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What 'Beware the Batman' Needs

We're enjoying the Dark Knight's latest show so far, but what does it need to really thrive? We have a few suggestions.

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.

Hand-to-hand abilities

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.

82 Comments
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Edited by GrandHarrier

I agree that they need to balance the use of lesser characters with those that might be considered more mainstream. It doesn't have to be much, but don't go out of your way to avoid them, lest the fact become seemingly forced.

Posted by Yokergeist

I agree with all of that. When I first heard about the show I thought it looked stupid, but when I watched the first episode I actually enjoyed it.

Posted by Trevel8182

Still better then anything Marvels doing.

Posted by Casval

It also needs a bigger budget (it's Batman we're talking about). Even with the recent small improvements the show still kinda looks cheap.

And also a better artistic team, Murakami brought the same persons behind Ben 10 and I'm sorry but those guys will never top Jerome K. Moore and Phil Bourassa. Serously, take a look at Anarky, it's just lame...

Posted by MrMazz

Fight choreography in this show has ben incredibly hit or miss. An Episode like "Safe" had some great fistic violence with punches that actually felt like they had weight to them, which is a hard thing to get across in animation. Than other episodes like "Tests" make it feel like the fights are more like dances and not the awesome capoeira kind. I feel like some of the conversation around Batman's fighting ability is being a bit near sighted. The idea is to get these new lesser known villians over, you can't do that without making their physicality seem legitimate. That dosen't mean you need to make Batman look bad it's just that he can't be a +11 Mugen character all the time. Other than my complaint about the actual combat not having much weight to it I think the've done a solid enough job threading the needle between getting villlians over and making Bats look good.

The need for a consistant Big Bad is definte. Not every episode should end with the villian being all "and they come into The Light" but right now Beware operating more on vague promises of what to come. The League of Assassins seems to be positioned with as the primary antagonist (at least in this first half). It's not like there can only be one Big Bad either Anarky could be a solid recurring villian.

My biggest complaint will be if Cartoon Network continues to air the show inconsistantly. I'm a grown ass man with a schedule to meet and I like it when TV fits into it. The Big 4 Networks are finally getting in on what cable discovered long ago, if you air everything consistantly momentum is built via word of mouth. If new episodes of Beware are a month away how is there any momentum to be built? And it isn't like this can be shoved anywhere with other Cartoon Network programming. CN, like most cable channels. has actually very few original programs and is able to block them out in long stretches with syndicated shows to build an audiecne (see Duck Dynasty). Beware isn't that it's stuck in the DC Nation block with the new shorts. Cartoon Network should do the right thing and just air it all in one go, if anything to differentiate itself from it's own programming. If Beware wasn't stuck in the DC block I'd not be complaing but it is so I am. Does anyone need to bring up how annoying it was to Watch YJ for spits and spurts and than wait alll summer for new eps even though they'd been done for 8 months?

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Posted by The_Titan_Lord

People have to understand that the main target of the show are kids not adults. Of course the show will sucks when it's not meant for adults.

Posted by Deranged Midget

Wicked article and well argued points! While it is refreshing that they have chosen to take a focus on lesser known enemies and characters in general, tossing in ally's or other heroes would be a blast but only to an extent as to not overshadow the purpose of the show itself.

Moderator
Posted by Wolverine08

Beware the Batman needs THE GODDAMN BATMAN!

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Posted by TenEyedMen

People have to understand that the main target of the show are kids not adults. Of course the show will sucks when it's not meant for adults.

Nothing in this statement is correct. At all.

Edited by TenEyedMen

"A totally mediocre (at best) movie not selling toys like hotcakes shouldn't be a shocker"

It worked well for Michael Bay's "Transformers" trilogy. :P

Posted by EvilPenguin543

I know this may seem hopeless, but I think it would be really cool if Beware and GL:TAS existed in the same universe. I mean, they use the same animation style, so why not take advantage of it?

Posted by thenexusrebound

@the_titan_lord: My parents used to watch cartoons with me when I was a kid. In fact my dad loved watching Batman:TAS with me. The idea it is for kids so it has to be unappealing to older audiences is silly. Also looking back to JL and Batman those shows were pretty dark.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Agreed on all accounts, especially on the martial arts theme. That has seemed to be a big inconsistency for me, Batman's track record in the hand to hand engagements thus far. Really needs to be remedied, IMHO.

