"The Brave and the Bold" is composed of the twelfth and thirteenth episodes of Justice League. It originally aired on March 10 and 17, 2002.
In Africa, an archaeologist couple are examining the remains of prehistoric men. Behind them, unnoticed by either of them, a mountain disappears, replaced by an enormous, futuristic city. A dark-haired gorilla on a hover bike speeds out of the city, pursued by a team of other gorillas, who are revealed to be capable of speech as they turn back and see the humans. They return, and the city disappears.
In Central City, Flash is wolfing down burgers in a diner and regaling two nearby ladies with tales of his heroism – or rather, trying to; They look bored to tears. However, trouble starts when a large truck comes speeding down the street, shoving aside cars heedlessly. One car comes flying through the window of the diner, nearly crushing the two ladies before Flash saves them. He questions the driver, who reveals a maniac ran him off. With this, Flash excuses himself and takes off after the truck, while the ladies now admire him.
The driver refuses to slow down, while the passenger aims a futuristic-looking pistol at Flash and fires, missing several times. Finally, the chase leads to a bridge over the ocean, where the van skids off the side and teeters on the edge. The van and its occupants are narrowly saved from falling by Flash and John Stewart, arriving to give Flash a hand. In the back of the van, they find containers of radioactive isotopes. They check the drivers' IDs and find that both are research scientists at the institute from which the isotopes were stolen. Both men appear to wake up, as if from a trance, and both claim not to remember what they were doing.
At the institute, Flash and Lantern question the scientists' colleague, Dr. Sarah Corwin. Corwin says that she has no explanation for their behavior, except possibly stress from overwork. While she speaks to Lantern, Flash notices an adult gorilla among the lab's test monkeys.
While Flash is grabbing a snack, he and Lantern intercept a truly bizarre report: a gorilla has been sighted downtown, terrorizing citizens and is now driving a getaway car to escape the police. Flash chases down the car, and is surprised when the gorilla speaks, telling him to get away. Then Corwin, hiding on a rooftop, blasts Flash with some kind of energy ray.
Flash has a series of bizarre hallucinations, then wakes up inside a jail cell. The police show him a surveillance tape of him stealing the isotopes from the police impound. His interrogation is cut short by the arrival of Lantern, who has paid Flash's bail to take him away, then angrily subjects Flash to another interrogation. Flash insists that he's innocent, and can't explain why he was stealing the isotopes. The last thing he can remember is stopping the talking gorilla.
Lantern is skeptical, but gives Flash the benefit of the doubt as they manage to track the gorilla down. The gorilla introduces himself as Solovar, chief of security for Gorilla City, a civilization of hyper-intelligent gorillas hidden from mankind. Their city has been peaceful until recently, when Grodd, a genius scientist, went rogue and developed a mind control helmet that he tried to use to take over the other gorillas. The authorities developed a resistance to the helmet and chased Grodd out, but now he's sworn revenge on the city. Solovar also says his investigation has found an email correspondence between Grodd and Corwin.
Needing no further information, Flash streaks back to the institute, before Solovar can explain that he has a small supply of electronic headbands that will shield a person from Grodd's mind control. By the time he and Lantern get to the institute, Grodd has already subdued Flash and placed him under mental control, and uses him to attack Lantern. Lantern knocks Flash out with difficulty, but Grodd and Corwin have escaped.
Grodd has used the isotopes to power a machine in the heart of Central City, which he activates before he and Corwin speed away on his hover bike. Lantern and Solovar run to the machine, but then it gives off a colossal energy surge, like an explosion, that covers the whole city and leaves nothing behind.
From the Watchtower, J'onn notices the apparent absence of Central City and flies down in a Javelin accompanied by Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl. Though there is nothing visible but a crater in the ground, the ship's sensors detect something there – and then the ship glances off something solid but invisible around the city. Landing, they realize there is a force field enclosing the city, which is impenetrable to any of them.
Inside, Central City is intact, only hidden from the outside world as Gorilla City is. Lantern and Solovar awake, and meet with Flash. Grodd is now holding court in the city square, with a crowd of people under his mind control. Lantern, Flash, and Solovar confront him, but Grodd sics his puppets on them, before flying off again. Lantern takes off in pursuit, while Flash and Solovar try to hold the mob at bay without injuring them. When they draw too close, Flash (with an effort) picks up Solovar and runs through the crowd at super speed with him, until they reach safety.
Batman communicates with the Leaguers outside the city and says he has identified similar energy readings from a location in Africa. They agree to rendezvous there. As soon as they arrive, however, they are captured by the city's security forces, who believe they are spies from the outside.
