Beware the Batman is the latest version of Batman in animation, this time in CGI, but it doesn't reach anywhere near the highs of GL:TAS, and for every good point, there are multiple problems
+ The backgrounds, for the most part look pretty damn good
- The city does look lifeless, the fact that it costs money for every unique person they add probably contributes, but it is rather jarring
- Character designs are a little off. Particularly noticeable with James Gordon, whose chest goes out way too far
+I do like the villain choices for this, mixing (particularly in the second half) well known and lesser known villains
- I get the need to simplify anarchy, and Pyg and Toad, whose motivations are rather complex for what ultimately is a family show, but they end up being knockoffs of much better villains (Pyg and Toad have an animal rights/eco-terrorism view, like the odd hybrid of Catwoman and Poison Ivy, Anarchy is rather similar to the Joker)
- The fact that some major villains aren't even referenced. The show uses some of 2nd string major villains like Killer Croc and Manbat, even using Ra's al Ghul (I'm not counting Two-face as a villain in this arc as he does nothing as two-face aside from speaking as if he's two people, for some reason we don't find out because we don't see his face after the accident) but I felt they could've incorporated more mainstream villains too (I reckon they could've dropped the name Nygma (or Nashton) as the guy who creates false IDs as a reference to the Riddler)
+ I like the decision to put Batman in his early years
- They rather failed with the detective skills, it seems more like clunky exposition, as Batman explains (after very little thinking time) how one thing connects to the other and detective work is often relayed to the JARVIS-lite Bat-computer. There were some decent detective stories, but... not all of them good enough
+ I liked a lot of the stories (these peaked with the League of Assassins story near the middle)
- Some creative decisions were very poor, the portrayal of Harvey Dent was cringeworthy, and like the Anarky story, was left unresolved. Whilst (to an extent) this works with Young Justice, where the criminal conspiracy encompassed an entire universe of villains, it's unnecessary here, as there are a lot of other villains left unexplored, not to mention infinite opportunity for villains to break out of prison and start anew.
- Also not a big fan of Deathstroke's arc, which becomes the main climax for the finale, in spite of the fact 2 other plot arcs were being set up.
- I have a slight issue with Mayor Grange's (I think) unresolved arc. After an encounter with Humpty Dumpty she disappeared then reappeared announcing her resignation. Am I the only one who believes this is not entirely her choice. It certainly doesn't seem in character with how she'd been portrayed
+ I liked Barbara Gordon in this, I also like that she became the Oracle of the group
- In the finale they drive into the bat-cave in the front of a van without wearing a blindfold (hell they allowed her - an untrained girl, to drive (or be driven) into the Batcave, knowing Deathstroke was there!)
+ Batman's I need allies arc
- Batman's I need allies arc
This is both the positive and the negative of this series. On the whole this worked fairly well, I particularly enjoyed his brutal stages without Alfred, but it does seem a little contrived that he was working well (for the most part) with a team prior to the end of the LoA arc, then had to relearn it AGAIN in the second half
- Does every major villain have to connect to him?!
I like the fact that Alfred has some part in Bruce's training, but for the love of all reason why did Deathstroke have to be connected to Alfred (I already said I didn't like Slade's arc)
The scheduling issues in the US might be down to one thing, this show does become quite violent in the second half. We see Batman clearly breaking the bones of Killer Croc, Humpty Dumpty referencing murders (with a dead body in the room) an assassination, and an off-screen killing (OK, that's not new, but it's clearer than normal) These may well be some of the reasons why they decided not to air the second half of the season on Cartoon Network's DC-Nation block, and instead relegated it (much later) to Adult swim
And while I prefer the first over the second half of the season, it's not the violence that pushes it (I liked the Flashpoint Paradox, for example) Many of the stories seemed rather half-baked, the dialogue is nearly always clunky (a lot of Katana's lines are 'insert random quip here' based lines)
I wanted to like this show, and for a while I did, but the second half (Harvey Dent's arc particularly) irritated me (The idea that Harvey Dent would team up with Anarky is downright stupid, even in the context of the show)
If DC could somehow see how good this is and go for a season 2. Having seen all 26 episodes, I tell you, this show is as good in its own way as Batman the Animated Series. It is Batman, yet different, but bottom line, the stories are good, and the choices of villains and origin tales are fresh. I could see a Batman and the Outsiders stemming from this. Cartoon Network is only interested in shows which sells toys. Sadly, this show isn't for kids. But it caters for us adults. We need a few more seasons.
The inclusion of lesser-known foes keeps the show fresh and avoids repetition. It also makes the introduction of more well-known foes like Ra's al Ghul, Killer Croc, and Two-Face feel like a big deal.
Alfred, despite being different, still serve his main role as Bruce's parent figure. Katana is more of a partner than a sidekick. Batman also undergoes a character arc and his psych issues are explored more than in most shows. In fact, the use of serial story arcs and strong continuity is a first in a Batman show.
