Beware the Batman Series Premiere Review: Something Old, Something New

Beware the Batman S01E01: "Hunted"

Batman has been, for decades now, the go-to DC Comics character for animation. Through the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, he helped Scooby-Doo solve mysteries, taught youngsters about the dangers of wasting energy and how to craft noise-makers out of paper plates and beans, and got kid-friendly with a goofy Legion of Doom. Then, fresh off the heels of Batman and Batman Returns, the iconic Batman: The Animated Series premiered in 1992, starting the DC Animated Universe and a whole new era of animated superhero goodness, including Static Shock, Batman BeyondSuperman: The Animated Series, and Justice League and Justice League Unlimited

The Caped Crusader has headlined two additional series outside the DCAU, including the so-so The Batman (points for casting Gina Gershon to voice Catwoman in that one, though) and the delightfully funny and smart Batman: The Brave and the Bold. This wealth of programming means that Batman—through various incarnations, ranging from Olan Soule's campy chum to Kevin Conroy's definitive dark knight to Diedrich Bader's leading straight man— has been animated in some capacity during every decade since 1968.

And now there's Beware the Batman, a 3D, CGI series from Glen Murakami and Sam Register. Murakami is a veteran of the DCAU, and both men worked on Teen Titans and the Ben 10 franchise.

I admit to feeling a degree of hesitation regarding this latest incarnation, though that had little to do with any given interpretation of Batman as a character. As my rattling-off his past animated appearances can attest, Batman can shift with the times and the tones of a show so long as he has his utility belt and detective skills. No, what caused my concern was the the CGI animation. It's a matter of taste, and I'm just not a fan of Warner Bros. Animation's style. It has a plastic/rubbery feel that I struggle to find visually interesting.

Beware the Batman isn't an exception, but I do like its CGI more than I did Green Lantern's. Some of the character faces—particularly Alfred and Simon Stagg—have personality to spare, while Bruce and Tatsu feel, respectively, like "Generic White Male" and "Generic East-Asian Female." It's the difference between Green Lantern's flat, dull faces and Star Wars: The Clone Wars's more stylized and individualized visages, and I'd much rather have the latter than the former.

Helping matters with regards to the animation may be Sam Liu's direction. Liu, who's done a number of the direct-to-video DC films and some of the better Green Lantern episodes, managed to avoid the squishy sense of physics and weightlessness that I've seen too often in CGI animation. Professor Pyg's weight and bulk come through enough of the time, making him feel more distinct from the svelter Batman or the short and hoppy Mr. Toad. Liu also doesn't overextend the CGI's capabilities. Batman and Pyg's showdown in the premiere felt very much like what you'd expect to see in a 2D animation fight, and it wasn't until Batman's escape from the gas-drilling facility that Liu did a really impressive single take of running, jumping, and exploding. It cut at a weird time, but it was still something that would've likely been a pain to animate by hand, and such shots do demonstrate one of the benefits to CGI animation these days, when animation studios aren't flush with cash like they were in the 1990s.


What did not give me cause for concern going in was the producers' decision to use lesser-known Batman villains. I think it's a very fine choice because, like they've said in interviews, do we really need another Joker story? These not-so-familiar baddies also come with less interpretative baggage than the standard rogues gallery members, so there's room for the show to be flexible with them without feeling like it's mucking with superhero sacred ground.*

*Remember I said this, because in a few paragraphs I'm going to contradict myself on this very point, and I want you to know that I'm fully aware of that.

Pyg and Toad are good examples. Both were both created by Grant Morrison only a few years ago in 2009, and while Toad was a little undefined, Pyg was a raving psychopath prone to experimenting on people with drugs and performing odd surgeries (the medical saw he used as a weapon in this episode was a nice acknowledgement of his comic book incarnation). The series might've toned down the sadistic craziness of the comic book version to DCAU Joker levels, but I dug the decision to make the pair eco-terrorists. It's a timely profession, and the animal motif that both of them have gives it an air of sensibility. 

What I really responded to, however, were their personalities, and it was a twofold response. First, I liked their old-timey, fairy-tale/nursery rhyme/storybook feel, with their use of honorifics and contrast in social status, with Pyg's educated air and Toad's more working class vernacular. They're a wonderful juxtaposition to each other aurally, verbally, and physically, which led me the second reason: They reminded me of Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre, those two marvelous Warner Bros. players of the 1940s. Udo Kier's voice work as Toad especially called back to Lorre, and while Brian George (no doubt glad not to be playing an Indian for once) didn't remind me of Greenstreet in his voice, Pyg's dialogue sometimes rang in my ears as feeling like it'd been written for Greenstreet. In any case, they're both strong, vibrant figures, and that's exactly what the show needs in its villains.

