Some ups, some downs and a whole lot of action…
Directed by Sam Liu
Written by Mark Banker
Watch it live on Cartoon Network USA, Saturdays @ 10:00
Beware of spoilers!Last week I was critical of this show for the handling of the villain. Anarky was billed as the big villain for the series but instead of crashing in to the show at full pelt he was instead tossed in under developed.
Perhaps learning from their mistakes this week we are introduced to Silver Monkey – an unkown for me – and Lady Shiva who although not seen is heard on a couple of occasions during this episode.
At the beginning of the episode Bruce Wayne is seen introducing the world to his revolutionary new energy source – the Ion Cortex. The technology has been developed by Dr. Jason Burr (perhaps ready for a later appearance as Kobra?) and has drawn the attention of the League of Shadows.
Are you keeping up with the introductions? Jason Burr, Silver Monkey, League of Shadows and Lady Shiva.
This episode is a massive improvement over last week and possibly edges ahead of ‘Secrets’ for me as the best episode so far although I still have some issues with this show overall.
Gotham is once again empty this week. We get several wide angle shots of Batman and the Shadows ninja’s on motorbikes but there’s little other traffic around and I don’t think I saw a single person out on the streets. Yes this show is set at night but I’m starting to feel like I’m back to being a child playing with my action figures and imaging the world around them.
Batman does not get a huge amount of screen time this week. He does get to pop in and out, use some gadgets and kick some butt but in between that he was MIA.
Less Batman does mean more focus on Tatsu – finally referred to at Katana this week – and we finally begin to learn more about her back story.
Alfred is also finally becoming a bit more mobile this week and gets to wield some serious weaponry. I particularly enjoyed the addition of the bowler hat. He’s still a little Jason Statham for me but it’s undeniable how kick-ass this Alfred it.
Now lets get to a major bonus: the soundscape. I wanted to touch on this last week but got sidetracked by disappointment. This show sounds amazing and I don’t mean the voices.
The score by Frederik Wiedmann is brilliant. It accentuates the series perfectly. It’s perhaps not the kind of soundtrack that the average fan would run out to buy as there are not yet any stand-out themes running through the episodes but the music is a perfect fit for the mood and the tone of the show.
This week the ninja theme and the focus on Tatsu/Katana means the music pushes for a more oriental feel and it is executed to great success.
The sound effects themselves are also extremely meaty and ensure that the show has an immersive feel. Listening to it on home cinema the booms of explosions are deep and the thuds of each punch ricochet around the room in an impressive fashion.
I highly recommend you go back and re-watch this episode and try to focus on the sounds.
There’s a much higher focus on storytelling that I hope continues through the next few episodes that prove this show can rise above the generic CGI action genre and take it to the kind of territory that Bat-fans have come to expect over the years.