TV REVIEW: ‘Beware the Batman’ S01E03 ‘Tests’
Anarchy arrives in Gotham City.
Directed by Curt Geda
Written by Jim Krieg
Watch it on Cartoon Network USA @ 10:00 Saturdays!
Beware of spoilers!
This week on ‘Beware the Batman’ Anarky arrives in Gotham City and to cause… well… anarchy.
Here is another character with whom I am not familiar however he has recently been on my radar due to his inclusion in the upcoming Batman: Arkham Origins game to be released in October. My knowledge of him still only extends to knowing that he’s not too dissimilar to the Riddler.
After featuring Pyg & Toad in episode one this show has stuck to characters who put the viewer in mind of other (or is that more famous) villains from within the Batman mythos. I can’t decide if this is to help the viewer settle in to the idea of avoiding the a-list rogues gallery or purely coincidental because there are just so many villains out there that it is inevitable that characteristics will overlap.
Anarky sadly doesn’t quite carry the weight that I had hoped he would. Looking at his costume from the comics I’m not sure why the productions designers on this show have decided to go with an all-white look for him other than to allow references to Batman – dressed in full black – being his total opposite.
I’ve read in the press that producers are touting Anarky as being a major villain in this series and if this is to be true then I am disappointed that they have chosen to introduce him in an episode that feels rushed.
Much of Anarky’s plan is carried out by hired henchmen – albeit ones who appeared in the last episode in a moment of continued great continuity – which takes away from his ability to be a lone threat and as such his character feels weak in comparison to last week’s Magpie. This also affects the story which doesn’t feel as strong as the mystery of ‘Secrets’ but that’s not to say there isn’t a lot to take in and enjoy here.
I can’t fault the continuing storylines that a running throughout each episode in addition to the villain of the week. The story of Tatsu and her mistrust of Bruce is a highlight to the show and it’s a welcome change to have her still unaware that Bruce is Batman after three episodes although I don’t think it will be much longer before she learns the truth.
Alfred is still wearing the cast on his leg so the injury sustained in ‘Hunted’ is still lingering which although painful for him is just brilliant for continuity. I’m impressed with the attention to detail on this show which great for helping me forget that I’m watching a style of animation that I am not fond of in a 30min format.
One character that has been sadly lacking in this series is the city of Gotham itself. In episodes one and two it felt somewhat sterile which many of the scenes focussing on abandoned buildings and unpopulated areas but this week Anarchy has at least taken some of the action to Gotham’s citizens and this allows the show to widen its soundscape whilst providing a more realistic image on screen. It would be great to be introduced to further supporting players in this Gotham universe: perhaps Lucius Fox/Wayne Enterprises or even the Mayor of Gotham.
Overall this episode is a slightly bump in the road for a series which is still only in it early infancy on our screens.