Earlier in season two, there was a teaser that showed mini Starros arriving on Earth. In the teasers that followed, we saw many heroes being enslaved to Starro's mind control powers. All of these teasers have been building up to the two part episode, The Siege of Starro! It's actually quite fitting that Starro appears in this series. Though this is hardly the creature's first animated appearance. He appeared on Superman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond and even before that, Starro was used in an episode of The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure in the 1960s. But Starro's comic book debut was in Brave and the Bold #28. There's even a direct homage to that issue's very cover where all five heroes are attacking the giant alien starfish. We get to see Batman, Firestorm, Captain Marvel, Booster Gold, and B'wana Beast team up in what seems like a hopeless battle against all their mind controlled friends and later, a much bigger version of Starro. This is one of the biggest challenges Batman and company have faced at this point in the series and the build up to part one of this episode was well worth the wait.
|These five are the only heroes in the DCU that|
don't have a face full of Starro.
|Brave and the Bold #28 homage. Awesome|
The Siege of Starro Part Two isn't a bad episode in the slightest, but many probably weren't expecting the heroes to take down Starro in Part One. I know I certainly wasn't. But in actuality, Faceless Hunter is the true villain of Part Two. After abducting B'wana Beast, he uses his powers to control Starro to drain the energy from the heroes to grow even more powerful. The help of the Metal Men and B'wana Beast take down this new Starro, but B'wana Beast ends up sacrificing his life in order to do so from his end. It was something I really didn't see coming, especially after Vixen's marriage proposal to B'wana at the end of Gorillas in Our Midst! It's a very heart wrenching climax to what began as a heavily action packed two part episode and goes to show that, despite the show's lighter tone, there can't always be happy endings. You might wanna have some tissues handy while watching this one.
As cool a hero as Batman is, I don't mind when the spotlight gets shifted from him to another character and in the case or Requiem for a Scarlet Speedster!, the light is shinned on the Flash family. Written by Greg Weisman, this episode shows both Jay and Kid Flash dealing with the supposed death of Barry Allen Flash at the hands of Zoom. In reality, Flash isn't dead at all, but got sent to a future where Zoom rules. Of the three episodes written by Mr. Weisman, this one is easily my favorite. It's a fine tribute to the different versions of the Flash, a great episode of The Brave and the Bold, and one of the best Flash focused episodes in the history of Flash animation.
|The Joker gives Bat-Mite his own "Me."|
Bat-Mite is not amused.
|Yes, that is a whoopee cushion on his head.|
When Bat-Mite is on the scene you know you're in for a crazy episode, even by this show's standards. That being said, crazy doesn't even begin to describe Emperor Joker! Based off the Super story of the same name, the Joker ends up getting the reality warping powers of Bat-Mite. With these powers he easily defeats Batman. Now just because this version of the Joker may not look as menacing as the others, that doesn't mean he's to be taken lightly. Make no mistake, this Joker is every bit an insane killer as the other versions. I didn't read the comic that the story was based off of so I was quite shocked to see the Joker actually succeed in killing Batman. And after that, he brought him back to life and killed him again. And again. And again. Some of these deaths are just brutal! I actually cringed at a few of them. We do get a great musical number in this episode as well. I had no idea Jeff Bennett could sing! He must have had so much fun in this episode and his take on the Joker is one of the reasons why this version is one of my favorites.
The Knights of Tomorrow! explores the possibilities of Batman marrying Catwoman and having a son, Damian Wayne. Yes, I know Damian is the son of Bruce and Talia, but I don't mind liberties being taken here. Especially when this version of Damian is likable and not the little psycho snot that he is in the comics. Since Bruce has a family, he passes on the mantle of Batman to Dick Grayson. Whenever Dick fights as Batman, music plays that's very reminiscent of the rock music from Batman Beyond, so I'm down with any nods to that show, however small they may be. Dick makes a fine Batman. Sure, he's different from Bruce, but so was Terry when he was Batman and that was one of the main reasons he was such a cool character. Why place someone else in the role of Batman if they're going to act the exact same way Bruce does?
|Robin has got to be the most muscular|
preteen I've ever seen.
|Batman of the future.|
Darkseid Descending! sees the Justice League International unite to thwart an alien invasion by non other than the god of Apokolips himself. This Justice League is very different from the one seen in the DCAU Justice League and I think it's nice that the JLI comic gets some due. And Batman's fight with Darkseid, well, can you even call it a fight? I mean, Batman is good, real good, but Darkseid is one of the most powerful foes in the DC universe. Batman was lucky he survived long enough for Question to save him.
|Meet the Justice League International.|
|Aren't you a cute little Batbaby? Yes, you are!|
Yes, you are!
Battle of the Super Heroes! is for all intents and purposes a Superman episode and I love it for that. Superman made a cameo apperance in Sidekicks Assemble early in season two and here, he gets a whole episode dedicated to him. This episode is also a 22 minute tribute to a certain website. Superman gets infected with Red Kryptonite and starts acting like what Jimmy Olsen nearly says, a real di... different person. Numerous Silver Age Superman covers are referenced, and there's even am awesome homage to The Dark Knight Returns! But among all the great silliness that occurs in this episode (trust me, there's LOADS of it, considering Bat-Mite isn't around) it's great to see Superman and Batman being portrayed as old chum friends. Don't get me wrong, I like the modern age friendship they have, but it's still nice to see them be buds without any antagonism in animation, something that hasn't been done in decades.
|This show has it all. Even a Dark Knight Returns|
The only extras to speak of are a digital comic and with DVD releases of this series, I've gotten used to little in the way of bonus material. Season one was a great start and season two upped the ante in a big way. There are so many strong episodes in this set it gets my most highest recommendation without question.