For fans of grown-up Boy Wonders, numerous comic references or just those who like to see Batman be a bit of a jerk, last night's Batman: The Brave And The Bold was the perfect episode.
"The Color Of Revenge" was packed with shout-outs to longtime Batman fans, whether it was the villain's hideout on the corner of Haney and Aparo (For Bob Haney and Jim Aparo, whose long run as writer and artist on the comic version of The Brave And The Bold in the '60s and '70s clearly inspired this series), the opening sequence that "borrowed" from the 1960s Adam West TV show, or even adult Robin wearing his Earth-2 counterpart's costume. Luckily, it also had enough of a thoughline for those who haven't wasted their youths to get something out of the episode, as well. Namely, that Batman is a dick.
Okay, okay; the plot was actually that Crazy Quilt, a villain that Robin had (accidentally?) blinded when he was Batman's sidekick had escaped from Arkham Asylum and wanted revenge, prompting Batman to swoop in and try and save the day before he realized that Robin was a grown man now and could fight his own battles. But the best part of the episode was that Batman didn't really learn his lesson; the episode finished with Robin, still pissed off, still riding in the sidecar of the Batcycle.
I'm sure I should feel more bothered that the series pulled the same "And here's the lesson... but he didn't learn it!" joke last week with Booster Gold, but I admit it; I'm enough of a fanboy that I was won over by the Dick Sprang-esque Robin, and love seeing Batman being oblivious to the obvious when it's not got anything to do with a case. If next week's episode involves someone failing to notice the very, very clear moral to the story, however, my faith in this colorful, sly, fun show may be shaken.
Well, unless they throw in more shiny injoke distractions, of course.