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Beware the Batman "Broken" Review

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall and then proceeded to shoot at Batman.

Another Saturday morning, another less popular villain giving Gotham all kinds of terrible trouble. This time around, Beware the Batman introduces the campy (but in a totally fun way) Humpty Dumpty as he seeks revenge on a specific group of individuals. Can Batman stop him? You'd be silly to think otherwise, but the real question is whether or not this lesser-known baddie can make for an entertaining episode. Read on to find out.

Like I already said, Dumpty's a pretty cheesy character and it's clear this show definitely isn't straying away from wacky elements. I mean, the first episode made that pretty clear with their take on Professor Pyg and Mr. Toad, didn't it? It's fitting, though, because Batman has some seriously cool rogues that the general public doesn't know about, and a lot of of them are just all kinds of weird and abstract. Now, I'm not saying the show is doing a stellar job making them fascinating characters, but in this case, they do an able job setting one up and unlike some of the other villains, this has a fitting conclusion which could absolutely lead to more appearances and development. Plus, I really dig the visuals Humpty brings to the table. The sleek and cartoony toy soldiers gives a unique visual as they're randomly sitting in assorted areas of the concrete jungle. Dumpty's revenge driven agenda once again forces Wayne to put his detective abilities to the test and, I must admit, I'm really loving that about this show. It's consistently giving Bruce's brain a workout and building him as a more than able tactician/detective and that's most certainly a great quality. Additionally, any story which dives deeper into the relationship between Gordon and Bruce is a good thing in my book (it's a pop-up book, by the way).

Meanwhile, the show also briefly returns to Katana and the Soultaker. I love building the connecting to the League of Assassins and there's a very nice name drop, but I don't get the huge interest in the weapon. How can a sword which slowly drains one person's soul be critical in overthrowing your opposition? That doesn't seem like a terribly quick or effective way of wiping out your enemies. Maybe there's more to the blade, but that has yet to be hinted at. Perhaps it's just one of those, "that's a really cool rare toy and only I can have it!" kind of things. Hopefully there's more to the blade than revealed in this episode.

Aside from showing off Bruce's intellect, this episode also did a solid job making Batman a hand-to-hand badass as well. Watching him obliterate a group of goons was delightful (though punching the guy who gave up seemed a bit harsh) and seeing him resolve the conflicts with the heavy-armed toys was a real blast. They built up Humpty to be a pretty formidable tank like character, so it's a bit disappointing we didn't see them throw down. But then again, if they did, I'm sure I would have just complained that Batman didn't perform as well as he should have, so I'll consider it a win.

Brace yourself! Gripes are coming! Let's start with a super small ones, shall we? When Bruce is in the Batmobile and finds his next location on his map, it's straight ahead a few blocks and then a right (within the downtown area, too). However, Batman then takes a sharp left and drives out of the downtown area. Like I said, small gripe, but it was definitely a, "Wait, whaaaaa?" kind of moment for me. Oh, and shouldn't the bomb squad be wearing some kind of protective gear and Gordon shouldn't stand right next to it because... how exactly is he helping again?

I haven't brought it up yet in other reviews because I'm used to it over in TMNT, but the city being virtually empty is hugely distracting in this case. It didn't really bother me in the previous episodes, but when there's giant toy soldiers in the street and each time there's only one or two onlookers, it just feels... well, empty and makes me wonder why these crazy people are out and no one else is. Maybe everyone is scared to go out after dark because there's a guy dressed as a Bat punching people in the face? Who knows, but it was definitely noticeable this time around.

Also, while I do enjoy a vast majority of the animation, Bruce's cowl seemed particularly rubbery and distractingly shiny this time around. It definitely draws strong parallels to the '89 film but seems even more uncomfortable. It's not terribly jarring, but it definitely stood out a few times to me. Lastly, the final part looked really cool, but having that many guns firing and Batman just casually walks Whale out of there? Meanwhile, Humpty's not firing because...? Also, why'd he opt to run right through the middle? Don't get me wrong, it's a cool scenario and the segment from the villain's POV really rocked, but super questionable moments otherwise.

Okay, so I have a lot of relatively minor issues with "Broken," but all in all, it was still a pretty good time. It's tough to believe they could make Humpty Dumpty more interesting than Anarky, but there you have it, folks. The episode does a more than commendable job handling Bruce's skill (both body and mind), and delivers a simple yet rather fun story with some nice visual treats. Furthermore, I'm stoked to see they're already diving deeper into the League of Assassins side-plot with Katana. It looks like that'll slowly build-up and then we'll get hit with a (hopefully) epic story.

