Batman: The Brave and the Bold: "Sidekicks Assemble!" Review Season 2, Episode 6

Like the best episodes of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, "Sidekicks Assemble!" tells a high energy superhero adventure story with a sense of humor, offering a good amount of laughs in addition to its array of exciting action. However, even with its numerous gags, the episode stops just sort of true greatness, mostly because it plays things a little too straight, if such a thing is possible for a story involving flying islands, sword fights and immortal super villains.

The episode marks the series debut of the Teen Titans, in this case made up of Robin, Aqualad and Speedy. The opening, pre-title sequence shows a flashback to the trio as youngsters training under the tutelage of Batman, and then flashes forward to the main story dealing with the sidekicks as late teens. As is almost always the case with this show, the themes are laid down in a heavy handed and obvious manner the young heroes are tired of playing second fiddle to their mentors and fed up with not getting the respect they feel they deserve. Accordingly, the story deals with team proving themselves by taking on one of Batman's most formidable adversaries, the immortal Ra's Al Ghul.

There are moments, such as a brief, hilarious cutaway illustrating Green Arrow's mistreatment of Speedy, where you almost sense the episode getting ready to spring to fully formed, zany life. Sadly, those moments are too few and far between, even if the material separating them is still a lot of fun. As I've noted before in almost all of my reviews of this series, this show works best when its writers strive for the craziest, wackiest high concepts imaginable, throwing one silly idea on top of the next while laughing at them all with pithy one-liners. "Sidekicks Assemble!" doesn't seem to have that usual reckless abandon, as if the writers lost sight of their mission statement in their effort to introduce the Titans to the show's viewers.

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