Beware the Batman is the latest in DC's animated programming block. There was never too much hype on this one, not many were impressed by the designs or description. And of course many were still mad at the cancellations of Young Justice and Green Lantern. However, in a recent interview with the team, you can see even they got how comedy is trumping serious action shows. It could have been taken as hyperbole for people to check out Beware, but I was intrigued and ready. The latest Batman show starts out with a very 'okay' premiere. It isn't bad by a long shot, it's just lacking pizzazz.
The story is rather simple. Professor Pyg and Mr. Toad kidnap some very rich people because...thanks to them the animals that once ruled Gotham City have been driven out? A bit strange but more on that later. With the help of Alfred, Bruce Wayne, aka Batman, goes to stop the two fiends. First off you'll notice this is taking place in the early years of Batman's legacy. Gordon isn't even a commissioner yet, he's a lieutenant. I'm personally not a fan of these 'Year One' type things, we want to see a Batman that's fully the character we know from the Justice League and comics. Despite the title, no one really 'bewares' the Batman since he isn't that tough at this point in time. I must jokingly say the title should have been 'Beware the Butler' since Alfred actually does just as much if not more than Batman.
I admire the show's boldness in using lesser known villains, but sadly the two antagonists are pretty generic with no interesting things about them. The biggest crime is Professor Pyg's portrayal. The majority of viewers is not going to have read the comic story which he was in, so they wouldn't know just how sad the portrayal is. Pyg appeared in the first arc of Batman and Robin (2007) and is one of the most sadistic psychopaths the comic world has seen. (I'd go as far to saying he's right up there with Joker.) I was sketchy on how the show would handle this hardcore character, and sadly my sketchiness was justified since he's nothing like his comic counterpart. In fact, you could replace him with a generic thug and it wouldn't have made any difference.
This is by far the most interesting take on Alfred. I'm sure a lot of viewers will dig it, but there are somethings I don't like. He's actually bigger than Bruce Wayne, and I just can't get into his voice. The animation is a change of pace from the previous Bat-shows, being CGI much like Green Lantern. It's solid and the fights look good, though Batman's mask looks way too...feline perhaps? Another character introduced is Tatsu Yamashiro, a young Japanese woman whom is known as Katana. She so far is the most interesting character, I look forward to seeing what she brings to the table.
Overall, an alright start to this new Batman toon. It's lacking the stellar plots and writing of The Animated Series and the fun of The Batman. With a pretty lackluster duo of antagonists, the story came out pretty average. But, this is just the premiere, so I'm assuming it'll get more exciting.