Batman: The Brave and the Bold has done some pretty insane episodes so far, including the one where Bats was split into three people. But producers James Tucker and Michael Jelenic tell io9 the weirdest episodes are yet to come.
Spoilers for upcoming episodes below...
In fact, they told us in an exclusive interview, the third season has the weirdest episodes of all. And the very final episode of the show will be the absolute strangest of all time, they promise. But before we get there, they say there's tons of insanity in store for us.
The show comes back tomorrow night with a Starro two-parter, which already appeared on some on-demand systems and other online places due to an error on Cartoon Network's part. Including that two-parter, there are 15 more episodes to season two which haven't aired yet. And after that, there are 13 episodes of season three, making for a total of 28 episodes we'll be seeing over the next year and a half. Then the show will have completed its full 65-episode order, and it'll come to an end.
In the meantime, here's what Tucker and Jelenic told us to expect in upcoming episodes — including some stuff that's never been reported before:
One upcoming episode begins with a teaser in which the heroes are playing the supervillains at baseball. They're not fighting, and there's nothing major at stake — they're just having a friendly baseball game. And it sounds like the segment ends with Batman hitting a home run.
Superman will show up on his own in Brave and the Bold's own version of the first Superman/Batman team-up from the comics. (I think they meant the Silver Age version, not the recent Jeph Loeb version.) And then later, there'll be a "Trinity" episode featuring Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman teaming up to face some greater threat. ("Thank Geoff Johns" for getting the show the rights to include Superman and Wonder Woman, Tucker says.)
There's a "Flash legacy" episode which features Silver Age Flash Barry Allen, plus the Golden Age Flash and Kid Flash — and they're facing Professor Zoom, who's voiced by John Wesley Shipp, who played the Flash in the short-lived live-action TV show. According to Jelenic, Shipp "got into it" voicing the villain, and it was super cool.
The Outsiders show up again, but this time they'll be wearing the costumes they wear in the original issues of Batman and the Outsiders, from the 1980s.
Also turning up soon: The Doom Patrol! And Batgirl, aka Barbara Gordon, will be making her first appearance as well.
And then there's the bizarre episode you may already have heard hints about, called "Bat-Mite Presents: Batman's Strangest Cases." The show's usual version of Batman won't appear in this episode at all, and instead it'll just be three exceedingly weird segments featuring wildly different fictional versions of Batman. The episode's opening teaser (which'll be longer than usual) will be a recreation of the famous Mad Magazine parody strip, "Bat Boy and Rubin":
And then the second segment will be a re-creation of the 1960s Japanese "Bat-Manga" comics which lifted characters and situations from the TV series and took them in strange directions, as shown in Chip Kidd and Jiro Kuwata's Bat-Manga!: The Secret History Of Batman In Japan. Kidd was one of a legion of collaborators who helped the Brave and the Bold team pull this episode together.
And then the third segment will be a note-perfect recreation of the Hanna Barbera Batman cartoon and its crossovers with Scooby Doo. And Scooby himself will appear! Everything will be the same as the classic Hanna Barbera Batman cartoons, except the music, promise Tucker and Jenenic. This will be an episode that many fans will love, but the kids watching may be a tad confused by the absence of the regular Batman. "It'll probably be polarizing," says Tucker. "I'm proud of it. A lot of work went into it."
As you've probably already gleaned, the silliness and craziness of Silver Age comics is a huge influence on Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Tucker says Jelenic knew nothing about comics when they started doing this show together, but now Jelenic has learned way too much about the weirder aspects of older comics. "I think I helped create a monster," Tucker jokes. Now Jelenic will show up with an old comic in which Batman has been turned into a skunk, and ask if they can do that in an episode.
"There are websites like Superdickery.com," adds Jelenic. "I'll go to James and say, how can we turn this into an episode?" He says he loves to "take those wacky Silver Age concepts and play them seriously, let the humor speak for itself. You don't have to goose the humor. If you take an absurd concept and try to be wacky with it, it's not going to play well. But if you play it straight [it'll work perfectly.]" The key, adds Tucker, is that Batman always takes the situation totally seriously.
As for Tucker, he really wants a chance to retell some of the formative Batman stories he read in his youth — like the story of Joe Chill, the killer of Batman's parents, who was an important character in the comics for a long time but has since been removed from continuity. "It was a way to show a different aspect of Batman, that still was important to the comics, but was also entertaining and enlightening to people who just know a little about Batman," says Tucker.
And the great thing about this show is that you can go anywhere you want to with the basic concept, adds Tucker:
Tonally, it's like silly putty. We can go really dark one episode, and get silly the next. And do a relationship episode, and then go scifi. We have so much freedom in this show, as long as we keep certain things in place.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold is back tomorrow night with "The Siege Of Starro! Part One."