It's telling, of course, that I discussed our villains first, rather than our protagonists. There's nothing wrong with this Batman, really, and the opening scene as he broke up the robbery was classic Batman as he predicted the thug's choice in moves and then misled him in that choice, exploiting that eerie sense of omniscience that Batman has become known for. It was a good scene, and I even liked that he was caught unawares by the thug's partner. It's still a fresh-seeming Batman that Beware is crafting, and I appreciate that he's not completely invulnerable through preparedness and gadgetry.

Anthony Ruivivar (best known for Third Watch) is... fine? I don't mind the decision to forego two very distinct voices for Bruce Wayne and Batman, but I kept thinking that it was Steven Blum, he of a gazillion voice credits. I know that Blum voiced Batman in the most recent LEGO Batman game, but I haven't played it, so perhaps I just need to have my ears checked? In any case, it's a fine performance, and I don't think that the show's doing anything really different with Bruce/Batman, at least not yet.

However, we really need to talk about Alfred, and here's where that bit about interpretative baggage comes back to haunt me. Even if you did like the episode—and I really liked it, in case that's not yet clear—I think it's possible for this Alfred to give a lot of people pause. He's very different from the normal non-comic-book media representations of the character, and I've needed a couple of days since I first screened the episode to work through my thoughts about it. 

Just from a character-design perspective, I thought for a second that Lex Luthor had lost some Brady Bunch-esque wager, and had started working as Bruce Wayne's butler. I mean, you see a bald white guy in a DC Comics property, you think Lex Luthor, not Alfred Pennyworth. On top of that, this isn't the older butler/guardian we're used to; this Alfred has a strong jaw and a face that looks more at home on a boxer than a butler, no thin mustache or ring of hair.


Beware the Batman is making heavy use of the Alfred character's oft-mentioned but not always exploited background as British intelligence agent, and that's an interesting and differentiating choice, in line with the show's desire to tell new Batman stories through more obscure villains. Unlike with those villains, though, many people—and I include myself in this group—have likely grown accustomed to the polite-yet-sarcastic Alfred who delicately and lovingly keeps Bruce from losing his humanity completely to the cowl. So this more direct and almost partner-level Alfred—there's no "Master Bruce" or "Master Wayne" here, Bruce is just addressed as Bruce—rings a bit odd.

It's not completely outside the realm of comics, as the Batman: Earth One story painted Alfred as an ex-Royal Marine who was named Bruce's legal guardian after Martha and Thomas died. Alfred had a buzz cut and a goatee, and there was obviously no master/servant vibe given the circumstances. So it isn't as if this tough and durable Alfred is a completely fresh take, even if it may seem that way.

Initially I didn't care for it, and I'm still sort of on the-fence. But if there's one thing that can convince me to accept this combat butler version Alfred, it's that the core of his relationship with Bruce is the same: He's trying to protect Bruce as best he can, regardless of which mask Bruce is wearing, be it the Billionaire or the Bat. That, for me, is really important. I can come to accept this "new" Alfred because the bedrock of the character—as it's become set throughout the decades—is still there, and that matters more to me than bringing other, pre-established traits to the forefront.


I know it's contradictory of me to outright praise the changes made to the villains here—Pyg especially—while hemming and hawing about Alfred for several paragraphs, but it again speaks to that sense of interpretative baggage. I hate that it exists in this regard, and it says a lot about what I value, and what I think is important. Iron Man 3's Mandarin thing? LOVED IT. Idris Elba as Heimdall in Thor? I could not care less that he's black. Andrew Garfield half-joking about a sexually fluid Peter Parker falling for a male Mary Jane played Michael B. Jordan? Let's do it! 

Yet I balk at a different take on Alfred. It's short-sighted of me, and speaks to the creative and fan-expectation inertia that can accompany characters that've been around for, well, closing in on a century now in some cases. But we—and, again, I include myself in this—should be open and, indeed, happy with new takes on characters that keep them fresh and timely. They should not be stuck in plastic clamshells like those toys that are "mint in box." They should be reinvented, and we should expect our media creators to do just that, and give them the space to do so. We may just come to like it.