Posted by patrat18

Still better then anything Marvels doing.

agreed

Edited by MartianManhunterIsBetterThanCyborg

Agreed with these points. I think they are building up to the Outsiders.

Edited by MadeinBangladesh

Still better then anything Marvels doing.

WORD.

ANd I still can't get with CGI. I wan my hand drawn animation :(

Posted by Twentyfive

Waiting for that Flash carton. I wonder if he can hold a cartoon. I hope so.

GL:TAS was cut tragically short, and that was my favorite DC cartoon since Batman Bread and Butter.

Speaking of which, time to whip out my Batman BnB DVD.

Posted by fables87

I like this show, but the thing I find it lacks is using characters I actually would like to see. Maybe throw in Batwoman in the show? Or, like everyone has said, throw in the bigger named villains like Catwoman or maybe the Joker. The thing that bothers me with this show is Alfred's character. He just seem off to me. Like does Alfred have to be as buff as Bruce? For the show it might work, but for Alfred I feel like they just adding extra unnecessary story to him.

Posted by TenEyedMen

@fables87 said:

but for Alfred I feel like they just adding extra unnecessary story to him.

He's had this story in the comics and even in B:TAS.

No one complained.

Posted by judasnixon

I can't get pass the animation and the character designs...... It looks like cheap video game.

Posted by krspaceT

I'd suggest that they should get a guy in charge who is willing to put more emphasis on action. Because if something happens to Beware....we're probably get another Go

Posted by Roldan

@k4tzm4n Isn't it a bit to early for this kinda article? Shouldn't you wait for the season to end so that we can get a more complete view of what their vision is?

Also TTG! rocks so screw the haters!

Posted by Xwraith

People have to understand that the main target of the show are kids not adults. Of course the show will sucks when it's not meant for adults.

From an adult's viewpoint, maybe. But not from a kid's.

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Edited by dondave

Wicked article and well argued points! While it is refreshing that they have chosen to take a focus on lesser known enemies and characters in general, tossing in ally's or other heroes would be a blast but only to an extent as to not overshadow the purpose of the show itself.

Posted by Cjjb95

I refuse to watch this show on principle alone

Posted by jasonhackett

DC Entertainment needs to dump Mattel. They make horrible, boring INaction figures. Kids aren't stupid. They get better toys in Happy Meals. And adults aren't dumb enough to spend $8 on poorly designed hunks of plastic with 5 points of articulation - - especially when Hasbro is cranking out well made, very poseable (and *gasp* playable) toys at comparable prices. If WB/DC/CN wants someone to blame for poor toy sales, they need to look at themselves for anchoring the properties to a lousy toymaker.

Posted by Mangakid1995

@the_titan_lord: Avatar the Last Airbender, Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes, Batman Beyond and Young Justice were all kids shows you argument is invalid.

Posted by judasnixon

Beware of the Batman needs a Bruce Timm.........

Posted by thenexusrebound

@the_titan_lord: Avatar the Last Airbender, Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes, Batman Beyond and Young Justice were all kids shows you argument is invalid.

Don't forget Batman:TAS, JL and JLU my friend. Apparently those shows never existed. Even the 90's Marvel were pretty grown up for their time.

Posted by TenEyedMen

@mangakid1995 said:

@the_titan_lord: Avatar the Last Airbender, Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes, Batman Beyond and Young Justice were all kids shows you argument is invalid.

Don't forget Batman:TAS, JL and JLU my friend. Apparently those shows never existed. Even the 90's Marvel were pretty grown up for their time.

I can't believe you all neglected to mention The Spectacular Spider-Man and Gargoyles.

Posted by XImpossibruX

Beware of the Batman needs a Bruce Timm.........

Posted by Loki2u

Needs some Ben Affleck.

Edited by NightFang

@trevel8182 said:

Still better then anything Marvels doing.

That's the only thing it's got going for it.

Edited by The_Titan_Lord

@xwraith said:

@the_titan_lord said:

People have to understand that the main target of the show are kids not adults. Of course the show will sucks when it's not meant for adults.

From an adult's viewpoint, maybe. But not from a kid's.

Exactly my point.

Posted by The_Titan_Lord

@the_titan_lord: Avatar the Last Airbender, Avengers: Earths Mightiest Heroes, Batman Beyond and Young Justice were all kids shows you argument is invalid.

Their main target are kids. Not hard to please ranting adults. If adults liked the show it clearly wasn't not that important to them. The main market are kids not adults. The fact is they're trying to make new generations of fans not old ones. I wasn't trying to argue anything.

