Skip to main content

Review: Beware the Batman - Animated TV Series

I first wrote about the 26 part TV series, Beware the Batman in my Animation and Video blog when the initial trailer was released back in June of 2013. At the time I was underwhelmed with the shows CGI and almost immaculate Gotham City streets.

For some reason the show was only ever aired at odd times on late night TV here in Australia, which seems to have been it's fate for the second half of the series in the USA too. As a result I only ever caught two or three episodes before the show disappeared. Apparently being declared a financial failure by Cartoon Network.



While the episodes I saw weren't particularly mind blowing they were reasonably solid Batman stories in a darker tone than the previous animated series Batman, The Brave and the Bold. Batman, in particular, is a much angrier and more focused hero and is voiced extremely well by Anthony Ruivivar. The only thing that really bugged me about this version of Batman is the shape of his cowl and the extremely pointy, flared out ears - not a lot of forehead in the character design.

Anyway, I happened along the DVD of the first half of Season 1, Beware the Batman - Shadows of Gotham, in my local department store and thought I'd give it a try. Several months later I happened to find the second half of Season 1, Beware the Batman - Dark Justice, in the same department store and bought that as well... to see how it ends.

Overall I would say Beware the Batman is a very under rated series. For the most part I always found each episode engaging and the characters of Batman/Bruce Wayne are as good a version as any I've seen to date in an animated series.

Also a real highlight is Kurtwood Smith as Lieutenant Gordon, who's character arc is fairly typical of modern versions of Gordon. Initially hostile towards Batman but eventually reconciles that bringing him in isn't as beneficial as just keeping an eye on things and accepting his help when necessary. Despite that his character is a standout in the series.

I must admit I'm not a fan of this version of Alfred Pennyworth (JB Blanc) depicted here as an ex secret agent. There's nothing particularly wrong with it as such but for a guy in his 60's he sure can not only take a punch but really hit hard too. In an early episode you see him go toe to toe with Bruce in an apparent training exercise. Seriously, if I'm fit enough to take on Batman in my 60's I'll be one happy camper.

Disappointingly this is yet another series with no Robin. Instead we get Katana (Sumalee Montano), a sword wielding spy from Alfred's past. Except for a really lame 'Clarke Kent' like disguise the character is a great addition and eventual side kick for Batman (that's not really a spoiler you can tell it'll happen from the moment she appears). My only question is how did she make it through 26 episodes without so much as a single drop of blood on her sword. I don't think any villain got so much as a scratch.

The villains aren't your classic Batman rogues gallery. To be honest I've never heard of any of them other than Ra's Al Ghul (Lance Reddick) who makes a brief appearance mid season and Killer Croc (Wade Williams) who also appears in a few episodes.

I wasn't a big fan of Anarchy (Wallace Langham) who is supposed to be the seasons major villain but really doesn't get enough screen time to feel like that's his role. Apparently he was chosen so as not to make this series 'another Joker story' but if they had used Joker instead I think the stories would have been stronger. Anarchy is too low key and doesn't really live up to his name. He's too calculated.

Surprisingly my favorite foes were Professor Pyg (Brian George) and Mr Toad (Udo Kier). Depicted as Eco-terrorists they are quite possibly the silliest characters of the series (and I rolled my eyes when I saw them in the trailer) but the banter between Pyg and Toad and their adversaries provided some of the best humor of the series.

The only other character that really caught my attention was Barbara Gordon (Tara Strong) played as an extremely young computer hacker who eventually becomes an ally of Batman as 'Oracle' (again not really a spoiler). I was hoping she'd eventually become Bat Girl. You can see that was probably the intention over the course of the series, as Katana trains her in hand to hand combat, but sadly it was probably a storyline that we would have been seen in a second series (sorry to spoil that for you but at least you're not sitting in hope like I was).

Overall there were no really stand out episodes for me. Although there were a few low point episodes - anything with Metamorpho (Adam Baldwin) and  Humphrey Dumpler (Matt Jones) for a start - both highly annoying characters. However most episodes were fairly strong in their storyline. Not overly complex but interesting enough to see how they play out. I was more interested in seeing how the series character arcs played out than the individual episodes stories.

If you like a darker, more serious Batman and you haven't been into recent incarnations of the character in animation then this might be well worth watching. It would have been great to see a second season of the show with some of Batman's more well known villains, as I think the choice of foes is really what let the show down. They needed at least one familiar face in this 'C list' rogues gallery, if not Joker then one of the other top tier characters (of which Ra's isn't one of them despite Batman Begins).

A good series for the collection and well worth a few watch throughs for Batman alone.




Comments

  1. My son is a huge fan of batman series whereas my daughter doesn’t want to watch anything other than shows by Andy Yeatman. I get to live in two different worlds at the same time. It’s quite a fun thing though. I liked reading this post because I believe, I will have a lot of more thing in common with my son and he is going to be very happy if I answer all his batman questions.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated by an actual human (me, TET) and may not publish right away. I do read all comments and only reject those not directly related to the post or are spam/scams (I'm looking at you Illuminati recruiters... I mean scammers. Stop commenting on my Illuminati post!).

Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET.

