Saturday Morning Cartoon Reviews for 6/6/09

Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Ep. 20 – “Hail the Tornado Tyrant!”

Review
The episode begins with Batman and Green Arrow trying to one up each other while attempting to stop the Joker and then Catwoman.  This was a lot of fun to watch and one of the best openings so far. I’m sure a lot of the older DC Comics fans will enjoy it as it is a nice callback to when Green Arrow would always have the same equipment as Batman a few months after Batman.

For some reason all the episodes were Batman has teamed up with Red Tornado have probably my least favorite episodes of the series.  “Hail the Tornado Tyrant” is no different. The concept of Red Tornado being Geppetto and creating his own robot son isn’t all that interesting. If anything, it made the episode a lot more formulaic than all the rest of the episodes.

Also, another problem with this episode is that this is a series based on showing how Batman interacts with a lot of the B- and C-list characters in the DCU. When Batman teams up with Green Arrow, Blue Beetle, or another hero it is always about how Batman and whoever he teams up with deal with working with one another in order to fight the villain of the week.

However, Red Tornado’s lack of personality serves to make much of the dialogue a bit dull. And when we are introduced to Red Tornado’s “son” I found myself bored with the dialogue and felt it was taken straight out of a bad soap opera script.

Overall, “Hail the Tornado Tyrant” wasn’t as fun as many of the other episodes that we have seen so far. Still, the opening scene with Green Arrow did add a lot to the episode.  Hopefully the next episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold has a much better main story to go along with a great opening.

Episode Rating – 6.1/10

Iron Man: Armored Adventures

Ep. 9 – “Ancient History 101”

Review
Well now, this episode is a step up from previous episodes. Even though it is still tough to believe in a teenage Tony Stark already being Iron Man; I think I am starting to be able to overlook him being a teen. Episodes like this one where the focus is on Tony’s adventures as Iron Man and not on him having to deal with all the high school drama are much more entertaining.  These type of episodes make it much easier to overlook the teenage angle of the series.

After the Mandarin and Ten Rings story was put on the back burner for the past few episodes, this episode finally brings the series back to this overarching story. While it is still odd seeing Mandarin, or Gene as he is known in the series, as a teenager I actually like this hunt for the ten rings. With the focus on Tony and his friends searching for the Ten Rings it gives this series an overall direction other than Tony getting back his company. This is especially helpful since we already know that Tony won’t get his fathers company back until he graduates from high school, which probably won’t happen until the end of the series.

The best thing this episode did was that it placed our hero and his friends in a desperate situation were they could not just rely on Iron Man’s brute strength to get them through the situation. With the endless stone army attacking Iron Man and Mandarin; they both needed a way out other than just ground and pound action. It was cool to see Tony finally make use of different functions of his Iron Man suit other than just super strength and repulsor beams. By using the translator on his suit to read the command to stop the endless stone army it helps to show a lot of the younger viewers that the suit does a lot more than just look good.

Now that we finally have a direction for the series with the Ten Rings story it looks like this Iron Man: Armored Adventures is not completely a lost cause.  Assuming you can get over the teenage angle.

Episode Rating – 7/10

The Spectacular Spider-Man

Ep. 10 – “Persona”

Review
Ah, the symbiote suit saga is finally here. It hard to look at Spider-Man’s black suit and not think of all the horrible moments from Spider-Man 3. Luckly for us, we don’t have to go through emo Peter or the awful dancing sequence here (at least not yet).

A lot of this episode actual drew concepts from how this saga was told in the Spider-Man animated series from the 90s. Instead of Spider-Man getting the symbiote suit in another planet; here the symbiote was brought to Earth by John Jameson’s space shuttle like the 90s cartoon. Still, the creative team behind this show was able to take the concept from the 90s cartoon and inject their own flavor into it with how they tell it in this new Spider-Man series.

