We had the pretty promising start of a series with Bat in the Belfry and that was OK. Good in fact. It portrayed the Joker as a twisted, phychotic maniac, if a little silly at times, and Batman as a dark, menacing and yet protective, heroic figure. This episode chooses to introduce us to Bane, the villain who is infamous for being the only one to ever actually defeat Batman. Like the last episode, very simple plot, but this time with a little more motive. Gangsters have gathered together, all sick of being beaten by Batman time and time again, and one of them has hired the masked killer, Bane, to destroy the Batman once and for all. Bane has the ability to transform himself into an incredibly powerful beast using the Venom formula, and during his first battle with Batman, he crushes Batman and then proceeds to take over Gotham. This is a pretty good story in itself, but it has its definate flaws. We should have seen Batman busting more crooks before they actually join forces to show that Batman is really frustrating them, and to have Batman shown as a more unstoppable force, seemingly unbeatable, and so there would have been a greater shock element when Bane defeats Batman in battle. After Bane has beaten Batman it all just gets a little far-fetched. Bane starts taking over Gotham- by robbing places and commiting various crimes. A waste of his potential. If he really has all these powers he should be using them to really take over the town, and the Batbot, while undeniably cool, just seems a little too...sci-fi for Batman. The characters are OK in this. Batman is just like last time, a cool, mysterious Caped Crusader who is kind and understanding beneath the cape and cowl and ruthless to his enemies. Alfred is good too, and this episode focuses a lot on his relationship with his master, how he may get fed up of rescuing him all the time and he is genuinely concerned when Batman is so severely injured. It is also shown how he is ever-loyal to Batman and would never leave him, and it is rather touching how faithful Alfred is. As for the villain, the infamous Bane he is good. Just good, not spectacular. His voice is nice and menacing and his new design looks scary, and he is obviously a confident and emotionless killer and it is great to see him as the one who breaks the Bat. But his motive seems unclear after he defeats Batman and so much more could have been done with this character. This episode is like the first one, good, but could have been better. A little worse than the previous episode, but only a little. It has good music, good animation and generally a good cast of characters, but a lot more good have been done with this one, earning it a 7.0, when it could have been at least an 8.5.
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