Popular posts from this blog

How to Transfer Any Line Art to Your Griptape - Easy Skateboard Griptape Art Tutorial

Dog Star Griptape Art by TET Griptape art is once again gaining popularity amongst modern skateboarders. For those of us who have tried to create our own griptape art, using paint pens, you'll know reproducing your design onto the grip, without making any mistakes is incredibly challenging. Mostly because you just have to go for it and draw the design freehand, with paint pens, directly onto the griptape. You can make the odd mistake here or there but if you get the proportions of the design completely wrong, it can be very difficult to fix. Often you just have to live with the mistake. To address the problem I've come up with an easy way anyone can transfer a line art design to their griptape, removing almost all the anxiety of getting the proportions wrong. In fact, you could do this with any line art design, even if you have no drawing skill at all. Watch the video below to see my technique in action and/or skip past the video where I highlight the basic steps to get your de

Skateboard Trick Tips: Two Ways to Ollie North (Ollie One foot)

You have to be quick to see my Ollie Norths! Ollie One Foots, otherwise known as the Ollie North, is one of those skateboard tricks you learn and then tend not to do very much as more interesting trick challenges grab your attention. However it does look really cool if you learn how to kick your front foot well past the nose of your skateboard. Still shot from Braille Skateboarding's Ollie North tutorial. I was inspired to make my video below, showing two different techniques to achieve a successful Ollie One Foot, when I not only saw that Braille Skateboarding's Tutorial used a different method to the one I had learned but also, when I looked at various other video tutorials, I discovered yet another technique, with no one using the method I had originally learned. Braille's method is to simply Ollie and drag your front foot past the front of your board. The second method I came across in several video tutorials is to Ollie, drag your front foot and tap your

Guest Post: New Novel - Alias Jeannie Delaney - Book 2 - The Outlaw's Return

A lmost a year ago I featured Go West Girl , Book 1 of author, Kit Mackenzie's Alias Jeannie Delaney series. Now, the next book in the series,  Alias Jeannie Delaney - Book 2 - The Outlaw's Return , is soon to be released in August, and is available for pre-order on Amazon. If you love a powerful female lead in a traditional western packed with action and adventure, this is the novel for you. The story centers on Cowgirl Jeannie Morgan who grew up in Coyote Creek, Wyoming, where she became persecuted for her lethal gun and a sexuality that swings both ways. Tomboy beautiful and tough as the nails in a miner's boots, she is on the run with a bunch of boys who would die for her. Her snake strike gun, soul-slicing gaze and dangerous magnetism leaves a trail of intense emotions, killings and would-be death threats in her wake. Heading south, she finds herself becoming a legend. She's in deep trouble, but her home town demands her return and they pin a badge on her. It'

Four Years into a Post Pandemic World and Secondary COVID-19 Might be a Thing?

Social distancing 2020 style. A fter not being too far from COVID-19, potentially patient zero in Australia back in 2020. Four years later my partner finally tested positive for the virus. Then I inevitably caught it as well. You might think, so what, but I'm honestly surprised we've lasted this long. My partner works at an aged care facility that has fought off numerous outbreaks over the years, and continues to do so. Workers at her facility take RAT tests daily so you know pretty quick if you test positive. Workers then have to isolate at home for at least seven days until they're clear. COVID-19 symptoms can vary in intensity and you may not get the full range (at least to my knowledge and experience). My partner seemed to get it fairly bad with tiredness, aching joints, loss of taste and smell, along with cold and flu like symptoms (sore throat, congestion etc). While we did try to social distance, keeping our distance, hand washing, and not sleeping in the same room

I'm Joining the Illuminati Brotherhood By Personal Invitation of Hiltom Rothschild... Wait, What?

How special am I to have finally come of age (53 years young) and am now eligible to participate in building the world alongside other members of the Illuminati Brotherhood... Yes I've received the call by way of an email, which I'm sure is real because I had to translate it from the Dutch language and it was personally written by Hiltom Rothschild, one of the non-existent members of the Rothschild family (or perhaps deep undercover because Google has never heard of them?). A Transcript of the email below: To: etourist From: Illuminati Brotherhood  Subject: Illuminati Broederschap (Illuminati Brotherhood) I am Hiltom Rothschild, a member of the Rothschild family, one of the 13 families of the Illuminati brotherhood. I'm here to let you know that you've come of age and are eligible to participate in building the 🌎 world. It is a calling and a privilege to honor him with pride and gratitude as not everyone will ever be chosen by the LIGHT, many are called but few are ch

Robot Uprising Update: Robot Waiter, Fasta Pasta, South Terrace, Adelaide CBD, South Australia

On the second evening of my partner, Enigma, and I's weekend stay in Adelaide we decided to have dinner at Fasta Pasta . Strangely enough our hotel staff, at the Alba, had not mentioned Fasta Pasta as an option for an evening meal while their restaurant is closed for refurbishment, even though it is literally next door on the corner of South Terrace and Pultney Street. You may be aware that Fasta Pasta is an upmarket Italian restaurant franchise with its beginnings in Adelaide. Currently they have 19 restaurants Australia wide (with the majority in South Australia - we even have one in Gawler, our home town). I've never had bad food at a Fasta Pasta, and their food never looks like a franchise meal. You always feel you're at a restaurant that's a little bit more quality than your typical hotel/motel meal. Maybe it's because you don't see as much pasta based meals on an Aussie pub menu. Despite the name, it's not all pasta. I went with a basic plate of fish a

The First US Presidential Debate 2024 - America You're Standing In It

M ost of the time I get my fill of American political news from clips of The Daily Show , which I know many people accuse of being more political left leaning than balanced with its humour. As such it was my first port of call when looking for commentary on the recent, first US Presidential debate for 2024. I say first because I don't know if they'll do another one. I'd strongly advise they don't. Getting your news from a comedy show isn't ideal, even one as arguably intelligent as The Daily Show, because they're focussed on what can be laughed at, more than serious analysis. As such their coverage very well could be making both candidates look more foolish than they may actually be. As such I decided to watch the full replay of the debate so I could get more of a sense of who both candidates are and how they come across in, what should be, their ideal platform - debating the opposition. Before Donald Trump became President I was a fan. I watched every season o