Saturday, November 19, 2011

And In Other Media... (Nov. 2011)

.....Last night (Nov. 18, 2011) the Cartoon Network a delayed Halloween episode of Young Justice introducing that continuity's version of Secret in a script written by the man who knew her best, Peter David. David wrote the Young Justice comic book series from its beginning in the late 1990's. More relevant to this blog is a side plot in which three members of the team attend a Halloween party with normal teenagers. Typical of David's sense of humor, the three super powered teens dress like monsters because they want to blend in only to find everyone else dressed like super-heroes. At the party they meet up with Wendy and Marvin and teenage versions of 'Karen' (dressed like Bumblebee) and 'Mal' (dressed like the 1990's Superboy, complete with circular lens sunglasses). They continuity of this show has always been wonky; in this episode, for example, Zatanna is also a teenager and her father is alive and in an earlier episode the new black/blond Aqualad is the same age as Garth and Tula. I doubt any of those changes were Peter David's idea. His strength has always been knowing continuity well enough to gauge how such experiences could manifest which quirks in any given character's personality. I'll have to pay more attention to the series to see if these characters are meant to be future team members.

.....Immediately after the Young Justice cartoon came what must have been the series finale of "Batman: The Brave And The Bold". After last season began with a number of episodes involving death (including one where Joker acquires Bat-Mite's powers and uses them to repeatedly kill and revive Batman, plus deaths of Blue Beetle, B'wana Beast, G.I. Robot and our own Doom Patrol), many of this year's episodes have been highly campy. If you're not familiar with the show, it usually opens with a short two-minute team-up followed by the opening credits and then the main story, which is unrelated to the cast in the opening. One particularly bizarre opening sequence staged Aquaman's domestic life as a television sitcom, complete with studio audience applause whenever a new character entered the room. The episode that aired last night had Bat-Mite bemoaning the turn the series had taken and convincing himself that it would be less likely that the current series recapture its magic than that a whole new series simply start out better. To make way for a new series he sets out to magically change Batman's world into something any ardent fan would despise, adding cutesy kid characters, gratuitous toy tie-ins, etc. What does this have to do with Doom Patrol? It catches the attention of the only other DCU character who believes (or is aware of that fact) that he is a comic book character-- Ambush Bug makes his B&B debut just in time for its cancellation. He doesn't really get an introduction of any kind, he just transports himself into the situation and tries to set things right. The episode is written by Paul Dini, not Robert Loren Fleming or Keith Giffen, so the Bug's usual caustic stream-of-consciousness irreverence is dialed back a few notches but still has the same essential personality. If you've stayed with the show through its campy turns thus far, chances are you've already seen it, if not on U.S. cable systems then downloaded from England where it played months ago. If your cable system doesn't offer shows on demand you might find it becoming easier to watch it free online now that it's been aired in the U.S. Watch it if you're in the mood for a laugh.