Courtesy of a friend’s tapes, I finally caught up with the last season of BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD right before the move (so no wonder I forgot it until now) as Bats continues teaming up with Superman, Adam Strange, Green Lantern, Atom and others. Highlights include Joker: The Vile and the Villainous in which the Clown Prince of Time teams up with various villains, and the wildly insane, in-joke laden ending episode guest-starring Batmite and Ambush Bug. If not the best Bat-series, far from the worst.
William Hartnell must have had a field day in DOCTOR WHO: The Romans, a broadly comic episode in which the Doctor and Vicki get taken to Rome under the impression they’re a famous musician and his slave, forcing the Doctor to pull increasingly absurd tricks to keep the truth hidden. Meanwhile Barbara becomes a Roman slave and Ian becomes a gladiator, but Hartnell steals the show as the Doctor and Maureen O’Brian remains a lively companion.
I also finished up the third season of ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE, which includes one moderately successful plot (the North Pole shifts to the tropics and Boris schemes to become the new Santa as a result) and a classic one involving feuding hillbillies, moon men Gidney and Cloyd and the Kerwood Derby, which makes the wearer a super-genius (the title is a joke on TV celebrity Derwood Kirby, who threatened to sue; Bullwinkle creator Jay Ward offered to pay Kirby’s legal fees and realizing he’d only give the show publicity with a court case, Kirby backed off). The Fractured Fairy Tales feature pretty much gave up on fairy tale parodies this season and become just wacky stories against a fairy-tale background (still funny though) but Dudley Doright, Aesop and Son and Mr. Peabody and Sherman continue as always.
The first volume of the BLACK BUTLER manga is much slower paced than the anime, taking much more time to reveal that in addition to being a superhumanly perfect butler and major domo, Sebastian is also an agent of hell assigned to help his master’s war on crime (it’s as if Bruce Wayne made a pact with hell and got Alfred). Good, regardless, though the back-to-front layout of manga often confuses me.
FRANKENSTEIN, AGENT OF SHADE: War of the Monsters by Jeff Lemire and J.G. Jones is a New 52 DC Comics series that follows up the version of Frankenstein Grant Morrison introduced in his terrific Seven Soldiers of Victory minseries a few years back: Frankenstein and his estranged are now employed as special agents for the Super Human Advanced Defense Executive, led by mysterious immortal Father Time (who regenerates into a small child at the start of this) and aided by post-reboot versions of Ray Palmer (the Silver Age Atom) and the Creature Commandoes. Comes off as a Hellboy knockoff (monster hunters who are monsters themselves—a concept that also turns up in Section Zero and the Perhapanauts), but a fun one.