Monday, November 25, 2013

Review: Batman TBATB "Return of the Fearsome Fangs"

I've said this a few times already, but I don’t like “ninja episodes” of Batman shows, because they all follow the same basic formula, and this one is no different.
 Again, here's how to write a ninja episode of a Batman show.
  • World's Best Ninja (or at least a very good one) wants a MacGuffin/Bruce Wayne (choose one or both) to steal/destroy (chose one or both).
  • Batman stops them with his ninja training and/or tricks he's learned as Batman.
  • Bonus points if Batman trained with the villain/s of the week years ago.
And you know what? This episode hits all those marks. It's not as bland as other such episodes, like the ones in Batman:TAS, but it fills the gap with clichés. The clichés are well-done, but they’re still too cliché for me to get behind.

The teaser was pretty good, and came off as a nice homage to Spaghetti Westerns. In that sense, the clichés kind of actually worked in its favor.

But the main episode was filled with... just... it's hard to describe.

It's like an NES game.

It's got two bash brothers teaming up to defeat an evil clan of ninjas. You know what? That's at least a different premise behind a Batman ninja plot. I'll give it that. But beyond that, what is there to make this episode stand out? The plot is derivative. The guest star? No.

Bronze Tiger is best known as a member of the Suicide Squad, but let's just say the Suicide Squad is not best known for Bronze Tiger. He's not a bad character, but he's underutilized and under-characterized in this episode.

If you like this episode, I won’t tell you you’re wrong, but it just doesn’t work for me.

For me, the episode wasn’t Awful-type-bad, but Boring-type-bad, which is actually worse in its own way.

The "Terrible Trio," as they're known in the comics, of Fox, Vulture, and Shark were changed from bored millionaires in animal masks trying to kill Batman for fun into generic ninja warriors. For the worse, if you ask me. I'm sorry, but I don't like the fact that they changed examples of the "evil-bored-rich-kid" stereotype into, in my opinion, a more overused, more boring stereotype.

Hopefully, next time, we’ll get something a bit better.

See you then! But for now, let's move on to the second half of this 15,000 views celebration and watch Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H.

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