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Journey to the Center of the Bat! | Episode 09

Aired: January 30, 2009
Heroes: Plastic Man, Elongated Man, Batman, The Atom, and Aquaman
Villains: Babyface and The Brain
Objects: Utility Belt, Batmobile, and Bio Belt
Places: Earth 23, Ivy University, and Bialya
Beasts: Chemo, Phylosilicates, and Platelet
Written By: Matt Wayne
Directed By: Michael Chang

Review By Yojimbo

" Journey to the Center of the Bat!" was outrageous and a surprise delight to watch. It goes beyond the super hero genre and presents us with men of science and men of faith. And Batman gets poisoned.

Super heroes all fight for the common good but there is no rule saying how. The episode presents us with a classic clash of ideologies, the rational logic of science or the gut feeling of faith.

The opening sequence stars Elongated Man (the man of science) and Plastic Man (the man of faith). Both heroes share the same super power but not the same amount of fan fare. Elongated Man, the ever professional detective and straight-man, is unable to accept that his counter-part Plastic Man, the ex-con with a heart of gold, draws more of the spotlight from the public and Batman. The pair is unable to reconcile their differences and lets the villain, Babyface, escape. Good thing Batman was around. Who knows what would happen if the crime was a grander scale?

The main story revolves around the evil (French) super villain, the Brain trying to blackmail his way into taking over the African-Middle Eastern country of Bialya, a fictional destination and nod to comic book fans. His enforcer is, noticeably, not his accomplice Monsieur Mallah, but the behemoth Chemo. During the confrontation, Batman is infected by Chemo and temporarily sidelined. His partner, Aquaman is prompted to call the Atom. We are introduced to our second pairing of science and faith.

As the 15 micron-sized heroes navigate Batman's body for the infection, the duo attempts to implement their own strategies: electromagnetic shock and the classic slice & dice. The Atom and Aquaman are quick to tout their victories. However, without Batman in the mix, these two soon find themselves in trouble. After a mad dash to the brain, the two are able to successfully integrate the best of both worlds and stop the infection. Meanwhile, Batman manages to disarm the stolen nuclear warhead, neutralize Chemo, and fight the Brain to a standstill until he recovers and wins the day.

Never hesitant to relive comic book glory, the staff and writer Matt Wayne presents the fans with a little known country and the nostalgia that can only be felt when you watch the Atom shrinking to a subatomic size and riding electrons along phone wires. The dialogue for Aquaman and the talents of John DiMaggio created humorous and enjoyable moments at every turn to contrast Atom's low key and straight man performance. After this episode, I would like to see Aquaman team up with more super heroes, Red Tornado comes to mind.

As Elongated Man and Plastic Man fall short of themselves, Aquaman and the Atom are able to conclude that hearts and minds can co-exist in the super hero business and work to stop evil. That is the only way to honor the valiance and sacrifice of fallen allies like Platelet, the lymphocyte.