Death Race to Oblivion!
Original Airdate - November 20, 2009
Mongul holds Earth ransom, forcing it's greatest heroes--and villains!--to race for the planet's survival. It's a crooked bargain wherein even if Batman wins, he dooms his fellow heroes--if the villains don't doom them first!

Written by Greg Weisman
Directed by Michael Goguen
Animation by Digital eMation, Inc.
Review by Andrew
Media by Warner Bros. Animation
Cast
Diedrich Bader as Batman
Jeff Bennett as Joker / Captain Marvel
Tom Kenny as Plastic Man
Kevin Michael Richardson as Steppenwolf
Stephen Root as Woozy
Tara Strong as Huntress / Billy Batson
James Arnold Taylor as Green Arrow / Guy Gardner
Gary Anthony Williams as Mongul / Blockbuster

Music
Theme Written and Performed by Andy Strumer
Music by Michael McCuisition, Lolita Ritmanis, Kristopher Carter
Media

Video Clips
 
Clip 01 (QuickTime)
 
Clip 02 (QuickTime)


Review
Fortunately, due to the indisputable success of season 1, we have inevitably reached season 2 of Batman: Brave and the Bold. A bit of a quirky launch due to only the first episode having been shown, with no known dates of the rest of season 2 episodes, but it’s here and for that we’re glad. Not making light of the second season, “Death Race to Oblivion” quickly introduces a hero that has survived his legal woes-laden life in the form of a cult classic; Captain Marvel (child Billy Batson) is brought in for the teaser of this episode as Blockbuster interrupts Billy’s class fieldtrip. This quick crime bust answers the question you’ve either always wondered, thought of once but quickly forgot, or never even came close to conceiving it within your mind; how does Batman fight a child? The answer is, of course, he doesn’t! Instead, the pint-sized brainy villain with a capability to enlarge his body into a bulky, brainless muscle-bound foe is faced off against the child-zapped-hero Captain Marvel. This classic hero and odd match-up makes for a great debut to this second season!

In an entirely different direction, the main story of the episode doesn’t really go the way of introducing anybody new - aside from a clumsy friend to the quirky Plastic Man. Instead, Mongul is back and he’s got the need; the need for speed. Pitting several heroes and villains against one another with no real rhyme or reason as to who is picked, they are ordered to race or their city of origins will be destroyed, and they will be executed. The winner receives ultimate power of Earth, so naturally Batman is quite eager to win. Yes, it carries out just as oddly as it sounds, but the ending is refreshingly unpredictable. Although the episode doesn’t succeed to capture an actual coherent race that keeps you on the edge of your seat, it does manage to balance a new side of Batman with hints of comedy thanks to the Joker.

As each player is ousted from the race, they are transported above into Mongul’s War Moon - that’s a space station - and separated by whether they’re hero or villain. Not quite the best strategy, as the heroes come prepared with a plan that wasn’t quite expected. Admittedly, up until this point I hadn’t been enjoying the episode due to thinking they had completely forgotten how to write Batman, as our legendary Crusader is featured in a most alienating light - certainly unexpected for this series. The episode ends with returning everything to normal without a contrived excuse of a wrap-up, and truly goes to show you that the writers of this fine show still have plenty of fresh ideas up their sleeves.

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