DCAU #381: Curse of the Kobra

IN THIS ONE... Terry trains in a dojo with Kobra's new leader who aims to make a world for reptiles. (Two-parter)

CREDITS: Written by Rich Fogel and Stan Berkowitz; directed by James Tucker and Dan Riba.

REVIEW: The Kobra cult is back! But while I enjoy the links to continuity that accompanies them - Terry gets some training from an aging but still spry Kairi Tanaga from "Way of the Samurai", Dr. Cuvier the father of splicing is shown in flashback advising Kobra, and Max plays Sentries of the Last Cosmos at the arcade - there really is a noticeable difference in approach from one episode to the other in this two-parter, and it really loses something in the transition.

In Part 1, Bruce sends Terry for some additional martial arts training - cue Karate Kid sequences - where he meets a "princely" kid called Zander who just hasn't lived. His isolation from kids his age makes Terry and Max befriend him and show him a good time, classic tropes perhaps, but that's where the heart of the story is. We of course realize that Zander is being groomed to be Kobra's exalted (and as it turns out, genetically engineered) leader - Terry and Bruce are even slow on the uptake after Terry has to fight Kobra goons while chasing Zander's car - and his upbringing could and should be contrasted with Terry's, the Snake and the Bat both on missions started by precursors, but it never actually gets to that.

Instead, Zander reveals Kobra's insane plan to splice all of Kobra with dinosaur DNA, then warm up the Earth so it's the perfect environment for them. The only thing that changed thanks to Terry's intervention was to make Zander add Max to his plans as his mate. I mean, what the hell. And from there, Curse of the Kobra turns into a brainless action plot where everything eventually catches fire and Kairi has to sacrifice herself pointlessly, stealing agency from Batman. So the story drops characterization in favor of plot, and its plot was already riddled with rather ridiculous coincidences. It all just collapses under its own weight.

SOUNDS LIKE:
Zander is voiced by Alexis Denisof from Buffy and Angel. Kairi Tanaga is Japanese-American actress Takayo Fischer; she was Mistress Ching in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. And Dr. Childes' voice is supplied by Xander Berkeley, who previously played supercop Corey Mills on STAS' "Prototype".

REWATCHABILITY: Medium -
Abandons its strong hook for a completely ridiculous supervillain plot.

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