In any case, I'm very eager to see more from Beware the Batman, and I hope the show continues to challenge and push our expectations as it goes forward.



BAT-COMPUTER FILES

– "I say, Mr. Toad, what a wonderful night for a stag hunt."

– I love that Alfred just attacked Bruce in bed like he was Cato attacking Inspector Clouseau. Man, between the Greenstreet/Lorre comparison and now a reference to the old Pink Panther movies, I am really dating myself.

–  "Is that you in there, Mr. Wayne, being a cheeky peeper?"

– I really appreciate the use of Michael Holt. Would not be at all opposed to his superhero alter ego making an appearance as the show develops.

– DC Nation Short: Speaking of reinterpreted characters, the Wonder Woman short was decidedly smooth and stylish. 


What'd you think of Beware the Batman's series premiere?

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I wasn't impressed.
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What's with Mr Toad? He's really a talking walking toad?!
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It was worse than crap where's the orginal voice and this looks exactly like the shit show on nick TMNT I miss the old batman and the old TMNT!
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what was that crap i just watched...not happy
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The decision to reduce Micheal Holt from one of the very few black superheroes into a cowering capitalist involved in back room deals to destroy wetlands may have put me off of this show. They could have cast literally anyone nameless character, or even made one up, but instead they decided to devalue and ultimately dismiss Mr. Terrific in a nothing role in their first episode. "Just let me go...I'll pay whatever you want!" are not the words I want to hear coming out of that guys mouth. Even if he had tried to fight and failed it would have been preferable, because he'd at least be acting heroic, but no...he just begs for his life, and is never cleared of Pyg's allegations, unlike Bruce Wayne, so we can only assume that he was, in fact, in collusion with Stagg. Not very happy about that.
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I can get with you on some of this, but the notion that the show sets him up as corrupt is a bit squishy for me. You can assume he was in collusion with Stagg, but you can also assume that if Wayne didn't know, it leaves a door open for Holt not to know either. Perhaps I'm being generous in that regard, and also applying knowledge that Holt's not typically the type of character to engage in such activities, and thus giving the benefit of the doubt.

It does also speak to the issue of reinterpretation that I discuss above, and how we respond to that. Hell, I didn't like the New 52 relaunch of Mister Terrific (I thought it was a terrible book, with an awful characterization of Holt). In this case that you've outline, however, it's a net loss given Holt's standing within the superhero community, and I'm not disagreeing about that based on this episode. And if Holt is never seen again, and isn't given any development, then, yes, it's a major disservice that the show's done.

As always, however, I'm being patient, and we'll see if Holt reappears, and if this experience is the catalyst for a new version of Mr. Terrific.
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You can only really go on the information provided in the episode, so everything else is speculative, but Holt was never cleared of Pyg's allegations. If Batman has mentioned that while he was clearing his own name for the benefit of the viewer, then that would be a different story. It was not.

Also, while I can appreciate that, perhaps, there may be a long arc for Micheal Holt in future episodes, at this point there is nothing to suggest that there is. Stagg got a lot of screen time and development, Holt was had two-three lines of dialogue. So far the show has not done a great job of representation, and the representation it did have has not impressed me. If it had been ANY character that WASN'T Micheal Holt, I would not have the same problem...but given how few POC get to be heroes in comics, it seems almost cruel to dismiss one of them as a throw-away plot point. Any other person could have served that role...they chose to turn a black superhero into a rich coward. It's not a good scene.

If they do somehow pay that off with Micheal Holt becoming Mr Terrific, I'd be extremely happy, but until then I am supremely unhappy with the choices made in regards to that character.
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Or maybe he simply hasn't become Mr. Terrific yet and are setting him up to become a hero?

Why do we have to jump to stupid conclusions about a simple cameo role that will set up a bigger arc?
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Because all the information that we have right now is that he has been portrayed as a coward and a corrupt business man. Until he makes an appearance in the show as Mr. Terrific, that's what he is. Do you have any reason to believe that he's anything but what he was presented as in this episode? They could have made up a character or used any number of other already established corrupt business men in Gotham and the rest of the DCU, but instead they chose to devalue a character who is one of a very small group. It's not a stupid conclusion...it's the exact thing that they did.

