JUSTICE LEAGUE - THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD

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Brave and the Bold Cover Just take a quick look at the sub-heading of the above named movie, and then just think about what the two adjectives mean. 'Brave'. Courageous? Valiant? Or a good name for a shampoo aimed at bald people? 'Bold'. Dynamic? Exciting? Or a pungent smell that leaps out of your butt? Well, to me, these two words represent a title of a now defunct DC comic book series of yesteryear. As well as the name for an animated feature that was created in 2002, and last for 45 minutes.


Brave and the Bold : The Justice League Cartoon - The Comic Book


THE STORY:
It is very strange you know. That an inadvertent archaeological discovery in South Africa, and a nuclear heist in Central City, have two things in common. Wally West (The Flash) and John Steward (Green Lantern). Who then set forth on a brave and bold adventure with a talking monkey.

Yes. I'm afraid to say that its one of those tales.

You see, when the Flash and GL intercept the aforementioned nuclear heist, they discover from the thieves science-bound boss, Dr. Sarah Corwin, that it is very out of character for them to commit this crime. Moreover, where the monkey comes into play? Errr? That's the Flash's fault really.

This 'hot-head' just takes it upon himself to breaks away from GL, and attempt to stop a rampaging grey gorilla nearby. But of course, not your normal run of of the mill rampaging gorilla. Oh no. This primate can talk and drive, whilst the Flash gets himself zapped by a hallucinatory ray fired by Dr. Corwin, and detained by the police for being involved with another nuclear heist.

Please don't threat though, GL manages to get the Flash out of his predicament, and then – together – track down the ‘rampaging gorilla’, whom tells them his name – Solova – as well as the motives behind his actions – to save his South African based home, called 'Gorilla City', from the mind controlling villain named ‘Grodd’.

Now in haste, this newly formed trio catch up to Grodd in Dr. Corwin’a lab – with Dr. Corwin by his side – and they fight... err... each other?!? Yep – Grodd deviously controls the Flash’s mind, and then quickly forces a confrontation between him and GL.

But please don't threat again though, they both manage to get themselves out of this situation. Although they don't mange to prevent Grodd from teleporting them, himself, and Central City, away, so that he can control the populous at this new lo-cal. Worst still, Grodd also intends to blow up Gorilla City with Central City's nuclear arsenal.

Well I be a monkeys uncle! Can any of the other members of the Justice League help Flash and GL out with this situation? Wonder Woman, Hawkgirl, Batman, and Martian Manhunter, do figure out that Central City’s disappearance is linked to a strange abnormality in Gorilla City. However, when they go to Gorilla City to investigate matters more closely, they are brashly captured and then tortured by the ‘home guard’, OGGA-OGGA!

Ouch! That is most probably why what next transpires is both exciting and brash, huh? As Flash pisses off Grodd - John becomes a right sod - Wonder Woman kisses Batman - and all is well between Monkey and human.

Well, most of them anyway.




THE REVIEW:
If I may be so 'Brave and Bold', please allow me to spurt out some history behind ‘Justice League - The Brave and the Bold’, before I get to my review.

Brave and The Bold With The Flash and Green Lantern
Would that be OK? Yeah? Thanks. (1) The 'Brave and the Bold' was initially a comic book anthology title devised in the nineteen-forty’s, which evolved into a team-up book spearheaded by Batman paired with another associated character. It was eventually cancelled in 1985 with a final team up between Batman and himself [true], and made way for a team book called 'Batman and the Outsiders'. (2) The Brave and the Bold was the comic book series in which the Justice League of America first made their debut. Plus the 'Teen Titans' a well. (3) The first characters to team up in this series were the Shining Knight and the Viking Prince. (4) Within the Flash’s hallucinatory scenes in this movie, there were quite a few comic book homage’s made. Initially, the Barry Allen origin of the Flash, and then, numerous silver age covers associated to the Flash’s comic book series. (5) Their were at least three references to the ‘Planet of the Apes’ film franchise in this movie. Such as the ‘Get your hand off of me’ quote from ‘Planet of the Apes’, plus the ‘Quit monkey-ing around’ and ‘I hate banana’s’ quote from ‘Escape from the Planet of the Apes’. (6) The original Green Lantern and Flash team up happened in the pages of Green Lantern. However, the men were different then – it was Barry Allen and Hal Jordan. And the dynamics were different also – they became really good friends. (7) Gorilla Grodd, Gorilla City, and Solova, were mainly Flash related components – and became a regular feature of the Barry Allen series. And (8) Due to the Wonder Woman kissing Batman scene which happened at the end of this movie, afterwards, they tried to flesh this out more within this animated series and the comic books too.


1st Apperance of the Justice League of America in Brave and The Bold Brave and the Bold Comic Book Flash and Green Lantern Team Up


Phew! Now I have gotten all of that out of my system, what do I think about ‘Justice League - The Brave and the Bold’? Well – truthfully – I want to take it out for a meal and then give it a baby.

I BLOODY WELL LOVED IT!

OK, I have to admit, the animation style is a bit dated compared to more modern standards, and the overall pace of the movie is very quick in tone also. But as the for the rest of it on the other hand – it’s just amazing.

Personally speaking, I liked how the two individual chapters of the movie (as this was originally a two-part tale repackaged from the animated series) had two completely different tones to them, yet did not feel overtly jarring as a whole. You see, the first chapter was basically a focused ‘buddy movie’ between the Flash and GL. Whereas in the second chapter the scope seemed to open up, and it became a much more action-packed ‘JLA focused’ extravaganza. In addition to all of this, I really did enjoy the dynamic between Wally and John. It was very in character, and fresh at the same time – and did not feel contrived in any way shape or form.


Wonder Woman Kisses Batman in Brave and the BoldGreen Lantern and The Flash in Brave and the Bold


Oh! And how dare I forget to mention the somewhat controversial kiss between Batman and Wonder Woman, huh? Let me just tell you something, this was a real blast when I first saw it. OK, so the producer – Paul Dini – has publicly stated that this was nothing more than a throw away piece of animation, and meant as a coy wink to no one in particular. But come one – don’t kid a kidder – nothing is done for no reason what so ever – this was a set up of some kind, one that never really paid off over time.

Overall, this is a really great animated movie – and one that DC should take note of within there more recent retroactive times. It is a story that is able to pay homage to its past, and means more than a re-design or product positioning for its future.

This review is in honor of Dwayne Glenn McDuffie (February 20, 1962 – February 21, 2011), a great writer, a pertinent innovator, and someone who will always live on through their work. Bless him.




THE RATING: A