Grodd and Corwin drive to a nearby military base, where Grodd overcomes the soldiers with his helmet, then arms four nuclear missiles. Lantern, Flash, and Solovar arrive outside the base just as the missiles take off. Solovar realizes they are heading for Gorilla City. Lantern flies after them, while Flash and Solovar run into the base to stop Grodd.
In Gorilla City, the other Leaguers manage to escape their prison, but find themselves trapped by the shield. As they are cornered by the gorillas, the shield malfunctions and shuts down – Grodd left a sabotage device behind. At the same time, the gorillas detect the incoming missiles. To their surprise, the League offers to help them.
Flying over the Atlantic Ocean, Lantern manages to catch up with, and disable, two of the missiles; but as the second breaks up, a flying piece of debris hits him in the head, temporarily knocking him cold in mid-air.
At the base, Grodd sees the two missiles go down, and attacks Solovar in fury; Flash distracts him by patting his helmet down over his eyes. Grodd rounds on Flash, who dodges his punches with ease.
Lantern awakens and catches up with the missiles only in time to see them heading for the city. But the other Leaguers are waiting. J'onn phases straight through one, extracting its guidance system and causing it to crash harmlessly. Hawkgirl smashes the last missile with her mace, breaking it into pieces, but the warhead stage is still heading for the city. As the gorillas scream in panic, Diana flies into the missile's path and tries to push it off course. She stops it from exploding, but it drags along the ground, finally crushing her underneath before it grinds to a stop.
At that, Batman's stoicism cracks, and he digs furiously in the rubble under the missile, shouting Diana's name. When there is no response, he gives up, but then the missile body lifts, and Diana emerges, holding the guidance system. The city is safe and the Gorillas cheer. Batman tries to hide his dirt-covered gloves from Diana, but she notices them, realizes Batman tried to save her, and kisses Batman on the cheek.
Seeing the last missile deactivated, Grodd goes berserk and attacks Flash. Still evading, Flash proposes a fair fight, and takes off his headband (despite Solovar's protests), inviting Grodd to take off his helmet. Grodd, of course, does no such thing. Smiling, he activates his helmet – and screams as it feeds back on itself, due to some subtle sabotage by Flash when he patted it down over Grodd's eyes. To his surprise, Corwin turns out to have not been under Grodd's mind control – instead, she had genuinely fallen in love with him.
The League meets up in Gorilla City, where the leaders thank them for their help. Solovar shows them Grodd, now a brain-dead vegetable, bearing an almost comic resemblance to a zoo ape.
However, as the League and Solovar walks away, the vacant look in Grodd's eyes disappears, and they narrow with hatred...
- In "Secret Society", Grodd is revealed to have developed innate telepathic abilities as a result of Flash "crossing a few wires" in his helmet.
- This is the first episode to hint at the growing attraction between Batman and Wonder Woman. Their off-and-on flirtation would evolve throughout Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.
- In the Justice League Unlimited episode "The Great Brain Robbery", Mr. Terrific mentions Grodd taking control of Flash's mind "a few years back". He is likely referring to the events in this episode.
- In the same episode, when Flash offers to help Grodd defeat Lex Luthor, Grodd replies that he hates Flash just as much as he hates Luthor, if not more. This episode shows why.
Home video releases
- Justice League - The Brave and the Bold (VHS)
- Justice League - The Brave and the Bold (DVD)
- Justice League - Season One (DVD)
- Justice League - The Complete Series (DVD)
- Justice League: 3-Pack Fun (DVD)
- Justice League - Season One (Blu-ray)
- The designs for Gorilla City were reused designs of 30th century Metropolis from the Superman: The Animated Series episode "New Kids in Town".
- Similarly, the guns used by the gorillas are reused designs of the Kryptonian police guns appearing in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "The Last Son of Krypton".
- The room with the shield generator shares its design with the lab where the Terrific Trio started and ended.
- For someone who is the self-proclaimed "Fastest Man Alive", the Flash seems to have a hard time to catch up to a speeding van.
- The men who stole the radioactive isotopes — Professor Arthur Chin and Doctor Mark Stevens — worked for the research center where the isotopes were stolen from. Grodd needed those isotopes to power his device... which was stored in that same building. So why did he mind control the two scientists to steal the isotopes from the building he needed them brought to in the first place?
- The hijacked truck that was driven by Chin and Stevens flips onto its side and then falls off a bridge, yet when its back door is opened the isotope containers are still perfectly aligned.
- Solovar hijacks a car before its owner had had the time to put the key in, but he puts it in gear and drives away anyway.
- Solovar has been chasing Grodd ever since he escaped Gorilla City. After meeting with John Stewart and the Flash, he gives them a special headband to protect them from Grodd's mind control, and then Solovar puts one on himself. Why wasn't he wearing one the whole time?