The addition of the Black Cat to the story helps to make this a fun episode to watch as we see the first confrontation/team-up between Spider-Man and Black Cat. The early scene in Doctor Connor’s lab where Spider-Man and Black Cat have a little superhero tango with all their acrobatics was a lot of fun to watch. The banter between the two during the scene, and throughout the episode, makes me hope we see more of Black Cat in the future. Also, it was interesting to see that Black Cat was the first girl to kiss our young hero in an homage to the famous kiss scene from the Spider-Man movies.

As for the villain of the week, we got the first introduction to Chameleon on this show. Along with the Chameleon, we were also introduced to Quentin Beck (Mysterio) and the Tinker.  Both of them served as Chameleon’s henchmen. Though the fight with Chameleon wasn’t as good as others we have seen on the show, or even in the episode, it was still fun to see Chameleon and the other two Spider-Man villains make their appearance as they each prove a different type of challenge to Spider-Man than just straight forward fighting.

Now it wouldn’t be a Spider-Man episode without more personal problems for Peter. And again, we see that his time as Spider-Man continues cause rifts in his relationships with his friends. However, it does feel like familiar ground that Eddie and Gwen are again mad at Peter for not being there to help them, or in this case call the cops for the symbiote “robbery.” Still, I have faith in the creative team behind the show that this new rift will lead to the symbiote saga as it will add to the symbiote feeding on the selfish side of Peter’s personality as it did at the end of the episode.

Episode Rating – 9.2/10

Wolverine and the X-Men

Ep. 11 – “Past Discretions”

Review
Wolverine and the X-Men has been an odd series to follow.  We got a break between episode 8 and 9. And in addition to that, the two episodes that we have gotten upon the show returning from the break have focused on all the X-Men characters outside of the X-Mansion.  At this point, I am much more fascinated with what is going on outside of the X-Men and their adventures.

I have to praise the creative team behind this new X-Men show because they have been able to create such a layered world.  And as a viewer I am just as interested, if not more, with what Magneto is doing in Genosha, what the Brotherhood’s role in the story is, what adventures Xavier and the future X-Men are having, etc. than I am interested with what the X-Men are doing.

Still creating such a layered world also serves as a double edge sword for this show as shown by this Wolverine-centric episode. Maybe it is because I have become tired of seeing/reading Wolverine stories, except for Old Man Logan, but I am not interested in seeing more of Wolverine’s history being explored.  Expecially after the Wolverine movie.

Plus, this episode makes me realize that even though this is an X-Men show the X-Men as a team have not really fought many villains on the show so far. Instead this is really Wolverine’s show with the X-Men serving as nothing more than supporting characters.

I will say there were some interesting aspects introduced in this episode.  We see that the same Weapon X program from the Hulk vs. DVD is part of the continuity of this series. And I actually did prefer this version of Sabertooth as his look is more along the lines of his comic book version, though I would have liked it if the creative team stuck with Sabertooth’s costume from the comics.

Also it was interesting to see a little backstory on the brainwashed Maverick.  We learn that in this series Maverick has a daughter, who looks like Petra from Deadly Genesis, which I don’t think he does have in the comics. This should lead to another visit to the Weapon X program later on in the season.

Another thing that I found interesting is that Emma Frost seems to have an interest in Cyclops, just like she did in Grant Morrison’s New X-Men that lead to their current relationship. It will be interesting to see what Emma’s true intentions are with her joining the X-Men. I also like that the animation team was able to give Emma similar sex appeal and that they are able to get away with it for a show targeted to kids and tweens.

Overall, this was a good episode.  Still, I do wish this new X-Men series would start showing us the X-Men working as a team instead of just a bunch of individuals. But, from the looks of next week’s episode we will be getting a Cyclops-centric episode which looks good as it will involve Mr. Sinister.

Episode Rating – 7/10

1 Comments

  1. B:B&B:Yeah, you would think a story about a father murdering his son for misbehaving, and disintegrating the body would have more resonance.

    IM:'Gene' is a crapulent black hole that both sucks and blows

    W&XM: Foolish Show-writers! All attempts to construct a coherent story from Wolverine's broken origin will only lead to pain and madness! Madness, I say!

    Don't watch Spider-man. It's seems to be a decent enough show, but the this is such well-tread ground for me.

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