Remember to babble about the Bat with Gregg on Twitter.

43 Comments
Posted by Smart_Dork_Dude

Now this episode delivered on the villain. I LIKE the idea of them utilizing more of Batman's lesser known enemies since, we've all seen his classic rogues gallery numerous times now(Which wouldn't be a problem if they didn't keep making Batman cartoons left and right!!!!), but so far they've been lackluster for me. Especially Anarky who is literally only here to replace Joker.

I actually liked Humpty Dumpty and to me he actually came across as sympathetic in a way. Also, loved the climax of the episode and how Bruce showed some understanding with Humpty for a second. I have always held the belief that it's important to show that Batman does care about some of his villains, the ones like Two-Face or Mr. Freeze or Humpty Dumpty in this case who were put in a position they didn't want to be in and are just doing it because they feel they have no choice. It makes Batman more human.

Edited by viin

Ive only watched the first episode but these villains so far are terrible...

Posted by theTimeStreamer

oh why yes. beware the batman is broken.

Edited by MrMazz

Loved how they managed to mix the camp aspects of Humpty Dumpty with Jigsaw-esque imagery, making for an overall fun/interesting villian.

Also loved the use of flashbacks.

Did anyone else think some of the coloring on Katana and Alfred looked off in their first/second scene? It looked to bright for how everything else was being lit. The mouths also looked really weird, maybe because I actually looked at them for a change. Mouths moving look weird.

You can read my review here

@viin How do you know "these villians so far are terrible" if you've only watched teh first episode? Haven't seen Anarky or Silver Monkey two of the more interesting new crop of rogues including Humpty friggin Dumpty.

Edited by Wolverine08

I really liked this episode.

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Edited by longbowhunter

I've watched every episode so far and I just can't get into this show. The stuff with Katana is slightly compelling but that's it. The stories just haven't been very engaging. Plus it really bothers me how Gotham looks like a ghost town. There is never any activity in the buildings, no people on the sidewalks or cars on the street. Who the hell is Batman protecting in a city with a population that wouldnt fill a McDonalds?

Posted by Shallbecomeabattoo

Do they use the Humpty Dumpty from the comics, or did they change him? Because I really like the character in Arkham Asylum: Hell on Earth and Dini's Sreets of Gotham and he was pretty creepy. You know the whole, he killed his grandmother by disecting her, because she was ill of cancer and he wanted to try and fix her thingy? Or when he fished all the children Zsazs killed out of the Gotham river and brought them in to an empty orphanage, to put them together again and then steal toys from stores to give them a happy christmas? Its a really great idea of a psychotic character who really only wants to help, but just doesn't understand that he kills people by looking into them to find what he has to fix. But somehow I don't see them doing that in a kids show.

Posted by TenEyedMen

Do they use the Humpty Dumpty from the comics, or did they change him? Because I really like the character in Arkham Asylum: Hell on Earth and Dini's Sreets of Gotham and he was pretty creepy. You know the whole, he killed his grandmother by disecting her, because she was ill of cancer and he wanted to try and fix her thingy? Or when he fished all the children Zsazs killed out of the Gotham river and brought them in to an empty orphanage, to put them together again and then steal toys from stores to give them a happy christmas? Its a really great idea of a psychotic character who really only wants to help, but just doesn't understand that he kills people by looking into them to find what he has to fix. But somehow I don't see them doing that in a kids show.

They hint that this was more or less his character before being driven for revenge.

It was certainly a better effort than Pyg and Anarky.

Posted by NightFang

I guess the world knows who Ra's al Ghul is.

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

I've watched every episode so far and I just can't get into this show. The stuff with Katana is slightly compelling but that's it. The stories just haven't been very engaging. Plus it really bothers me how Gotham looks like a ghost town. There is never any activity in the buildings, no people on the sidewalks or cars on the street. Who the hell is Batman protecting in a city with a population that wouldnt fill a McDonalds?

feel the same away.

Posted by TenEyedMen

I guess the world knows who Ra's al Ghul is.

Or at least the CIA does, and they're keeping it secret from the public.

Posted by clumsyninja

This episode remind me of the Batman animated Series.

Posted by Smart_Dork_Dude
Posted by DecoyElite
Posted by The Stegman

I disliked this episode, I thought Humpty was pretty lame, his revenge plan ridiculous, his Toy Soldiers easy to defeat and seriously, why the f*ck is he actually shaped like an egg??? We get it!!

Posted by MuyJingo

I don't know why so many people get upset over the citiy being empty. I mean, Manhattan has enough deserted streets at odd hours of the morning.

How busy should a city be at 3am?

Edited by k4tzm4n

@muyjingo said:

I don't know why so many people get upset over the citiy being empty. I mean, Manhattan has enough deserted streets at odd hours of the morning.

How busy should a city be at 3am?

As someone who worked overnights in Manhattan for 1.5 years and went for strolls during breaks at all kinds of ungodly hours, I beg to differ. Sure, parts of the city will be relatively vacant, but the complaint others have is that it's like that pretty much everywhere in Gotham, and seeing as it's a major city in that world, it is indeed odd. Odd, but I don't mind it because animating an extra population in every scene would be an absolute pain and unreasonable. I applauded TMNT when they tried to make the city seem more crowded during the day, but they ended up using the same character models in totally different locations. It was pretty humorous. But, like I said in the review, I thought it was odd in this case because two scenes kind of relied on outside character(s) spotting these items, and having them in a virtually deserted place just felt... well, like I said, odd to me.

STOP MAKING ME REPEAT MYSELF, MJ!

Also, I'm going to call you "MJ" from now on. Of course that's assuming it's okay with you, tiger.

Staff
Posted by Lurkero

I still do not like the empty streets, but at least the action has been picking up. In this episode the animation seemed to move much more smoothly during fighting.

I also have a gripe with the suit. It looks rubbery and the logo is too bland. Would have preferred more contrast so that Batman's iconic symbol could stand out.

@viin said:

Ive only watched the first episode but these villains so far are terrible...

You've only seen one episode yet you can claim all the villains are bad?

Posted by longbowhunter

@muyjingo: Here's the thing. There's not even so much as a parked car on the street. EVER!

Posted by judasnixon

I can't get passed the character designs and the animation...... I like the idea of the lesser known villains, but the piss poor animation just knocks me right out of the story.........

Posted by uberathlete

Beware has been bearable for me. Overall not stellar. Thank goodness Katana is there to make things more interesting. In terms of animation, I think full CG just isn't working, unlike something like Green Lantern. It also doesn't help that the stories are episodic, though that's to be expected. Perhaps they could have story arcs of a few episodes, like they did with the old Justice League cartoons. One small gripe I have is Bruce lacks some of that charm that he portrays in public. I don't know, he just seems a bit flat in the personality department.

Posted by CaseyJones

I couldn't force myself to finish the episode.

Posted by bigboi100000

Awesome episode

Edited by nrgb2814

@thetimestreamer: Do you hate everything? Or are you just Comic Vine's resident troll? I loved this episode! I love this show! I admit everyone has their opinions, but I've noticed that you hate on EVERYTHING!

Posted by theTimeStreamer

@nrgb2814: i hate you now for liking horrible show. begone.

Posted by Wonder Princess

I enjoyed this episode and Humpty is one of the creepiest bad guys I have seen in a children's cartoon in a long time.

Posted by mkukie68

Idky but I enjoy this show

Posted by ptigrusmagus

I like this show, still waiting for a sidekick, Barbara? But did I just watch a 20 minute episode about a villain Humpty Dumpty? This is BATMAN, please bring out the real villains.

Posted by garlyle

I was ready to like this episode right up until the ending. Having Gordon and whale trapped in a suit, among an army of suits was a pretty cool idea. Having Batman save them by throwing a silly amount of modified batarangs at random ruined it. There was no pay off. Batman rolled up, tossed a few rangs, and freed the hostages in about thirty seconds. All the while, Humpty has the cleanest of shots the entire time, but never comes close to hitting him. All that build up wasted. I want to like this show, but it just isn't very good. No batman show has EVER started off this badly. Well, at least Batman the Brave and the Bold is coming to Blu-Ray soon; that makes me feel better.

Posted by Justthatkid

I was hoping the villain was toyman. I could really see this show working with well-known characters.

Online
Edited by RedheadedAtrocitus

Not a bad episode from what I saw. I agree, Humpty can be a cheesy character but I think it worked for the episode :)

Posted by TenEyedMen

@garlyle said:

No batman show has EVER started off this badly.

