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Beware the Batman 'Tests' Review

Bruce Wayne continues to examine Katana and Anarky has a lethal plan in store for Gotham.

*This review does contain some spoilers*

Beware the Batman is now three episodes in and while it has yet to make me feel like this is going to be the next classic Batman series, it does continue to deliver alright episodes. This week, the show introduces Moon Knight Anarky, and he aims to prove that the Dark Knight cannot prevent random chaos from striking Gotham.

Anarky attemps to keep the Caped Crusader's focus with a somewhat elaborate (but relatively familiar) plan, but my attention was primarily on how the show is handling Tatsu Yamashiro aka Katana. The last episode teased us with Bruce beginning to test her, and this episode totally follows through on that (it is called 'Tests,' after all). The show's decision to build the secondary character has been far more intriguing than its attempt to throw lesser-known villains back into the spotlight. However, I will admit it was disappointing to see she didn't try any other buttons when she was in the hidden elevator. If you go through the effort of gaining access to such a well kept secret, wouldn't you perhaps try more than one of the eight buttons it has available? That said, they do somewhat rectify this by throwing yet another blatant hint her way in the end and it's just enough of a hook to hold onto my interest with this plot point. Oh, not to mention there's another brief yet major tease with the character.

I applaud the choice to use lesser-known antagonists, but it doesn't feel like these characters are being used to their full potential. Nothing about Anarky made me want to see him return. He's not as crazy as the Joker. He's not as smart as the Riddler. He's not as formidable as Bane. So on and so on. I know he's not meant to be up to par with those big names in those elements, but nothing about this version made him feel like a character I'd want to see again. At least Pyg and Toad were thoroughly entertaining and Magpie provided solid fights and a nice twist. Sadly, Anarky just didn't bring anything refreshing to the table.

The inclusion of "dumb and dumber" certainly didn't help matters, either. A dim-witted duo is something we've seen plenty of times before and every now and then it works because there's a special charm behind the two. Unfortunately, there's nothing that makes these two likable at all and their scenes (which is at least a handful) really weigh the episode down. I was anxious to see Batman (or Alfred) effortlessly dispatch them so we could move on.

Overall, I do enjoy the animation and it really pays off when we're hit with some special effects -- Anarky's smoke pellets look great, as do the weapons his goons used -- but some characters appear a tad too lanky or rigid at times. It's not a major complaint, but it can be distracting when it's front and center (most definitely applies to Katana).

One thing I really dig about Beware the Batman is their choice to showoff just how sharp Wayne's mind is. Every episode thus far has showcased Wayne properly investigating the scenario or being able to come up with a quick fix on the fly. The last episode disappointed me with how easily Magpie smacked him around in some cases, but 'Tests' somewhat fixes that and Batman definitely dictates the fight when it's purely hand-to-hand. If you're going to have Wayne talk about his extensive training, we better see him back it up with some great form. Thankfully, that does happen a good deal here and Anarky tends to only take the edge when he uses gear or occasionally lands a good hit.

Beware the Batman hasn't blown me away or anything, but it's by no means a bad show. They're doing an amusing job building Katana and it's a real treat seeing Batman's mind being put to full use. Using foes the general audience hasn't heard about is a risky move and so far it hasn't really paid off, but hopefully we'll see a villain step up to the plate soon enough and serve as the "big bad" for the time being. And even if they can't do that, I'd be happy just to see more of the dynamic with Gordon, too. Regardless, I'll continue to tune in and hope for the best.

33 Comments
Posted by NightFang

I didn't like Anarky at all in this episode and his role in the show could easily be felled by the Joker or some other villain.

Posted by HushoftheWind

I didnt know Anarky could go toe to toe with Batman in a fight. I feel like this show is grabbing the idea that every villain knows martial arts just like in the Batman. I dont mind the idea, just pointing that out.

Posted by Smart_Dork_Dude

Anarky is an extremely poor and uninteresting Joker stand in. Seriously, he comes off like a cheap knock-off of Heath Ledger's Joker!!!

