By Will Barber – Taylor
Batman works to stop eco-terrorists Professor Pyg and Mister Toad from taking their revenge over a shady land deal done by Simon Stagg, Michael Holt, and an unwitting Bruce Wayne. An aging Alfred assists Batman’s investigation until he is accidentally captured in Bruce Wayne’s place. Batman must work to save the captives and defeat Pyg and Toad.
After the end of the jolly Silver Age inspired, Batman: The Brave And The Bold finished its run, Cartoon Network decided that they would like to go back to a darker Batman series akin to the legendary Batman: The Animated Series which launched the original DC Animated Universe and spawned such spin offs as Superman: The Animated Series and Justice League/ Justice League Unlimited. The result was a CGI series similar to Green Lantern: The Animated Series which focused more on Batman’s detective side. Fans were dubious about the new series and wondered whether it could be an adequate successor to Batman: The Animated Series. The answer is yes.
The episode begins in the same dark manner as BTAS with The Dark Knight fighting some thugs trying to rob somewhere (the audience aren’t exactly told what sort of place it is, just that it stocks super hand glove things that wouldn’t look out of place in an Iron Man comic) with The Bat eventually defeating them though suffering a broken arm.
After this display of what sort of fight scenes we are likely to see in future episodes, we see Batman back at Wayne Manor and how he interacts with Alfred. Now most fans will be shocked at the depiction of Alfred is much different from the moustached butler of the past. Instead he is comparable to Magersfontein Lugg (Ex criminal and butler to 30s detective Albert Campion) with his shaven head and slight south east accent. However, like Batman: The Animated Series, which experimented with the traditional introduction of characters, Beware The Batman’s gamble with changing Alfred seems to have paid off. By the end of the episode we are complete routing for the character much more than we could have done for a more traditional version of Alfred.
Batman discovers that two new villains, Professor Pyg and Mr Toad are kidnapping the main investors of a recent land takeover. The land was rich with oil and was used by said investors to line their pockets. After discovering who the next target is, a certain Michael Holt, Batman goes after the pair but they evade him and capture Holt. Only then does Batman realise that Bruce Wayne also invested in this project so he is a target. The fact that this series is meant to show more of Batman’s detective side and yet he couldn’t even remember he was a target is astonishingly bad writing and probably the major plot hole of the episode.
After finding Alfred and rescuing the two other investors, Batman defeats Professor Pyg and Mr Toad but not before the unstable oil drilling base blows up. Batman leads the former captives to freedom before going off in the BatMobile. Later on at Wayne Manor, Bruce is introduced to the new bodyguard Alfred has hired, ex spy Katana.
Instead of talking about individual cast members acting abilities, I shall instead talk about the CGI style of animation. Though it does not have the charm of normal hand drawn cartoons, the CGIness of Beware The Batman may be to its advantage as it not only gives it a unique look but also an interesting feel, almost like that of a slick video game. The redesign of the Batsuit and Batmobile are also much slicker than in both Batman: The Brave And The Bold and The Batman. They seem even smoother than in Batman: The Animated Series and have more in common with the Tim Burton series of films starring Michael Keaton. This cannot be a bad thing as the designs seen in the Burton films mix fairy tale with cop style drama which is what Batman is all about.
Beware The Batman may have teething difficulty but it looks like the perfect successor to the dark, brooding and inventive Batman: The Animated Series and I personally cannot wait for more episodes.
NEXT TIME ON BEWARE THE BATMAN:
- Beware the Batman Is, Shockingly, Not Terrible (filmstoned.com)
- Beware the Batman: the Love/Hate review (haveageekasm.com)
- Beware The Batman: Secrets, Clip One (comicvine.com)
- Beware The Batman: Bringing Some Dark Back to The Dark Knight on the Small Screen (puregeekery.net)
- Beware The Batman (backpocketentertainment.com)
- BEWARE THE BATMAN Concept Art Of Bruce Wayne, Commissioner Gordon & Villains (comicbookmovie.com)
- Beware the Batman – Hunted (Review) (them0vieblog.com)
- Beware the Batman (animanalyst.com)
- Comic-Con: Beware the Batman (thegeekiary.com)
- ‘Beware The Batman’ Opening Sequence Revealed (apexfan.com)