At the very least he chose not to abandon Alfred as Stagg had suggested...that's the most heroic he got after begging for his life and throwing money at his problem. That's a huge step down from "Micheal Holt; smartest man in the world, and legacy hero, Mr. Terrific."
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I really struggle whenever I'm trying to watch this kind of CGI work, because it does have, as Noel put it, "a plastic/rubbery feel to it". Perhaps it's a matter of building up some tolerance to it, but... meh, it's difficult.
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I admit that GL:TAS is still in my brain a bit, so I'm perhaps just a bit more adjusted to it. At least it looks better than Avengers Assemble!
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I think for these new Batman's short series what I like and miss dearly everytime I watch one of these Batmans is, Batman Beyond. There was something about that. I did enjoy Batman: Brave and the Bold but it couldn't keep me with it for some reason.

This one, as I am watching it, can't say how it will go for me. So far noises in my head are yelling "They could done it better with graphics.", "They should make Batman as good as they make Bruce (without suite up).

I am missing that "Energy" I usually get watching Batman. But got to keep with it maybe it is just the CGI that is distracting me from feeling it in.
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"the Wonder Woman short was decidedly smooth and stylish."

Really? It had a style, but a pretty much bizarre one that definitely wasn't smooth. You could cut diamonds with those body lines. And no idea what was going on. So the Amazons run a small Caribbean country and patrol their beaches in jeeps, and Wonder Woman drives an invisible sports-car and takes an interest in a black-and-white crashed pilot. And everybody's hair breaks the sound barrier when they flip their heads? Okay...
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Smooth doesn't necessarily have to refer to the lines but how it played, and its tone.

As for "what was going on": It's just restyling/reimagining the WW origin a bit, with Steve crashing on the island and reconfiguring the Paradise Island militarism a bit. I was cool with it.
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Yes, I figured you weren't referring to "smoothness" per se. :)

If the Amazons have modern weaponry (aren't they supposed to be dedicated to peace?) and are driving around jeeps and all, that's more than 'a bit." Which would be fine if they were doing a new show, but for these little 3-minute blurbs, it seems like just a throwaway "Yeah, that'd be cool..." sort of thing.
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They, ideally, should be dedicated to peace, but if the early parts of Azzarello's current run in the comics have proved anything, it's that DC really does not care about that aspect any longer.

And most of the shorts are generally a "Yeah, that'd be cool..." vibe, even the ones that go on for 5 or 6 shorts, like little demo reels.
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Why wasn't "Beware The Batman" listed in/on "What to Watch"? The 1st I heard of this was this review, & I look thru your website almost ddaily.
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*shrug* Don't know. Andy may have missed it in his roundup of shows for Saturday, and I failed to mention it to him. So let's blame me instead of him.
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Alfred does look a little odd, although I think he looks a little more like Agent 47 than Lex Luthor.
Also including Tatsu seems like an odd choice, I know DC have been pushing the character pretty hard in thier main titles but the character doesn't exactly spring to the top of any list of potential sidekicks.
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He reminds me of a brawler from Machester or Liverpool. The kind of guy you DON'T want to cross, especially about football.

But I dig it. I also like the Earth 2 comic that the reviewer mentioned... how he wasn't a butler but was kind of took on the role as the kid's guardian. And how he was really a gruff operative or something.
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Didn't have high hopes for this, but I thought it was excellent. Great characters, plus cgi was better than expected.
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I don't mind the animation so much. I used to hate it in GL, but the series showed me that a good story trumps poor visuals, and sometimes the CGI was pretty cool anyway. (Aya's arc, for example) I wish we could have well-drawn 2D cartoons on TV nowadays, but it takes a lot of money to do that, and they wouldn't find a big enough audience in today's market. And in any case, it wouldn't come close to the quality of anime (unless it was animated in Korea and shipped back to the states).
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Interesting take on alfred. While the CGI from the images looked weird, the episode overall was enjoyable. HOWEVER, there is a animation goof that I saw when watching the episode. If anyone has the episode recorded, watch when Alfred frees holt and stag from the cage. Alfred has the taser in his hand, gets assisted by holt to walk, and then the taser mysteriously disappears. It was an odd animation, similar to how in a video game a character tries to holster a weapon and it disappears instead of "holstering" anywhere.
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He actually drops it after he breaks the door of the cage, just before Holt begins to help him walk. It's a really brief moment, and I only noticed it on my second viewing.
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PS - episode totally guilty of "enhance!"
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dont like the CGI either, the animation was the main reason I didnt watched Green Lantern. pls go back to old fashioned Justice League animation
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I like the use of obscure villains and I don't mind (intrigued!?!?) about Alfred but I cannot stand the animation style.
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i enjoyed it very much so. but it will never as good as GL:TAS or YJ imo.
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I dont know how I feel about any version of Batman that *isn't* voiced by Kevin Conroy. HATED the Batman in Young Justice for precisely this reason. He's been voicing the character for over 20 years, he's simply too iconic now that anything other than him just sounds weird to my ears.
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Well, they had Kevin Conroy as Captain Sunshine on this week's Venture Brother episode.
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God, who was the OSI guy that was helping Brock and company. The timid little guy that had to steer the ship last episode and last night was helping them in the cemetery and stuff. He was much more talkative this episode.

