The disappearance of Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, the Martian Manhunter and Hawkman leave Batman and Green Arrow the only Leaguers left to find out what happened to their comrades. Their lack of superpowers is the key, as the Joining, the alien race from last year’s finale, is back. Dr. Hugo Strange has cut a deal with them: he kidnaps the heroes, drains them of their powers, and gets the knowledge of the Universe in return (unfortuantely for him, all that knowledge pretty much fries his brain).
There were many scenes that delighted my slashy/friendship/caring heart. The opening scene shows Clark and Bruce together on a search for Toy Man, and when Clark disappears, Bruce is pretty frantic for a Bat. ;)
Ollie was great in this episode. He was smart and funny and he and Bruce were more bonded than ever as the only two non-powered Leaguers.
Bruce had a dream (J’onn was sending him his thoughts) and seeing all the kidnapped heroes in restraints as a machine drained their powers. Suddenly he sees Dick imprisoned, too, and his fear ratchets up. He awakens to Dick shaking him, and the younger half of the Bat-team reveals he heard J’onn’s voice, too, while he slept. Bruce immediately contacts Ollie and all three are off in search of Hugo Strange, who told the Joining that the Batman was the most dangerous of all the heroes.
Other nice moments: Ollie stuck in the cramped back seat of the Batmobile even though it would have made more sense to put Dick back there, but the front passenger seat is Robin’s, and Batman respects him enough to keep him in it. Also, teasing Ollie is always fun. J
When the trio finds the other heroes, Bruce’s focus is on Clark, and when they rescue them from the alien machine, he asks Clark if he’s all right. J
The heroes have no powers, but Bruce has ray guns with ammunition that can stop the androids who now possess the powers (Kryptonite, yellow powder, etc.). When the JLA starts to get upset that Bruce had these weapons, Clark quickly interjects that he had gone rogue before and Bruce had made these up as a precaution. Unlike the comics angst version, this was quickly dispelled.
When Clark is hurt in a later scene, Dick helps him up, and later Barbara saves him from falling. There’s some very nice celebratory scenes (lots of smiles) and Batgirl and Robin are thrilled to be in the Watchtower. After Clark tells Ollie and Bruce that they couldn’t have defeated the Joining without them, powers or not, Bruce teases his young charges about their calling the Watchtower ‘their’ clubhouse. The three have a nice moment watching the sun coming up over the Earth, rather poignant as I’ve heard this is the end of The Batman series.
A pity. I know that The Brave And The Bold is the new series WB wants to launch, but they’ll probably ditch Dick and Barbara and have Bruce work alone. I know a lot of people disliked this series, but I enjoyed it. I liked seeing a younger, more relaxed Bruce, though he was still intense as Batman (was anyone else reminded of Morticia Addams when they showed him gliding along in his cape?). Dick was Robin, always a delight for me, and his sassy, courageous self, and Barbara was a perfect fit for the team, too. Now they’ll probably have the Bat all dark and broody and alone. Most people prefer that. I prefer Bruce with Dick and the rest of the Bat-family.
The only people missing today were Alfred and Lucius. They had been in the original Joining episode and it would have been nice to see them again, and I wish they had gotten around to Ollie bringing in Roy. I thought this season was a nice blend of Bat-adventures and JLA appearances. The friendship between Clark and Bruce had progressed quite a bit since the opening two-parter of this season.
Oddly enough, Barbara seemed back to her younger self after that strange episode in which she’s supposed to be in college.
A pity indeed that The Batman is no more. It was bright and funny and dark when it needed to be.
Note: LSH is scheduled to be on at 9:30 next week, according to the ads today.