I mean, kudos for using some of his lesser known rogues gallery, but some of them are lesser known for a REASON!!!!! Anarky isn't all that impressive, especially when you try to make him a Joker stand-in which I fear is what they're doing with him

Posted by SynCig

I am mixed about the cg animation style overall. I feel like it works in some cases and doesn't in others. It doesn't distract me too much but I think a more classic animation style would fit a Batman cartoon more. With that said I enjoy the show and it is pretty cool to see different things.

Edited by AmazingWebHead

Anarky wasn't a very interesting villain. His new costume is boring and he rips off (and WAY overdoes) the Batman vs Joker schtick. If they had given someone other than Batman a cartoon, this wouldn't be a problem.

However, I liked the appearance of Doodlebug & Junkyard Dog from "Arkham Asylum: Living Hell". I liked all the new characters that series introduced.

Posted by TenEyedMen

Anarky's supposed to be the Big Bad of the season. Yeah. Either he'll remain an unimpressive one, will grow bigger and badder just like Batman is, or was merely pretending to be incompetent all along.

Will you be reviewing "Secrets" in the future. I would like to know your thoughts on it.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Have yet to see it but am really looking forward to catching it!

Edited by blkson

@hushofthewind said:

I didnt know Anarky could go toe to toe with Batman in a fight. I feel like this show is grabbing the idea that every villain knows martial arts just like in the Batman. I dont mind the idea, just pointing that out.

I noticed the same thing. I agree, its not necessarily a bad thing, but it is certainly noticeable.

Edited by The Stegman

@blkson said:

@hushofthewind said:

I didnt know Anarky could go toe to toe with Batman in a fight. I feel like this show is grabbing the idea that every villain knows martial arts just like in the Batman. I dont mind the idea, just pointing that out.

I noticed the same thing. I agree, its not necessarily a bad thing, but it is certainly noticeable.

I'm not sure if it makes Batman look weaker or the villains stronger. I mean last week Magpie was kicking his a**.

Online
Posted by bigboi100000

oh joy

Posted by cborg

@hushofthewind: In the comics Anarky trained with experts to fight toe to toe with Bats for at least a little while

Posted by blkson

@cborg said:

@hushofthewind: In the comics Anarky trained with experts to fight toe to toe with Bats for at least a little while

Welp I guess there goes the concerns. He really put a whoppin on Batsy in the panels of the second page.

Posted by haydenclaireheroes

Here is my review for this episode:

Edited by MuyJingo

I don't understand how you could be so forgiving of G:TAS and so nitpicky over BTB. Blocky characters was one of the biggest problems with the former.

I'm liking the show so far..I don't really dig the CG animation, but it doesn't detract either. Liking the characterization of Bruce, liking lesser known villains getting the spotlight....no real complaints about the show yet, just odd observations.

I thought Anarky was fine..., not as compelling as the bigger name villains, but he had his own design and motivation, and I think it will be cool to see him explored further.

It will be interesting to see which path this show takes.

Posted by Billy Batson

From what I've seen they've butchered Anarky. Ain't no show for me!

BB

Posted by TheAcidSkull

good show

Posted by deadpool25mm

What are you guys talking about! this show is awesome! + maybe Anarky will turn into Joker in this series...

Edited by MartianManhunterIsBetterThanCyborg

What are you guys talking about! this show is awesome! + maybe Anarky will turn into Joker in this series...

The producers said that's the plan. He's going to be the "big bad" for this season.

Posted by Casval

This show is quite nice, but I have to say bringing the Ben 10 art team on it was a really bad move. These guys have no talent (Anarky looks like nothing, not to mention the female characters...).

It's a shame, especially after the great work provided by Jerome K. Moore and Phil Bourassa on Young Justice...

Posted by Lurkero

Anarchy definitely felt like a lessor Joker and not his own villain, and coloring him white seems weird because white is not usually a color associated with disorder. Red fits that much better.

I do enjoy that this version of Batman is more grounded, but Batman struggling to take down Anarchy in hand to hand combat should not be a thing. Nothing about Anarchy made it seem like he would be good at fighting so a well trained Batman should be able to take out Anarchy easy.

Seeing Batman be a good detective has been enjoyable though. That part does not always translate well.

Posted by MrMazz

You can read my review here

Yea Anarky felt like a cheap stand in for The Joker this episode - minus the whole being scary part. He is set up to be the big bad of the season apprently and from that point of view I think it worked quiet well. What stood out the most was how poorly the decetive side of this episode was told. Bruce is reading a book and and than boom finds Anarky at the sky gondola place. This show is supposed to be showing Batman The Decetive more (which should make the eventual Ras Al Ghul apperance AWESOME) and it did that well in the first two eps and just kinda through it to the wayside here.

Posted by StumbotheGiant

I like how they are using Katana a lot. Alfred is still bugging me because have never seen him in this kind of why. He is more like Alfred in Batman Earth One graphic novel.

Posted by War Killer

One of my biggest issues with the show is the fact that Batman seriously gets his butt kicked is almost every episode so far. I know he's young and this suppose to be his early days as The Dark Knight, but still for someone who has trained for years across the world, I find it annoying that random villains who most likely have had zero training compared to Batman, can so easily get the upper hand, even sneaking up on him at times and catching him by surprise, which I find hard to believe.

Posted by k4tzm4n

Anarky's supposed to be the Big Bad of the season. Yeah. Either he'll remain an unimpressive one, will grow bigger and badder just like Batman is, or was merely pretending to be incompetent all along.

Will you be reviewing "Secrets" in the future. I would like to know your thoughts on it.

I was unaware of that because I've been trying to avoid most news/interviews regarding the shows I watch.

No, I have no plan on reviewing past episodes. I thought it was enjoyable due to the strong focus on Batman's developing relationship with Gordon. Seeing Batman get smacked around so easily by Magpie was odd at times and I have no idea how she'd be cool with that fall even if she's immune to pain, but it was still a serviceable plot and fairly entertaining. Truthfully, I enjoyed it more than this episode.

Staff Online
Posted by MB25

Yeah...this show isn't very good.

Edited by Mezmero

Three episodes in and I'm still not digging what their doing with this Batman cartoon. I'm not going to complain about the animation and art style because it's by far not the worst CG I've seen. I don't love it but it's fine for what they're going for I guess. Maybe I just find it less impressive because of how well the Ninja Turtles cartoon is handling it. I just don't think anything about the plot or characters has been all that exciting.

A villain escapes in every episode and Bats ends up looking like a amateur. Honestly it's making the title of the show into a total misnomer. It's like Bruce is just another crazy person in a costume as opposed to some kind of insane mythical crime fighter that criminals know to avoid at all costs. I like how clever he is and how much prep work he puts into his efforts but he has yet to truly impress me in this alternate universe.

I'll bet they continue making bad guys escape from Batman until they all form together into a Masters of Evil style cabal who combine forces and capture Bruce. Then it'll be up to Alfred and Katana to save him. I'm worried that Katana is going to be turned into a Cassandra Cain style Batgirl. Hopefully the show will be a little more imaginative than that. I'll keep watching the show even though I'd rather be watching any other Batman cartoon.

Posted by LimpoyzLoan

This show is kind of dumb.

DC MAKE A SUPERMAN ANIMATED SHOW DAMMIT!

Edited by fables87

I'm actually liking this Batman more then others. It reminds me of Batman: The Animated Series. Love how they use characters that are rarely used and introducing them to new people. Kind of hoping they might use Batwoman at some point.

Edited by entropy_aegis

This show is actually pretty smart almost intellectual imo which is a good thing.Liking how they're trying to build Katana but the villains need to be more interesting,they're just bleh.

Posted by Mrfuzzynutz

I just have never been a fan of computer driven animation in this form, it just feels stiff and lifeless when it comes time for action scenes, but to stand around delivery dialogue it seems to work a tad bit better.

So while I tried to get into the Green Lantern series, and I admit it slowly caught my interest from week to week, I don't forsee this show doing the same

And again, like GL I was not thrilled with the chose of cast, KATANA, ANARCHY and a ALFRED that I still can't believe his design got approval just do not interest me.