Apparently you haven't seen Filmation's Batman show from the 70's.

Or "The Batman".

As much as I loved "Brave and the Bold", it had a weak first set of episodes compared to the rest of their show.

Edited by Master_Thief

Can't wait for ras al ghul to appear!

Edited by MuyJingo

@k4tzm4n said:

As someone who worked overnights in Manhattan for 1.5 years and went for strolls during breaks at all kinds of ungodly hours, I beg to differ. Sure, parts of the city will be relatively vacant, but the complaint others have is that it's like that pretty much everywhere in Gotham, and seeing as it's a major city in that world, it is indeed odd. Odd, but I don't mind it because animating an extra population in every scene would be an absolute pain and unreasonable. I applauded TMNT when they tried to make the city seem more crowded during the day, but they ended up using the same character models in totally different locations. It was pretty humorous. But, like I said in the review, I thought it was odd in this case because two scenes kind of relied on outside character(s) spotting these items, and having them in a virtually deserted place just felt... well, like I said, odd to me.

STOP MAKING ME REPEAT MYSELF, MJ!

Also, I'm going to call you "MJ" from now on. Of course that's assuming it's okay with you, tiger.

No problems with you calling me MJ, or tiger for that matter :)

I agree that having people point out the soldiers and have the city be deserted is kind of odd. My comment wasn't directed at you specifically, I had just seem a lot of comments since the show started about the city being empty.

I've also worked in Manhattan pretty late overnight and even now, as much time as I spend there, there's many streets that are just....empty. I think it depends where you are. Midtown will always be busy...other areas, not so much. On Friday night I was walked from 21st and 2nd to broadway, pretty late after being out and around 3am....there really wasn't any traffic at all. Closer to Broadway there was, but around 21st and 2nd? Nada.

So I guess when I see the city scenes in the show, I just assumed they are in the less busy areas of the city at ungodly hours, which makes it seem completely reasonable to me how unpopulated it is.

That's even assuming it's in the Manhattan equivalent of Gotham. If it's in the Gotham equivalent of one of the other boroughs, it makes even more sense that it would be unpopulated, IMO.

Also, unrelatedly, have you checked out gotham city lounge at all? It's a very cool comic book themed bar in BK. Certainly a dive bar...but a good atmosphere, and a lot of fun with lots of comic book fans.

Edited by Mezmero

This show is just not grabbing me. The only thing I like is sort of reforming the bond between Bats and Gordon from scratch. This episode sends a really poor message to kids. If you want super strength, super speed, and super intellect, then laugh and grow fat. Odds on these costume criminals forming into the Lame-gion of Doom? Pretty high I'd say.

Posted by Jonez120

I've watched every episode so far and I just can't get into this show. The stuff with Katana is slightly compelling but that's it. The stories just haven't been very engaging. Plus it really bothers me how Gotham looks like a ghost town. There is never any activity in the buildings, no people on the sidewalks or cars on the street. Who the hell is Batman protecting in a city with a population that wouldnt fill a McDonalds?

Ha they couldn't even fill a person eating Mcdonalds! (That sounded a little more sexual than it was supposed too...)

Posted by longbowhunter

@jonez120: That...puts some very odd thoughts in my head.

Edited by PunyParker

The show is good......still waiting for decent villians though...

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Posted by Casval

Finally some improvements, visually speaking. Tatsu having facial expressions, cars in the streets (not enough though), and the most important, better lighting. The atmosphere was excellent here.

The story itself was kinda nice, the league of assassins is still here and Humpty was a fine choice as a villain (and despite his appearence, he was creepy).

Posted by Mia26

Hmmmm ... well am sure they will eventually get some great episodes out ... I just hope they don't go Green Lantern on me and wait until their cancelled. The show hasn't really hooked me, I just watch it because Batman(Am not liking the voice actor) and Katana are in it, that and I keep hoping that it will finally start getting really good.

Posted by DocLuthorVonDoom

I can't believe people are actually watching this shit, let alone writing semi-positive reviews of it. I mean, it's CG, CG cartoons suck, people do it because they're too lazy or lacking in real skills to do real animation. Also, the CG is terrible! It looks like PS1 cutscenes.

Edited by AmazingWebHead

My problem is, despite what the title implies, they completely dropped his hole "fix whatever's broken" schtick from the comics. Just like they did with Anarky, Doodlebug, and Junkyard Dog.