DCAU #270: Black Out

IN THIS ONE... The oily shapeshifting saboteur Inque makes her first appearance.

CREDITS: Written by Robert Goodman; directed by Dan Riba.

REVIEW: I don't know about the character AS a character, but Inque (terrible spelling) is a fabulous visual creation, crazy cool to animate and with distinctive features when she's being "human" (women in the DCAU tend to look very similar to one another). I was even surprised when this living oil slick turned out to be a woman! It's a concept that allows for weird and wonky fights, and in the style of this show it seems, pretty brutal ones. But Inque is just a hired hand, the real villain is Derek Powers orchestrating everything from behind the scenes, very much the Luthor figure of the show. This isn't all that different from the Superman episode where he uses the man who will be Metallo in a similar capacity. His "normal" appearance is a surprise after his accident, but when his skin starts flaking off and he becomes "harmful", it's a great little bit that hints at what might happen next. Good body horror too. Like this guy wasn't horrible enough while goading Terry about his father's death.

Terry's relationship with his new father figure isn't strained yet, but you can see how it might get to that point. Being pulled out of a date with Dana - they're keeping bully Nelson Nash in the game with a lacrosse match, oh future, you're so weird! - won't be the last time being Batman interferes with his life. As Bruce says, you don't have time for a private life in this business, but it'll be interesting to see if Terry can strike the balance Bruce never could.

My hopes that Bruce would still get into the action are fulfilled when Inque stows away on the Batmobile and gets to the Bat-cave. He still won't wear the cowl though (that might hurt Terry's persona), and instead grabs the Gray Ghost's mask, a very nice wink to his venerable idol. Now HE'S the elder gentleman hero, full circle. Using Mr. Freeze's ice gun from his trophy case is just icing on the cake (sorrynotsorry), perfectly in line with Inque's weaknesses. And we see the older Barbara Gordon too! Some veiled comments about not officially cooperating with the Bats, but otherwise, one still wonders how much authority she has in this world. We must stay tuned.

IN THE COMICS: Lucius Fox's son is called Luke, not Lucius Jr. In the previous continuity, he had a son called Tim.

SOUNDS LIKE: Inque is played by Shannon Kenny, who previously voiced Maxima's handmaiden Sazu. The older Barbara Gordon is voiced by Stockard Channing of Grease and West Wing fame. W00t!

REWATCHABILITY: High - Of a piece with the pilot, Black Out has amazing action, a cool new villain, and the continuing development of the main characters.

2 comments:

LiamKav said...

"The older Barbara Gordon is voiced by Stockard Channing of Grease and West Wing fame. W00t!"

Only for this season though, I believe.

LiamKav said...

Also, I love the notion that after playing American Football, soccer, baseball, cricket, rugby and so on for around a century, we'll suddenly get bored of them and start playing cool future sports at some point in the next 40 years or so.

 

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