He sounded REALLY familiar. At one point I thought perhaps he was Clark Gregg, aka Phil Coulson from the Avengers and other Marvel works. But it didn't sound exactly like him and I didn't see any mention anywhere.
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Don't get me wrong, Kevin IS Batman to me. Keaton is still my live-action Batman but Kevin will forever be the voice I imagine when I think of Batman when reading comics or whatever.

That being said, I was OK with the other Batman series' voices (Brave and Bold, and The Batman). The Brave and the Bold in particular did a good job, he did the corny thing a little better. And The Batman was alright as a young 20-something Bruce.

They have to ween the viewers off his voice at some point. He's pushing 60 and I doubt he'll be able to do the voice in the same way forever. So start replacing him now and go out on top, or go too long and have the voice suffer. Other than Peter Cullen and Kevin Conroy, I doubt there are many American voice actors who have done so many episodes/films for one character in modern cinema.

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Look at those screenshots... Another reason why I feel bad for the kids of today. We were so lucky in the 90s; we had beautiful animated Batman series and movies that were hand-drawn by Japanese and Korean animation studios. The good old days of quality over quantity and easy money.
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Man, that half hour flew by! I can't believe all the negativity on here (not from you, Noel); I really enjoyed the premiere. The CGI looked similar to the new TMNT and Green Lantern and only felt a bit awkward/stiff when Bruce and Alfred talked in Wayne Manor, but otherwise, I liked the animation a lot. The action was very fluid and engaging, especially during that chase scene. Anthony Ruivivar's voice was cool for the Dark Knight, and it's interesting to watch Alfred take part in the main action as well. I also liked how everything wasn't quickly wrapped up at the end, which maybe suggests an over-arching storyline throughout the season...

Anyone else notice the episode began with Batman taking down two bank robbers, much like the opening sequence from Batman: TAS? I thought that was a nice touch.
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Nah, I totally understand the negativity. A lot of it is directed at the CGI, of which I am not a fan, even if I find myself tolerating it better here than elsewhere.
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It was better than I was expecting it to be but it's not even in the same league as Young Justice.
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Thank goodness for that! Oh, wait, you meant that as a negative, didn't you? (Young Justice decided to scuttle its potential in season 2 for me, so meh.)
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Wow, i dvr'd this ep and was going wtf about alfred looking more like lex luthor or maybe that agent guy from jackie chan adventures. I too don't like the cgi animation. They should've done it as the traditional 2d animation. I don't normally pass on shows based on animation, but i just can't commit myself to sticking with this show. Also i understand the point of using lesser known criminals, but at least feature some of the b stringers if not the classic villains. Nope, not winning me over.
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Animation looks/is fugly and that was just from watching trailer. Gonna pass this...
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This needs renaming to, Beware Outsourcing the Batman.
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Ok, so I sat through it, that'll be the last time that happens probably. I think you're being generous, the CGI is weightless and hard to look at, it looks like a video game. A lot of the physics just hit things and deflected off, not even bounced off. And the opening scene's render looked like a slightly reduced framerate, further adding to the video game-ness.

But the standout visual flaw is definitely Batman's face, this is the titular character and I hate looking at him. The pinched jaw, the overly-wide slit eyes, the extended nose, and most offensive of all, the lipstain-wearing mouth that never quite closes or reshapes to fit the words coming out of it. I found the design on Batman vexing because Bruce Wayne's face didn't bother me at all, and when I rewound it I saw why, the Batman character's face is narrower with higher cheekbones that are less defined, and the Bruce Wayne face's mouth has smaller lips that aren't colored. If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say they wanted Batman to have a little Japanese visual styling, and it's bizarre.

