You can never have enough “Batman” cartoons…or, at least, that’s what Cartoon Network is hoping.

It was only March of this year when the most recent animated incarnation of The Dark Knight – “The Batman” – ended its five-season run, but with the billion-dollar success of the most recent feature-film adventure of Gotham City’s most famous crimefighter, it’s no surprise that Bats would turn up again. What is surprising, however, is the decision to bring him back via a concept that completely dismisses the darkness and “forever a loner” feeling of “The Dark Knight” in favor of a bright and colorful weekly team-up series.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you. As someone who grew up reading comics in the 1970s, I loved Batman’s team-up title, “The Brave and the Bold.” And Superman’s “DC Comics Presents.” And, hell, as long as I’m geeking out, I regularly bought “Marvel Team-Up,” “Marvel Two-in-One,” and even “Super-Villain Team-Up.” It was always a blast to see who was going to turn up in these comics, and the more obscure the hero, the better. Batman and the Metal Men…? Check. Superman and Air Wave…? Sweet. The Thing and Brother Voodoo. Awesome. Spider-Man and the original Not Ready for Prime Time Players of “Saturday Night Live”? Oh, hell, yes.

It’s fair to say that the reason that Cartoon Network was willing to take a chance on a series that could potentially team Batman with some really obscure heroes is the success of the “Justice League Unlimited” series, which successfully expanded the animated DC Universe with folks who had never before seen their way into cartoons. The press kit for “The Brave and the Bold” offers a preview of upcoming episodes, and it’s pretty cool that they’ve decided to give the spotlight to the Red Tornado, who, despite having membership in the Justice League for several decades now, has never had a huge profile outside of comic books. With that said, however, it’s clear that they’re going with some semi-obvious picks for the first few episodes.

Aquaman…? He might not have been able to get his hour-long series green lit on The WB, but his profile has gone sky-high since he became part of an “Entourage” storyline.

Plastic Man…? The Wachowski Brothers keep threatening to make a feature-length film about Plas, and his semi-classic animated series from the early ’80s is due to make its DVD debut in the near future.

Green Arrow…? Are you kidding me? He’s become a regular character on “Smallville” now, so he’s pretty much a gimme. The most surprising thing about his appearance here is that they’ve opted to go with his old-school look, even though his “JLU” stint found the more recognizable Robin-Hood-inspired outfit and famous facial hair.

Now that we’ve cited all of these names, however, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the fact that the opening credits are filled to the brim with possibilities for future team-ups or villains. If you pause your TiVo and do a slow crawl through the credits, you’ll see either the names or the faces of the following: Black Lightning, Sinestro, Dr. Fate, the Elongated Man, the Atom, Metamorpho, Bronze Tiger, Kamandi, Owl Man, Deadman, Dr. Polaris, the Gentleman Ghost, Booster Gold, Wildcat, the Demon, the Royal Flush Gang, Ocean Master, Jonah Hex, Gorilla Grodd, Despero, Morgaine le Fey, B’Wana Beast, Black Manta, The Joker, Green Lantern, Star Sapphire, Guy Gardner, Kilowog, and…wait for it…G’Nort.

The first episode, however, finds Batman working alongside the latest incarnation of the Blue Beetle to fight Kanjar Ro on some distant alien planet. If you’re not familiar with any incarnation of the Blue Beetle, this is neither the time nor place for me to wax intellectual about Dan Garrett and Ted Kord, but the new version stands out in particular because he’s a Hispanic superhero, which you don’t see very often. He’s painted on “The Brave and the Bold” much in the same way that he is in the comics: as a newbie to the hero game who’s still trying to work out how his powers function. (They come from an alien tool of war that’s attached to his spine. I think.)

There’s a remarkable amount of humor in this episode, and not all of it comes from the Beetle. Even Batman gets a few funny lines as he deals with the fact that the Beetle is viewed as a hero on this alien planet while he himself is referred to as the Beetle’s “sidekick.” Then again, with former “Drew Carey” co-star Diedrich Bader voicing Bats this time around, they probably figured they should take full advantage of his comedic delivery. Mind you, I probably laughed hardest during an opening sequence where the Beetle is flipping through channels and stops briefly on a stand-up comedian who only gets the chance to say, “It’s called ‘The Aristocrats,'” before the channel changes again. The reference alone was enough for me to laugh loud and hard…and, then, I stopped really quickly, lest I have to explain to my 3-year-old daughter what was so funny.

Based on this episode, it’s pretty clear that “Batman: The Brave and the Bold” is going to be geared at both kids and their parents…and not for those who prefer the grim and gritty version of Batman. It is, however, the kind of show you wish those “Superfriends” episodes from the ’70s were: action-packed and filled with fun, but with their tongue placed firmly in cheek as often as not. Certainly, the moments where Beetle is battling Kanjar Ro are well paced and, at times, could prove a little disconcerting for younger viewers, but the well-timed punchlines lighten the mood enough to make this a blast for the “old folks,” too.

Want proof? Check out the trailer: