Movies / Animé and Toons

Beware the Batman – There’s new Blood Around

By Hervé St-Louis
July 21, 2013 - 00:19

The new 3D animated Batman series Beware The Batman has debuted this week from Cartoon Network and one aspect of the series that I like from the first two episodes is how lesser used characters are used in the story instead of always relying on the Joker, the Penguin, Two-Face, Poison Ivy and Catwoman. Other changes include the revamping of butler Alfred Pennyworth into a dedicated bodyguard for Bruce Wayne.

When it was announced that Beware the Batman would replace Young Justice and Green Lantern Animated, many fans complained about the cancellation of very strong animated series. From the two episodes that I’ve watched, the writing team behind Beware the Batman has lost nothing of the traditional strong plots that have always adorned Batman animated series since the 1990s reboot of Batman Animated. The plot is crisp, and the characters as incisive and outlandish (in the case of the villains) as possible.

What I liked the most was the used Mr. Pyg and Mr. Toad, two recently introduced villains from the comic books that have yet to make a splash elsewhere. The pair is composed of animal rights environmentalists seeking revenge on wealthy Gothamites that bought land essential for batrachians. While Mr Pyg appears to be a human with an affinity for things Victorian with a pig’s facemask, Mr. Toad seems like a real batrachian.  He also plays the henchman role best remembered by X-Men’s villains – the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

The other novel villain is Magpie. She is an obscure Batman villain who’s a kleptomaniac whose modus operandi reminded me of Catwoman. She also knows how to fight really well. Again, I was impressed with this villainess and was wondering how she would play against someone like Black Canary! I would say Magpie is a cross between Catwoman, Harley Quinn and Black Canary!

Other non-traditional DC Comics characters were also brought in as supporting characters. Simon Stagg, better known as a villain of Metamorpho made an appearance in the first episode as a rich Gothamite that has invested in the badlands Mrs. Pyg and Toad are after. Michael Holt, otherwise known as the world smartest man (the third smartest thing is idiotic) made an appearance as a cowardly industrialist who barely redeems himself by helping Alfred later in the episode. And just in case these appearances were not enough, Katanna also shows up as Bruce Wayne’s new driver and bodyguard. She reminded me of Lex Luthor’s Merci. The series will be interesting with her around.

The animation wasn’t great, unfortunately. The car chases through Gotham City were less interesting because there weren’t any bystanders or other cars around.  I understand that every extra character and prop in a 3D animated series adds t the costs. However, whereas the Green Lantern series could get away with this by adding a few meteorites in the background, the threat against Gotham is not as real without anyone to witness the car chases and the fights.

Last Updated: May 19, 2020 - 12:25

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