Beware the Batman is by no means a bad show. In fact, we're digging it a decent amount here at Comic Vine. We love the strong focus on Bruce's sharp mind, the voice acting is solid and each episode has been legitimately entertaining thus far. However, the series has yet to really blow us away. We're having a good time watching it and we absolutely want it to succeed, but nothing leaves us counting down the days until the next episode or feeling like this is a classic in the making (Batman: The Animated Series and Batman Beyond, for example). So, what could they do to make this show a real hit? We have a few ideas.
A compelling big bad
We applaud the decision to use lesser-known characters. It's a pretty bold move and certainly commendable, but at the moment, none of the characters we've actually seen have left us saying, "Yeah, I'd like to see this antagonist take the lead in the main narrative." We've heard Anarky will play a bigger role this season, but to be blunt, his introduction wasn't all that grand and he essentially felt like a watered down version of the Joker. If you're going to avoid the classic villains, don't just have someone else fill their shoes because frankly, odds are they aren't going to live up to the popular counter-part. Highlight what makes these individuals unique instead of the elements they share with the more famous rogues. The program did a stellar job introducing the League of Assassins (and in turn, teases of Lady Shiva and Ra's al Ghul), and when all is said and done, we'd MUCH rather see that organization get a strong spotlight as the show continues. We're sure they'll pop up as Katana's narrative grows, but we seriously hope they do more to make Anarky truly unique and worthy of the focus when he returns. So far, everyone else feels like a foe we'd rather see pop up every now and then -- not someone we'd want to take the lead.
As we've already stated, the show is doing a topnotch job handling Wayne's gifted mind. We adore the attention to his detective work and ability to adapt on the spot, but his capabilities as a martial artist leaves us with mixed emotions. Listen, we get Batman can't walk all over every villain he encounters -- that would be beyond boring and redundant. That said, it does catch our eye when Batman somewhat struggles with the likes of Magpie and Anarky and then absolutely obliterates Silver Monkey, a character who was built-up as a skilled opponent. We can't get enough of Bruce humiliating goons (seriously, it never gets old when done right), but if he's going to struggle in pure hand-to-hand against the big shots, it should at least be a bit more consistent and appropriate when he does.
Continue to flesh out the world
If there's one thing Beware the Batman seems to love doing, it's sprinkling various names from the DC universe (Mr. Terrific, Kobra, etc) and lightly incorporating others (Gordon and Barbara). Little nods here and there are always a nice way to get our attention, but what we'd really appreciate is seeing there are bigger plans in store for these individuals and showing signs on wanting to follow-up on them. The show is still relatively young so it's of course possible this will happen, but still, it's definitely something we want to see happen as the season progresses. Assuming this show has a decent lifespan, seeing more of the Batman/Gordon relationship would be great -- especially if Barbara becomes a part of the Bat-family.
Affordable and appealing merchandise
Young Justice and Green Lantern: The Animated Series (RIP) were allegedly not renewed because of lackluster merchandise sales. This means the fault is partially on us for not speaking with our money, but let's be realistic, the blame for this one is mostly on the companies. When it comes to GL:TAS, the only merch we saw on a consistent basis were expensive statues. Yes, that's super awesome if you have the funds to purchase such a thing, but that leaves basically nothing for everyone else -- and not too many people have the funds for a pricey (yet very tempting) statue. We understand stores were hesitant because merch from the Green Lantern movie didn't sell, but really, how could that surprise them? The movie didn't do all that well at the box office and was totally mediocre (at best). Not selling toys like hotcakes shouldn't be a shocker and shouldn't mean the franchise is forever tainted when it comes to merch. Regardless, Batman is one of the most popular heroes around, so there should be NO issue generating reasonably priced and quality products for fans of all-ages to collect. Don't let history repeat itself with this one. Give us a fair selection of good merch most of us can afford and we'll happily pay for it... it's really that simple.
It's okay to show a familiar face
Lastly, we respect the decision to take a chance with characters the general public isn't familiar with, but if you want to potentially establish the fact other big name heroes and villains exist in this universe, we certainly won't hold it against you. Like, at all. These characters have held up throughout the years for a reason, after all.
But that's just what we think. What do you think of Beware the Batman, Viners? Are you content with the show as is or is there something you'd like to see it do differently? Give the comments section a piece of your mind.