But Batman: The Animated Series is far superior. Beware the Batman has several flaws that keep it from being truly great:
Lack of classic enemies: Instead of using classic enemies like the Joker or the Riddler, this series focuses on more obscure enemies, such as Anarky or Professor Pyg. While I respect that these enemies are gaining attention, I would still like the classic enemies in the series, especially the Joker, since the Joker is Batman's greatest enemy and should always be the main villain of a Batman show. Instead Anarky is the primary villain.
Animation: I have no problem with CGI as I love the 2012 TMNT series, but the CGI animation in this show is pretty weak. Rarely do I see any real emotion in the characters. It almost feels like there are only two emotions a person can show in this series.
Katana and Alfred as the sidekicks: I don't like the way Alfred is portrayed in this show. In previous incarnations, he is sophisticated and had dignity, but did have some fighting skills. In this version, he is a gruff old man who assists Batman and even used a rocket launcher and lacks the sophistication and has much more combat skills than previous incarnations. Katana is Batman's other ally, but Katana was a superheroine in her own right and didn't need to be reduced to a sidekick.
The show's story is not bad though. I do enjoy it, though Batman: the Animated Series is much better. Overall, if you're a Batman fan, you should give this a shot.
Here are the names and plots for episodes 14 through 26. These episodes are all available online (Amazon UK), have all aired in New Zealand too, and should be available in the near future at Amazon Prime. Even though CN dropped the show after ep. 11, the whole season of 26 shows was completed and CN can resume them whenever they want....
Episode 14 Darkness: Batman makes an unlikely alliance with Silver Monkey to escape from the League of Assassins. Meanwhile, Katana, Alfred, Lieutenant Gordon, and Barbara take action as Ra's al Ghul's attempts to cleanse the city during the black out has left it terrorized by "the Ghosts" and other criminals.
Episode 15 Reckoning: Ra's al Ghul recruits Professor Pyg, Mister Toad, Magpie, Tobias Whale, Phosphorus Rex, and Cypher to eliminate Batman in return for control of a piece of the city. Batman races to find his location and save both his partners and the entire city, while Lt. Gordon and Barbara attempt to hack and disable the Ion Cortex once and for all.
Episode 16 Nexus: Six months after the black out caused by the League of Assassins, new District Attorney Harvey Dent is trying to put a stop to the mask and cape crisis. Batman finds himself being framed for an attempted attack on the life of Mayor Grange and takes drastic action to find out who is responsible.
Episode 17 Monsters: Batman and Katana team up with Rex Mason (who has been classified as the "Golem of Old Gotham") as they combat an increasing army of armored thugs that have been terrorizing several parts of Old Gotham. In addition, they also dodge Harvey Dent's newly-created Special Crimes Unit which is ordered to take down both the armored criminals and the vigilantes fighting them.
Episode 18 Games: Humpty Dumpty captures Batman, Katana, Gordon, Mayor Grange and Tobias Whale and makes all of them play his Murder Mystery Game.
Episode 19 Animal: In order to track a thief who has stolen a dangerous piece of code-breaking software, Batman has himself arrested and thrown into Blackgate prison.
Episode 20 Doppleganger: Batman and Katana encounter a strange Man-Bat creature, who is the experimental result of Pyg and Toad's animal army of mutant humans
Episode 21 Unique: An old friend of Bruce Wayne's comes to him for help, when her father has been cloned by a mysterious organization to create an army of super soldier man hunters.
Episode 22 Hero: Desperate to rid the city of Batman, Harvey Dent allies with Anarky, who recruits a new hero to take Batman's place Deathstroke.
Episode 23 Choices: When Batman and Katana are ambushed in the Gotham subway by Killer Croc, it's up to Barbara Gordon to save them. Only one problem: Barbara is on a date.
Episode 24 Epitaph: When Bruce Wayne is "assassinated" by Batman, he lets the world think he's dead and goes in search of the imposter "The Bad Batman".
Episode 25 Twist: Batman continues to work in secret so he can find answers, while Harvey Dent recovers in Gotham Hospital. Blaming Batman for everything, he enacts martial law in Gotham.
Episode 26 Alone: When Alfred is taken hostage by Deathstroke in the Bat cave, Batman must face him alone. Harvey Dent reveals his true nature as Two Face.
Episodes 12 and 13 are on Bluray available. Sadly it seems there won't be more episodes?! Goddamn do they always have to abandon and cancel everything that fast? It's just an animated series. I am sure they could easily do a second season with a good enough viewer quote :(
This show while inventive, and adding something new to the mythos (especially with their take on Alfred), is simply not a suitable replacement for the far superior, Young Justice. As much as I've enjoyed the episodes thus far, it doesn't offset the regret I feel in not getting a YJ season 3.
I really dont like the new 3D shows since they have barley any background details like this one. The regular villians are gone and it feels strange looking at this. Also, why do Batmans lips stick out more than anything. Personally, the old fashioned 2D animation is better than this new form of animation and this show proves it well.
To all the people who are hating on this show should take a second to think about how their not acting like real Batman fans as much as they think they are. These new villains are not all animals some are awesome like Anarky, Magpie and Lady Shiva. The soundtrack for the show is unbelieving perfect including the story line that gets better every episode. So no more hating, watch more episodes and you will love it just like the rest of us Batman fans do.
