DCAU #390: Child's Play

IN THIS ONE... A kid with wishing powers is taken advantage of by his older stepbrother.

CREDITS: Written by Stan Berkowitz; directed by James Tucker.

Well, it's certainly interesting that this episode's Bang Baby isn't a criminal case, but rather a social one - a kid who just wants the attention and approval of his much older stepbrother. The problems are that the older kid doesn't really care about this new addition to his family, has a troubled past having just gotten out of reform school, and thinks nothing of abusing his stepbrother's new wishing powers. So there IS criminal activity, but the culprit doesn't really know what he's doing and it's more about saving him from himself, or his family situation, than getting him arrested. Though I've got to say, the solution isn't great. Taping the big brother, Aron, saying "he's not my brother" and playing it during a battle only angers the kid, Dwayne, more. And then Static just leaves him to the authorities anyway. I'm afraid he might end up on the wrong end of a scalpel. This is also an episode where Virgil hacks his father's community center's computer files. I dunno. Feels like the moral compass is off on this one.

Dwayne's powers do allow for some fun images, mind you. He pulls various opponents from video games and comics - robots, aliens, fanciful superheroes/villains (love that plant MODOK), giant sumo wrestlers - perfectly amusing whimsy. The limits to his power are his ability to imagine things, so he can't make perfect dollar bills, and his sense of right and wrong won't allow him to willingly steal. The character is well-balanced despite having what, on the surface, looks like a "broken" power. Unfortunately, Child's Play perhaps does the least with Static himself. The show is usually very imaginative with his power, but here it seems pretty plain and ordinary.

As for subplots, I like that we're seeing what Virgil's dad does for a living, and how that has obviously helped mold Virgil's ethics. Daisy is featured, but Frieda only rates a mention as a teenage boy lure, which makes me wonder if she'll disappear entirely over time. And then there's the questionable jive-talkin' preacher who shouts about the end days outside the Y. What is THAT all about? A strange comedy bit that won't really be followed up on with this particular character (it's his only appearance), though is the Big Bang incident meant to create a time of instability society is now reacting to, and will that feature more as we move forward?

IN THE COMICS: The Martian centipede thng that is apparently out of some in-world comic has a the Martian Manhunter's vulnerability to fire; likely no coincidence.

SOUNDS LIKE: Also Bucky on The Zeta Project, Blayn Barbarosa plays Dwayne. R.J. Knoll (Crimson Tide, The Devil in a Blue Dress) is Aron. SNL alumnus Garrett Morris (The Jamie Foxx Show, 2 Broke Girls) voices the preacher.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - Some cool visuals, but the writing isn't as crisp as you'd like.



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