Animated Views: The Best of Bravestarr
Pop Matters: The Best of Bravestarr
DVD Verdict: The Best of Bravestarr
And here are a few of my thoughts:
On the DVD commentary, Scheimer said something to the effect that Tex Hex was the best villain he'd seen since He-Man's arch-foe Skeletor. Which is basically saying nothing. It's like saying the Spot is the greatest Spider-Man villain since the Gibbon. Or the Turtle is the greatest Flash villain since the Rainbow Raider. Or Tyroc is the greatest Legionnaire since Matter-Eater Lad.
That's ugly part two.
So Scheimer wanted to do a series with a Native American. His solution was an Indian with no Indian traits whatsoever except his spirit powers. An Indian who was basically a blank slate. In fact, if his mentor hadn't looked like an Indian, Bravestarr could've passed as any brown-skinned minority.
That's ugly part three.
In sum, Bravestarr is a series that existed for the wrong reasons. Scheimer had what he thought was a good character--Tex Hex--and threw in a generic Indian counterpart to keep him busy. Here's a helpful hint: If you're going to spend millions creating a TV series, make sure your main character is deeper and richer than the supporting characters.
Bravestarr gets points for making the Native character a nontraditional hero: a cowboy-style marshal. It loses points for making him a generic Indian with no history or culture. The result is a wash.
And so it goes with the rest of the series. Interesting concept and characters, mediocre execution. On the DVD, storyboard coordinator Rob Lamb said he hopes Bravestarr "will take its place in the halls of achievement in animation." If there's a hall for wasted potential, for unusual concepts that never quite gel, Bravestarr should be there.
Check out the DVD if you're curious. The movie isn't bad. I give it about a 7.5 of 10.
But if you're like me, you'll be done with the series after one movie and five TV episodes. That's enough Bravestarr for anyone.
For more on the subject, see TV Shows Featuring Indians.