Definitely at first sight it might seem as a... weird CGI generated batman, anyways I think you can get pass the animation and look into the story. I've enjoyed how they manage to show us Bruce and Alfred into a sort of different light, perhaps more human or at least more believable in a sense that we now know more about Alfred and Katana and her back story helped infuse the series with a familiar yet unexplored plot.
Yes, I must confess that I do love classic batman enemies but seeing the ones on this new adaptation helps me remember the original Animated Series which also IMO is amazing (at least before it's animation was completely revamped) However the only constant in life is change and at least this story is centered in a young Bruce Wayne and hopefully well get to see more of his universe and enemies in the future.
Replacing Joker and other "AA" villians with other less popular enemies is very beneficial for this series, because it gives opportunity to finally exploit another enemies and make the story more interesting.
I've seen Batman the animated series. Also no one wanted a new Batman being said this show isn't terrible. I can't name one person who doesn't know Batman's origins or his entire rogues gallery. This is one of the best characters written in comics. That being said this show makes him into a detective and doesn't fall into the trappings of needing to tell a origin story again. The dialogue is good but the script isn't very tight. The animation is terrible at first sight. For many and myself we got used to it and some of us like it. For others it will take much longer to get used to. The villains are new villains that haven't been over used. Some of them are one dimensional while other are complex characters. I like there take on Katana and what there doing with Alfred is both familiar and new. Ultimately it's not the worst Batman show let me remind you of 2003 show made to sell toys. This does a surprising good job but there is no competition between this and the Original animated series. Driving home this point for the last time its a new batman show that is done write and is not a retread of everything we have seen like Brave and the Bold it does something new. It also doubles as a origin story because it is a new Batman. With this being said I suggest fans who have written the show off go back with this in mind.
I cannot express just how disappointed I am at the newest iteration of the Dark Knight. I honestly feel bad for the kids who have to grow up watching this crap, when we had the genius of Paul Dini and Bruce Timm. I understand they are trying to freshen things up, but at the cost of quality? Instead of joker, Freeze, and Two-Face, we get Mr. Toad and Humpty Dumpty? There is a reason Bruce Timm and his people ran as long as they did, from Batman all the way though Justice League Unlimited. The used characters people cared about. I bought a season pass for this show on Amazon and I'm already wondering about their refund policy. I don't have a problem with the voice overs. I have a problem with the writing and the content. But then, how do you write for this kind of crap. You think kids don't like dark and gritty, but they do!!! Every kid want's to be Batman. They don't want to be Robin. They want to be a badass. It is us that force feeds them this non sense until they watch it because that all there is for their demographic. Go back, watch Batman: TAS, and start again!
"Beware the Batman" is the newest take on the classic DC hero, striving to bring the character and tone back to the darker, more serious incarnation similar to "The Animated Going into this new adaptation, I was wary. The art style at first glance wasn't something I was too fond of, but I felt the same way about many of my favourite animated shows ("Brave and the Bold" and "Spectacular Spider-man"). Also, hearing about the new take on Alfred along with starting the series off with Prof. Pig gave me my doubts. This replacing "Young Justice" didn't help my disposition.
However, I've got to say I enjoyed at least the first episode much more than anticipated. The art style takes some getting used to, but in the end fits the tone and setting nicely. I especially liked the return of the black and yellow theme for Batman's . Pig, along with Mr. Toad, also make for interesting and new characters. Though a bit out of place at first, the anthropomorphic Toad at least opens up that this more serious version of Gotham still hosts super-powered individuals, so fears this will be too realistic fall to the wayside. Prof. Pig is actually quite formidable as well, and the duo have great chemistry.
Alfred, however, I'm not quite too fond of. They made him into basically old Jason Statham, which as a new character would be pretty cool except it basically makes Alfred into something he never was. Gone away is Alfred's sophistication and demeanor, in return he is gruff, tactical, and always looks angry. To make matters worse, the writers basically make Alfred more powerful than Batman, who is constantly asking for his help and assistance. Not that Batman doesn't occassionally do this, but in BTB it seems like Alfred taught Bruce all he knows and still can get the upperhand on him. Furthermore, the Bruce/Alfred relationship seems way too forced. Bruce keeps complaining about trying to protect Alfred by keeping him out of the field when it's really Bruce who isn't doing very well... And with how gruff Alfred is, I just don't get the sense that Alfred is a caretaker for Bruce like the gentler, sophisticated Alfred did.
The story for episode one was okay. Rather cliche', but worked. However, little things bother me, such as Alfred calling Batman "Bruce" while in the field, or physically calling Batman via video phone. What if somebody saw Alfred video chatting with Batman? (which almost happened) Also, the Batcomputer actually talks, becoming a lame version of JARVIS from Iron Man.
Still, it has promise. It's not the Batman show I deserve, nor is it the one I need, but it's the one I've got so I'll see where it goes. It's definitely caught my attention...
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