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Batman: The Brave and the Bold: "A Bat Divided" Review Season 2, Episode 8


Batman: The Brave and the Bold works best when it shoots for the stars with the most insanely wacky high concepts imaginable, and "A Bat Divided" follows that mission statement to a tee. The episode throws one goofy idea and colorful character on top of the next, often delivering several gags when one would have sufficed. As a result, it's one of the most entertaining installments of the series to date, falling only a few steps short of such gems as "Mayhem of the Music Meister!" and "Aquaman's Outrageous Adventure!"


The episode details the origin of Firestorm, taking considerable liberties with its re-imagining of the classic DC character. Instead of choosing between the original Ronnie Raymond version of the character or the newer Jason Rusch incarnation, the series combines aspects of the two while adding some new wrinkles to the fold. The result works wonderfully, providing a dynamic in which a dimwitted, bullish football coach (Ronnie) finds his mind trapped in the nuclear-powered body of a brainy nerd (Jason).


But the episode doesn't simply stop at an exploration of DC's Nuclear Man, but rather uses this version of Firestorm as a springboard to dive into an off-the-wall study of Batman's complex personality. After the villainous Dr. Double X causes the catastrophe that fuses Ronnie and Jason together into an ultra-powerful superhero, Batman finds himself split into three separate personas. The first encompasses Batman's angst-driven physicality, the second his unparalleled genius, and the third all the stuff that's left over. This last Batman a lazy, carefree slacker in the tradition of Bill and Ted is responsible for many of the episode's funniest moments, the funniest being a hilarious line in which the brutish Dark Knight proclaims, "Batman doesn't eat nachos!"


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