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.
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