats shows up and more chop sockey ensues, including some mighty-fighty robot battles between Babyface’s power suit and Batman’s unexpectedly-transforming giant-robot bat mobile.

The good guys win, Huntress tells Beetle to call her for a cheap an meaningless physical encounter in 5 years (Or so it’s alluded), and Beetle annoys Bats by asking if he thinks she meant it “No” If he thinks they have a chance “no” If a girl like her and a guy like him “No”

THE END

OBSERVATIONS:

Fun episode, but the deliberately gender-bending thing put me off a little bit. I suppose it was to offset the deliberately leering portrayals of Huntress and Black Canary. In fact, the very deliberate leering at Huntress was a running gag, and pretty hilarious, continually in slow motion, with Beetle drooling and so on. It was well played unrepentant sexism. And she is unusually hot for this cartoon.

In fact, she's portrayed a bit differently than we've seen her before. She's playful and flirty and impetuous as opposed to being mercurial and vicious. Obviously they have to tone these things down for a kid show like this, but I like that the toning was well thought out, a retooling rather than just a watering down.

Also, I don't know why, but the notion that Gotham U was a cruddy school cracked me up.

Batgirl evidently exists in this universe, which is a bit interesting as we’ve been told by the producers that we’ll never see Bruce Wayne - at least not as an adult - and we’ll never see Robin in this show.

A whole lot of this ep felt like homage’s to other stuff - Dick Tracy, The Tick, Teen Titans, the late-great JLU. Mrs. Manface - assuming she’s not a previously existing DC villain that I’ve just never heard of - feels like a bit of a not or a riff on Dr. Girlfriend from “The Venture Brothers,” too, though simultaneously more restrained and yet much, much more disturbing.

I’m sorry not to be more insightful, but there’s not too much else to say about it beyond that it was fun and worth a watch. Tune in next week when R2 will be back reviewing the show.

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