As official Batmanologist of The Movies (I own a sexy, sweaty Batman cowl), it’s up to me to watch and play anything that the Dark Knight happens to have a batarang in. There’s a new Batman cartoon out (FINALLY) that goes by the name of Beware the Batman, and you know what?
In my completely biased opinion, it;s actually pretty damn good. Here’s five reasons why.
I loved the last Batman series, The Brave and the Bold. It was a fun look at a less serious Batman that had high levels of action, teamwork and Aquaman shouting “OUTRAGEOUS!”. But outside of recent animated efforts, Batman has rarely been a serious show.
Brave and the Bold captured the silly excitement of the silver age, while the series before that was The Batman, was basically a massive toy advertisement. BTB shows a dark knight who uses the shadows to his advantage, inciting fear into criminals and showing none in return, dislocated shoulder be damned.
He’s the kind of Batman that Christian Bale showed off on the big screen, but with less throat cancer and a more psychological aspect added to his arsenal.
And where would Batman be without his trusty Butler, Alfred? Except instead of a sardonic man-servant that wishes that Bruce would leave the cowl behind, this is an Alfred with lethal training of his own, connections and an attitude that you don’t want to cross.
This Alfred has far more in connection with his Batman: Earth One counterpart, settling on the fact that if he cannot keep Bruce away from the night, he’s going to make damn sure that this Batman is prepared at least for whatever awaits him. And he’s also one step away from Jason Stathamming himself into a vehicle and helping to save the day.
If there’s one aspect of the Batman mythos that is constantly overlooked in the cartoons., it’s his keen mind. Bruce Wayne is one of the smartest men alive, and he puts that intellect to fine use in BTB, deducing clues before he throws a punch and lamenting the fact that had he prepared and anticipated further, he would have been far more effective in his debut episode mission.
The Batman has always been equally lethal with his mind when it comes to fighting evil, and BTB finally makes him a detective first, and a brawler second.
This is one part of Batman lore that you cannot, absolutely must not ever mess up. While audiences have gotten used to seeing the Dark Knight cruise around town in a glorified tank, BTB finally puts the caped crusader in a vehicle that would give the crew of Pimp my ride a set of chromed erections with built-in DVD players.
And yet that vehicle still looks badass, instead of gloriously over the top as it did in Batman and Robin. And it’s a welcome return to form.
When it comes to villains, professor Pyg is the Hannibal Lector of that comic book universe. Except, instead of a nice chianti he prefers to dress men in doll masks that bond to the skin and then proceed to dance a solo tango while explaining his motherly issues. Norman Bates would be proud.
BWB is still a kids cartoon, and as such the idea of a deranged butcher in a pigs mask spreading killer viruses with an army of brainwashed crossdressers with acid-infused masks might not fly well past the parental groups.
But seeing Pyg as a ruthless animal rights eco-mentalist with a Wind in the Willows vibe? Surprisingly, and refreshingly effective as a Batman foe.
Last Updated: July 15, 2013