- The crater seen in the end of Part I is nowhere to be seen when the Leaguers rendezvous outside Central City in Part II.
- The Javelin was visibly damaged on one thruster after hitting the force field around Central City. However, after it landed outside Gorilla City, the damage was gone.
- Why did J'onn assume Diana was dead? He is a telepath.
- Despite the fact that Part I takes place in Central City, the police cars all have the Metropolis police department logo on their doors. The same would be done in "Flash and Substance".
- In the shot of the seemingly destroyed Central City at the end of Part I, the city is situated in a rural, hilly area. However, Part II and the later episode "Flash and Substance" showed Central City had a large river within its borders.
- When Batman discovers Gorilla City, it is located in western Africa. However, when Grodd targets the missiles, he aims them at central Africa.
- Related to the previous, the topography has many other flaws during the chase of the missiles. When Dr. Corwin notifies Grodd that the first rocket is destroyed, the other three are shown to have cleared Africa. Green Lantern took the missile out above the ocean, but in a later shot, the missiles have just cleared the American east coast. When Green Lantern destroys the second missile, they are near the west African border, but the map shows them still above the US. When the Lantern is knocked out, the missiles pop up on the map in the middle of the Atlantic, heading for northern Africa.
- During his flight to disarm the missiles, Green Lantern's headband disappears and reappears.
- When Grodd prepares to use his helmet on Flash for the last time, the faceplate on the left side of his head is missing.
- When John Stewart and Solovar are hit by the field at the end of Part I, they are still in the room where the field was generated. When they wake up at the beginning of Part II, they are suddenly back in the animal testing facility with Flash.
- Superman does not appear in this episode.
- Solovar's first line, "Get your stinking paws off me, you filthy human!" is a tribute to a famous line from Planet of the Apes, spoken by the human character to the apes, and surprising them with the fact that humans can talk.
- According to the Watchtower map, Central City is located somewhere in the north-eastern part of Indiana.
- The title of this episode is a reference to The Brave and the Bold, a DC comic which featured team-ups between two different superheroes and where the Justice League debuted.
- The Flash calls Solovar "Mojo", which is likely a reference to Mojo Jojo, the evil monkey and archnemesis of the Powerpuff Girls, another Cartoon Network cartoon show.
- One of the prisoners in Flash's cell is based on Spunky Spencer's character model.
- In the beginning, one of the archaeologists mentions the term "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" while sweating in the heat. This is a reference to the famous song by Noël Coward, the full title of which is "Mad Dogs and Englishmen Go Out In The Midday Sun".
- Grodd's eventual development of superpowers mirrors that of Willie Watt's from Batman Beyond.
- Flash tells Grodd to "go climb a skyscraper". This is a reference to the final scene in "King Kong" where the title character climbs the Empire State Building.
- Flash's hallucination sequence features several references to various covers of different Flash/Barry Allen comics:
|Overweight Flash||Flash #115: "The Day Flash Weighed 1,000 Pounds" (1959);|
|Puppet Flash||Flash #133: "Plight of the Puppet Flash" (1959);|
|The three-sided mirror/distortion|| Flash #105: "The Master of Mirrors!" (1959);|
Flash #136: "The Mirror Master's Invincible Bodyguards!" (1963);
|Big-headed Flash|| Flash #177 (1968);|
Green Lantern #13: "Duel of the Super-Heroes" (1960);
Justice League of America #7: "Fun-House Mirror".
|Maria Canals|| Hawkgirl|
Blonde girl (uncredited)
|Susan Eisenberg||Wonder Woman|
|Phil LaMarr|| Green Lantern|
Truck driver (uncredited)
|Carl Lumbly||J'onn J'onzz|
|Michael Rosenbaum||The Flash|
|Virginia Madsen||Dr. Sarah Corwin|
|David Ogden Stiers|| Solovar|
Insured Driver (uncredited)
|Catherine Cavadini|| Dr. Mary|
Blackhaired girl (uncredited)
|Richard Doyle||Dr. Louis|
|Andre Sogliuzzo||SWAT Officer|
|Keone Young||Dr. Chin|
Flash: I can't think. I'm tired and hungry.
Grodd: (after punching Flash) That's for the banana. I hate bananas.
Flash: Weird. Am I the only one creeped out here? Where is everyone?
Grodd: (to a mind controlled crowd) Humans are slow, ugly, immoral, and have an unpleasant body odor.
Solovar: Flash! I can't hold them off much longer!
Grodd You're a bigger fool than I thought.
Flash: Not bad, huh? I outsmarted a super-genius!