Saturday Morning Cartoon Reviews for 5/23/09

Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Ep. 18 – “The Color of Revenge”

Review
In a nice call back to the 1960s Batman live-action show we saw that the opening for this episode showed us an early adventure of Batman and Robin that ties into what happens in the main episode. The opening was filled with the cheesy dialogue from the 60s, show especially with almost every line that Robin said, that while a bit too cheesy was fun and effective set-up for the relationship Batman and Robin share in the present time line of the show.

As for the main episode it opens with a Robin in his early twenties protecting Blubhaven City, similar to when he became Nightwing, continuing in his adventures as Robin and not Nightwing though he has a strained relationship with Batman. It was a nice mix of his current and Earth-2 origin as Robin has a similar costume to the Earth-2 Robin but more of a personality with the late 80s and 90s version of the character. It was a nice contrast to see a young positive Robin compared to the more serious Robin that is currently shown. It was funny to see how Batman continued to think of Robin as his teen side kick and not his equal by how he was ignoring Robin’s correct deductions and telling him to fight the henchmen while he fights the main villain.

It was cool to see that Robin was actually the hero of this episode while Batman played the damsel in distress role. It was a good move and help Batman too see that he was still living in the past by not giving Robin the credit he deserves and made him open his eyes that Robin is now just as capable a superhero as Batman. Though I could have done with less inner monologue by Robin as the writers went a little overboard with that.

As for the action I actually thought the Crazy Quilt in this episode was much more dangerous than his comic book version which was a good thing. It lead to some great energetic action for this episode. And it was cool to see Batman actually provide the distraction while Robin defeated the villain. Though it was funny how the episode ended with Batman having Robin ride in the side car again.
Overall this was a fun episode that we haven’t had since the two part parallel Earth episodes. Hopefully they continue this fun into the next episode.

Episode Rating – 8.6/10

Iron Man: Armored Adventures
Ep. 6 – “Iron Man vs. the Crimson Dynamo”

Review
The scene right after the opening credits is a perfect example of why the teenage stuff on this new Iron Man show just does not work for the characters. It just continues to be annoying how Tony, Rhodey, and Pepper are just so uninteresting as teenagers. With Tony and Rhodey it just sad to see how the creative team behind this show could take some great characters, especially Tony, and take everything that made them great characters. As for Pepper I find her to be completely annoying and now that she is knows Tony is Iron Man and Tony brought her into his group she has become even more annoying, which I thought was not possible. It takes away from any good an episode of this show as they keep putting the teenage stuff while Tony deals with the bad guys.

Still as I have said in the past this show will live or die with how well the animation works on this show especially when it comes to the action. Overall I continue to dislike the way the animators animate actual people as they all look stiff and boring. But just like with Salvador Larroca’s artwork, which is similar art style to this show, even though I dislike how all the people look I still think the CGI animation of all the armors looks pretty cool. And while the action in this episode wasn’t as good as Iron Man vs. Whiplash in the last episode it was still enjoyable to see the Iron Man vs. Crimson Dynamo. The only complaint is that the episode, and the whole episode, felt like it was over very quick.

Also I did like the origin story that the creative team gave Crimson Dynamo as it was simple and clear why he would go out on a rampage in the city and become a villain. And I was actually surprised that they made Crimson Dynamo into a sympathetic character and how Project Pegasus was incorporated into his origin. I hope that we see more of Project Pegasus again on this show as it may be more interesting to the show.

Episode Rating – 6.3/10

Ep. 7 – “Meltdown”

Review
Just as I thought the previous episode was the perfect example of why the teenage and high school stuff does not work for Iron Man the second new episode of Iron Man: Armored Adventures for this week comes along and proves there is no end with how annoying the premise of a teenage Tony Stark and his adventures as Iron Teen is to fans of the character. And even though the premise presented here that Tony has to graduate high school to gain control of Stark International would be an interesting plotline for another character it just does not feel right for someone like Tony. And also it feels to cliché that they would use this as a subplot for this show.

Also I felt that the creative team could have gone a few episodes with this dark Tony stuff by having him having to deal with his anger issues. But sadly the dark Tony stuff was over as quickly as it appeared and he went back to the friendly Tony like before. It could have been interesting as these anger issues could have been a nice way around the alcoholism from the comics and the creative could have had it that his anger would be what pushes him away from his friends. Oh well, since this is a kids show this can’t happen since everything needs to be nice and sweet.

