EPISODE REVIEW: Batman: The Brave and the Bold: "Requiem for a Scarlet Speedster!"

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Tonight on Batman: The Brave and the Bold, the Flashes take center stage. Can a long dead Flash save the day? Flash Fact: Absolutely! Much more below the jump

Recap

Teaser:

Batman is trying to stop Kobra from sacrificing a maiden, and ushering in the age of Chaos. (I don't know where Batman has been, the age is pretty chaotic already). As he is drastically outnumbered, he calls the Outsiders in for help. The Outsiders are now in familiar costumes, and are joined by GeoForce and Halo. They make short work of the villains, since it is the teaser after all…. but they forgot to cut off the Kobra reinforcements…. Cue Theme…

Main Story:

Two Years Ago: Batman and Flash (Barry Allen, who we've not seen on the show yet) are battling Gorilla Grodd, Captain Boomerang and the Mirror Master in quick succession.

Now: The rogues are robbing the Flash Museum in Central City, and bemoaning the fact that the Flash is no longer around to foil them. Batman comes in to break up the robbery, and is pretty quickly defeated. The Rogues castigate Bats for his lack of creativity and joie de vivre. They miss the Flash. They quickly get their wish, as a red and yellow streak starts to attack… but it's not 'their' Flash. It's "Geezer" Flash (Jay Garrick), who is quickly joined by 'Baby' Flash (KId Flash- Wally West).

Note: With the Flashes and the Green Lanterns you almost have to refer to them by their civilian names, as there are so freakin' many of 'em.)

Anyway, the Flashes and Batman dispose of the Rogues. As Central City's finest take them away, we find that relations are strained between the two living Flashes. Barry died fighting Professor Zoom, the Reverse Flash in a specatular high speed battle while saving the other two Flashes. Wally and Jay blame themselves for Barry's death. Jay tells Batman that he's been seeing Barry's ghost. Batman thinks Jay is overtired until he sees Barry's ghost himself.

Batman calls Jay and Wally to the Flash Museum, where they get on Barry's cosmic dimensional treadmill. They chase Barry's ghost to the 25th century, where Zoom is the leader of the planet. The team is caught by police that possess super-speed themselves. They get their powers from bracelets, powered by Barry Allen in a hamster wheel. Jay breaks them free… but Zoom is amplified by his bracelets as well, and quickly throws the other two Flashes into the hamster wheel as well. With the additional Flashes powering his bracelets, he now can move through space and time at will.

Batman, of course, is quickly captured. He escapes as quickly, grabbing speed bracelets from the guards along the way. He battles Zoom, though he is pretty outmatched. The distraction gives Barry and the Flashes a chance to open a dimensional rift and push Barry through, freeing him from the Hamster Wheel of Speed. Barry and Zoom clash and race around the planet, but Barry proves victorious, in spite of, and because of Zoom's increased speed. Team Flash (with tagalong Batman) arrive back in the 21st century just in time to foil the plans of some overjoyed Rogues.

Observations

Over the last couple of weeks, this show has not been shy about dealing with some pretty heavy subjects: death and survivor's guilt. Somehow, it has managed to avoid being dragged down by these topics and managed to keep the show fun.

Tonight we are introduced to the Barry Allen version of Flash, and the Wally West Kid Flash. We met Jay 'Geezer Flash' Garrick last season. I really appreciate the way the writers gradually introduce characters and their legacies; it felt organic and natural to introduce Barry at this point, and the fact that he was believed dead fit in as well. We have seen that heroes do die in this universe (Notably the Ted Kord Blue Beetle and of course, B'wana Beast just last week) and so it wasn't a huge stretch to think that he was gone.

Another thing to recommend this series: it does a good job of laying the groundwork for future episodes, not just by foreshadowing, but by putting a solid emotional context in place so that future stories can trade off of what has gone before. Without the Blue Beetle and B'wana Beast episodes, the Barry Allen conceit would not have worked nearly as well as it did here. Overall, a really good job. I continue to be impressed by this latest batch of episodes.

Now if WB would only start sending review screeners…..

Next week: Batgirl and the Doom Patrol!

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