The story was a flat nothing without statement, it was just there, it didn't thrill me and it didn't really fail, it just existed. Pyg almost had impact, but Mr Toad's inclusion took away from that to become a generic pair of villains, and Toad's lack of justification or even question by others was a huge miss.

I got hung up on the voice work, Alfred sounds like a lower-class Englishman (something shared by the Nolan films), the nasty billionaire (not Mister Terrific, obviously, the other one) sounded like something I can't quite put my finger on, maybe the dad from Fairly Odd Parents, something like that, it's really grating to have such a similar voice.

But again, the big problem for me was Batman/Bruce Wayne, it reminded me of Rino Romano trying to do Kevin Conroy and just coming up generic and short. The Batman voice didn't seem like it'd instill fear in any criminal, you may think Bale's growl voice was silly but at least it was clearly trying to think about how Batman would behave and why, where this was not.

And was that Kurtwood Smith as Lt. Gordon? Interesting, too bad he got so little to do here.

As for Alfred, had they not bothered with the butler angle at all, if Bruce had hired him to pretend to be Bruce's bodyguard while teaching him intelligence work and how to lead a double life and close-quarters hand-to-hand combat, then I could have been on board with this character as presented here, that would have made sense and fit with the way modern rich people are seen - nobody believes Donald Trump has a single butler/confidant/family friend and that's the type of character Bruce Wayne is going for. But to leave him the family butler just missed the mark horribly and stood out as a problem rather than a solution.

Overall, it's not good enough for my tastes, it is not terrible but it's not good enough either, it lowers the bar even below The Batman in my opinion, which at least had a consistent creative vision and fairly exciting traditional cel-based animation and art, as well as a really interesting soundtrack where this has a fairly underwhelming sound.

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As for the Wondy short, wow, that was nothing and a half. I didn't care for the face half-buried in the sand having its mouth wide open, that was dumb, but was on board right until we went from WW2 styling to the 1970s with the Camaro - Wonder Woman was a very different animal in the '70s and there is room to play with that concept, but instead they went yet a different way from all that and it just seemed muddled. Oh, and it had NO STORY AT ALL, it was half an event.
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After a summer away from you, I totally missed you, JT.

The differences between the Bruce and Bat faces didn't really bother me, though the lipstain mouth annoyed.

The story, I was fine with. It's about on par, for me, with a regular Superman: TAS story. "Just existed" may be a bit harsh, but I'm also anticipating its anti-corporate overtones to tie into the show's use of Anarky as the big nemesis...depending on which philosophical version of Anarky they borrow from (I'm guessing the earlier version, but we'll see).

And that Kurtwood Smith. I think he'll have a bigger part next week based on the screenshots I was given. Wikipedia says Stagg was voiced by Jeff Bennett. (I didn't watch credits when it aired, and my screener didn't include them, annoyingly.)

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Word up, Noel! How long has it been since Young Justice articles? March, way too long.

This story's anti-corporate slant didn't really shine through, it seemed lost in playing murder games that didn't tie into the accusations Pyg & Toad were levying, they focused their killing on just a trio of rich investors despite there being tons of names on the investor sheet. I forgot they were using Anarky, especially since the DC Nation imagery was using Pyg as the singular villain (then again, they were still using Young Justice in some of the bumps too), maybe it'll work well enough that conservative parental groups will get up in arms to build press for the show, but I doubt it.

I stand by "just existed", and citing Superman TAS is a good example because that show's writing rarely felt stand-out, it went through the motions a lot of the time simply because it had to fill time. This BtB episode's character development felt flat and simplistic, we didn't get to know what was driving anybody all that well, and there weren't any significant consequences.

Oh, and Batman now has a ruffian butler, a sword-wielding sidekickette/driver, AND a sentient talking car a la Knight Rider? I guess this Bruce is being geared up as a lonely boy in need of friends.

That was it, thank you! Yes, Jeff Bennett, plays Dexter's dad on Dexter's Laboratory, which is the very voice I was thinking of.

I didn't get to watch the credits because they run after TTG and I don't even want to DVR it for concern of bumping its ratings up.
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The Batman was so-so? It must have done something right to warrant five whole seasons.
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Plenty of things run longer than should, and some things don't run as long as they should. I mean, technically, Batman: TAS is only 2-3 seasons long (depending on how you count the episode orders) before it was revamped as New Batman Adventures.