Posted by ptigrusmagus

Sidekick and a Big bad would be nice

Posted by Vulshock

Why wasn't episode 7 aired yesterday? I normally don't watch cartoons on a week to week basis, so if anyone can tell me if this is normal and if it will happen again during the season, I would be very grateful.

Edited by SlickyMike88

My problem is that it lacks details. The textures look flat , the background details look flat, small details matter!!!! They really need to bump up the look for this show. it looks lifeless honestly:P

I'm going continue to bitch about this , if the 3d is not good , Then why bother producing it in 3d ? Oh because it's cheaper that way :P

Look at all of the dc shorts that's came out ? They all look so much better then what Beware of the Batman delivers. DC should just focus on their strength , 2d. Also selling merchandise is important . I'm not sure if they did that for young justice , which may be their downfall on that show ? I dunno:P

Posted by FadeToBlackBolt

Agreed with all of this except for the "big bad" thing.

Historically, DC animated shows have been the most successful with anthalogical stories.

Young Justice had a huge big bad. And that show was as enjoyable as a prostate exam. And had as much pay off as the Iron Man trilogy.

Edited by theTimeStreamer

so who are these 'we' people that are, dare i say it without laughing my a** off, enjoying this steaming pile of cr*p?

Posted by katayev

I would like to address some points that people are making.

1. Regarding the animation. There is a difference between art style and animation itself. I dabled in animation a bit and I can see for a fact that this show is not cheap. Lighting, tracking shots, long takes and the animation themselves. All of these things are something you can see in big budget animation films. The art style is not much different from GLAS and people loved that show.

2. I absolutely love the detective work. Honestly was surprised by how good it was. Truly takes Batman to his roots. He is a detective first and foremost, fighting is just a tool. Though I admit there is not much consistency - cut through ninjas like they're nothing and then struggle against weaker foes. I say give them time.

3. I can clearly see them setting up the League of Assassins and that energy project as S1 narrative. I think we are going to see Ra's

4. I do not want them to bring Barbara in as Batgirl. That is just too predictable. I say keep it fresh and leave her alone. Batman + Katana seems like a much more badass teamup.

Overall give them time guys. No show is perfect in season 1. Allow them the opportunity to learn. Not every show can have a Bruce Timm

Edited by Novemberx2

Nah lets this lame duck get cancelled and give us a young justice prequel series about either batman or justice league.

Posted by Shallbecomeabattoo

Stop worrying about the show and let it find its own groove. Even Btas wasn't great every week. In my mind there are masterpiece episodes of Btas that cloud a lot of peoples memoires about the show. There were a lot of really dumb episodes too. Beware is already more consistent than that, just without meeting the highpoints. It will find its own highpoints too, we just have to give the creators some time.

Posted by deadpool25mm

wtf is wrong with you people? this show is Amazing!

Edited by iaconpoint

@teneyedmen: your statement has a few holes. First, mediocre or not (and it was), bay's Transformers trilogy did gold at the box office. Second, Transformers have been a force on toys selves for 40 years with the exception of a few years in the early 90's, so there was already a strong foundation for the movie toys. Green Lanter didn't have that type of foundation and didn't do well at the box office.

Posted by Enzeru

I don't mind the show for now, but if they go to deep into the "League of Katana" arc, I'll stop watching it. My body demands more superfiction, therefore I'm hoping to see Clayface, Man-Bat and Poison Ivy soon. I wouldn't mind me some Harley either.

Posted by TeamUnitedNerds

What it needs is to not exist

Posted by Batman242

@trevel8182 said:

Still better then anything Marvels doing.

WORD.

ANd I still can't get with CGI. I wan my hand drawn animation :(

The complete and total reason I have yet to watch the show. I just can't get past the CGI... especially with Batman.

Posted by Mezmero

Still better then anything Marvels doing.

Truest statement of the thread. It's even more depressing because this show is okay at best. I'll be super unimpressed if these first few villains comeback as some sort of super group of vengeance. I'm wondering if they're going to just make Katana a Bat-girl as an attempt to push people to her current comic. It'll be like Cassandra Cain except that character only exists in the Pre-Flashpoint world. They could at least call her Black Bat to give Cassie some synergy. Comic book cartoons are kind of in a recession now it seems and I don't really see a stand out front runner in terms of overall quality aside from TMNT. I just want DC to make more awesome animated movies. It's what they're best at right now.

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