Dawn of the Deadman! | Episode 07
Aired: January 16, 2009
Heroes: Kamandi, Batman, Deadman, Green Arrow, and Speedy
Supporting: Dr. Canus, Medium, and Dr. Thomas & Martha Wayne
Villains: Ratmen, Gentleman Ghost, The Hook, and The Triad
Objects: Utility Belt, Time Fissure, Statue of Liberty, The Artifacts, Big Ben, Nth Metal, and Trick Arrows
Places: Earth 23, Tiger Empire, London, and Hong Kong
Written By: Steven Melching
Directed By: Ben Jones
Review By Yojimbo
"Dawn of the Deadman!" was energizing after what I thought was a slight slump in the past two episodes. The prelude starts with Batman in an apocalyptic alternate future with Kamandi and Dr. Canus. In a world with Planet of Apes meets DC Comics, Kamandi glows with optimism as the trio races against time to return Batman to his rightful place. The scene also leaves us with the part of Batman that is the master strategist, he leaves a weapon in the left nostril of the Statue of Liberty and it pays off for Kamandi.
The most enjoyable feature of the episode for me was how the story was not told in a straightforward fashion. The episode begins far off into the future. After the title sequence, it continues in media res and Batman recounts his current predicament as a ghost until it catches up to the present and advances. Then when the fan thinks it's over, the end is deliberately kept vague and jumps three months forward.
Despite the episode's title, I took note of the double meaning and wondered if I was right or if there would be some irony employed. We are faced with two ghosts with two different aspirations. Gentleman Ghost, a career thief, attempts to ascend his M. O. and tries to take over an undead army to exact revenge and take over. Deadman, a career acrobat, wants to ascend his namesake and move on to the next life but he can't. In the end, Gentleman Ghost falls and Deadman rises as a super hero.
It was a nice tie-in to previous episodes ("Terror on Dinosaur Island!") when Gentleman Ghost notices that Batman added more Nth Metal to his utility belt gadgets and when Batman utilizes another Tibetan meditation technique to overcome his problem. It was an unexpected focal point for the Wayne's to appear and try to get Batman to cross over. For a children's show, it's always interesting to see how the issue of death is dealt with. "Invasion of the Secret Santas!" shows the power of death over Batman, "Dawn of the Deadman!" shows how it is the equalizer, and the next episode equates it with sacrifice.
It was terribly corny to have Speedy there. The episode couldn't have gotten cornier unless Robin was there chumming it up with Batman. But it was all worth it to have Batman possess Speedy and prove who he is to Green Arrow. And if all this talk of time, death, and chums wasn't enough, this episode breaks precedence and gives us an epilogue with Triad gangsters!
"Dawn of the Deadman!" was a welcome addition to this season and the variety of themes, tie-ins, and character points were what made this episode great.