@JT_Kirk's point about the reinventing itself over and over again is the show's primary problem, though I wasn't a fan of the Jackie Chan Adventures art and character designs, either.
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You need 90 episodes to sell it to syndication and make any actual money on it.
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It took the visual style and martial arts animation from Jackie Chan Adventures, which actually had some appeal, and mixed it with Batman. But the writing consistently failed, the logic of the Rasta Maniac Joker didn't hold up, and so they just kept reinventing it over and over - adding sidekick after sidekick - as it rode the success of Batman Begins which came out during its run. At the end, they changed the format to Batman: the Brave & the Bold-style by adding guest DC superheroes to each episode. So it was just lucky to have a popular movie carry it until it reinvented itself over and over.
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I just hate CGI animation, but I'm oldschool. The new kids probably love it, because all these kids movies are CGI, so it makes sense why they are doing it.
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Nope. I'm a new kid and I hate it. Its all over the TV and it sucks. It's all the tiny-tots, like the 3 year olds, because thats who the shows are made for now, so they can make money off toys and merchandising. If cartoons weren't such a business aimed at the target audience from whom they can garner the most money then I'm sure we'd have better cartoons. Now the only 'adult' cartoons are ridiculous 'comedy' with crude humour. No superheroes.
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CGI animation always reminds me of a person who has had way too much Botox.
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I actually didn't have an issue with Green Lantern's animation. I prefer 2D to 3D but I love Bruce Timm's style and I wish this show had more of it. Alas, it's Batman so I have it on my DVR.
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Hmm, I think I will check its pilot out. I didn't like Green Lantern TV series.
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I watched it and was not impressed. It is like GL. Nice renderings though. I won't be watching any more episodes. :(
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I wasn't going to even bother giving this one a shot, IGN kinda liked it, and it seems you kinda like it, but that wasn't enough for me. But it doesn't air here for another hour and a half, so fine, I give up, there's nothing on so I'll watch it.

The problem with reinventing Alfred is that you need a reason for him to exist at all. There has to be internal logic to get from A to B to C with the character, otherwise why have him. Originally there was no Alfred Pennyworth, they added him to be a goofy servant to the rich Bruce Wayne, and that mellowed into a supportive butler who was to carry on the family tradition of serving the Wayne family. That of course was pre-crisis, but the character carries some of that weight... up until now.

When you tinker too much with the premise of Alfred, you start to force questions to be asked: why is he here, why would a rich family employ a ruffian, how would behavior changes affect Bruce growing up, did Bruce become Batman because Alfred guided him there, that sort of thing. It's a lot to ask, and a lot to have to play catch-up explaining and justifying later simply to have an obnoxious style change.
More+
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I think it was pretty clear this Michael Holt couldn't be the comic book one, what with the total lack of any fighting ability. Mr. Terrific in the comics has a black belt in five (six?) martial arts and is a gold medal Olympic decathlon winner.
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He was trapped in a car and then shackled to 2 men, what was he gonna do?
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The comic book version of Michael Holt wouldn't have been caught in the first place. He's arguably as good and smart as the full-fledged adult Batman. If Batman was chased by two animal-mutants with a bag full of bombs and an antique roadster, and could deal with them, so could Mr. Terrific.
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Kinda obvious he hasn't become Mr. Terrific yet.
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Well, yeah. But if a 25-30-year-old guy ain't won an Olympic decathlon and mastered five black belts, he probably isn't going to do so anytime soon... :) In the comics, Mr. Terrific was studying, "advanced science, space, and time while other children struggled through Sesame Street." Didn't seem like the guy we saw was a cyberneticist and quantum physicist.
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If he was as smart as Batman, he wouldn't wear a giant "T" on his face. ;-)
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Batman occasionally has built-in radar, it's pretty cheaty. He's not trying to actually BE a bat, he's trying to use the imagery of the bat to frighten others.

And yeah, they could get his mask off where they'd just cut Terrific's face off instead, but Terrific's "T" would be ineffective against image-based facial recognition, and at the end of the day he's still wearing a stupid "T" on his face - who is that gonna scare?
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If Batman were as smart as Mr. Terrific, he wouldn't wear a flying rodent costume. :) I mean, really, shouldn't he at least have built-in radar to carry the theme?

And bad guys can remove Batman's mask, as long as they wear a gas mask and have some cutting tools. Mr. Terrific's mask is made out of nanites that are bonded to his skin: no removing that sucker.
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