Again the saving grace for this episode was the action in the Iron Man vs. the Living Laser. Even though the Living Lasers origin in this was very uninteresting the fight was somewhat enjoyable for how short the fight was and the animation was not bad for the fight. Still I think they could have gone a little longer with the fight and made it much more dynamic as the fight up until now that has been given time was Iron Man’s fight with Whiplash. I hope that in future fights we get to see fights last longer than two minutes.

Episode Rating – 4.8/10

The Spectacular Spider-Man

Ep. 9 – “The Uncertain Principle”

Review
Even though this is a show targeted towards kids it seems that the writers are having a lot of fun finding ways to still put in some dialogue that older fans will get like in this episode were Liz, MJ, and Gwen are complementing Peter on his Spider-Man costume we here Liz tell Peter “You can web me up anytime.” It is something subtle but still fun to see how they write something like this and get away with it by making it just sound like another throwaway line.

Another thing that I have liked that I have not mentioned in my previous reviews is how the writers have incorporated Harry’s drug problems from the comics into this show. The Harry drug problem is probably one of the more legendary stories because of Amazing Spider-Man being the first comic to break the Comic Code which lead to more darker stories to be told that weren’t hindered by the Comic Code (that’s right kids I here to teach to;)). It is cool that even though this is a kid show they touch on this topic by having Harry addicted to Globulin Green. It is interesting that it is Harry and not Norman that turned out to be the first Green Goblin as it makes gives this show changed the mythology with who is Spider-Man’s greatest villain.

Also, I just love how both the writers and artist behind this show continue to find new ways to make each fight scene different from the ones in previous episodes. I really dug the lava-type battle field Spider-Man had to fight in and that he actually had to team-up with Tombstone to fight Green Goblin. It really made the fight a lot of fun as it was the type of non-stop action that we should get more often in comic book cartoons.

But my favorite part of this episode was that the writers actually gave J. Jonah Jameson a valid reason to hate Spider-Man other than him just being a vigilante. By making it so that even though JJJ son the astronaut who safely landed back on Earth even though it looked like he would die was passed over as the most popular news for Spider-Man fight with Green Goblin the viewer can see why JJJ would have a vendetta against our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. It is a cool addition that wasn’t added into the comics until much later.

Again Spectacular Spider-Man continues to be excellent shows that if you haven’t given it a try I highly recommend you do. And with Harry, and Green Goblin along with him, now out of the picture it will be interesting to see how the rest of the season goes from here.

Episode Rating – 9/10
Wolverine and the X-Men

Ep. 9 – “Future X”

Review
Finally after a few month break we get a new episode of Wolverine and the X-Men. While this new X-Men show started off relatively slow and it is still odd seeing Wolverine as the leader of the team while Cyclops is a part of the team this was very good episode that mostly focused on what Professor X was doing in a “Days of Future Past” type future. And if you wanted to see some great action this episode was some of the best action we have gotten from this show and I hope we see more action like this in future episodes.

Even though we have yet to reach the midway point I have to say this is the best episode of Wolverine and the X-Men that we have gotten so far. I am a huge fan of the original “Days of Future Past” story and I liked how the creative team behind this gave it this type of setting while also inserting some of the other X-Men we have yet to see into this setting along with Professor X. I am biased but my favorite part of this episode was seeing Firestar back in an animated cartoon and kicking some Sentinnel butt in her first appearance. Anytime you can have Firestar appear somewhere that is a win in my book.

Also it was nice to see a heroic Bishop once again as his comic book version has all of a sudden become a bad guy which does not fit the character well or is very convincing. I actually thought the creative team did a nice job showing why Bishop is a badass character when handled right. Also it was cool to see how they included some other X-Men characters like Marrow, Warpath, Hellion, and Kamal as part of Professor X’s future X-Men along with Bishop and Firestar and X-Men villain in Master Mold.

Overall this episode does a very good job setting the tone for the rest of the series as we know more about the mission the present X-Men have in order to prevent the “Days of Future Past” setting. Also I hope that we get another episode that revisits the setting were Professor X is stuck in as it has a lot of potential for more episodes down the line.

Episode Rating – 8.8/10

2 Comments

  1. On the whole, I’m not all that fond of the adventures of teen Iron Man, but I quite liked their take on Crimson Dynamo, character and design!
    It felt more Ultimate than the Ultimate version of the character, and looked great clomping through their slick future NY (best thing about the show).

    Batman wins hands down, though.
    We’re a bit behind here. Looking forward to seeing this episode!

    Cheers!

  2. When does Spectacular Spider-Man air? I know it moved to Disney XD from Kids WB, but I don’t know the time. I just started setting up comic book-based cartoons on my DVR, and I’ve love to set Spidey up. Thanks!

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