Directed by Rick Morales
Written by Erin Maher & Kathryn Reindl
Watch ‘Beware the Batman’ live on Cartoon Network USA, Saturdays @ 10:00!
BEWARE OF SPOILERS
After the roller coaster that was last week’s “Family’ episode this week we pick up almost right where the action left off but now we take a closer look at some of the lighter moments that this series can bring.
There’s a nice amount of humour to this episode that shows a lighter side to the show that we’ve not yet seen so far this season and it’s not necessarily the kind of humour that is directly aimed at children. Standing back from the fact I am a lifelong Batman fan this is a show for kids and it is airing on Cartoon Network so would have absolutely no right to abuse this show if it took a humorous look at Batman in the vein of say ‘Teen Titans Go’ but that is not necessary here. ‘Beware the Batman’ clearly understands that looking beyond its target audience and the network on which it airs there is a huge audience of Bat-fans out there who are tuning in just as much as the four to sixteen year olds who make up the Cartoon Network target demographic.
It’s not all a barrel of laughs in ‘Allies’ there is also the kind of story we’ve come to expect from the series to date which this week features the return of Tobias Whale and Stagg Industries and finally sees Tatsu take on the Katana name.
‘Family’ cemented the trio of Batman, Alfred and Katana together having had Bruce almost on the periphery for the opening episodes and ‘Allies’ then shows us some of the tried and tested hesitance that he has when working with a partner.
Here Tatsu/Katana takes on a similar role to that of Barbara Gordon when she first became Batgirl in ‘The Batman’ back in 2005. Unlike that character Katana is fully aware that Bruce is Batman and she has full access to the Batcave. It is good to see Batman’s trademark stoic edge hasn’t been dulled in order to make him more accessible to the younger audience.
The story this week doesn’t quite pack the punch of ‘Family’ but it does brilliantly flesh out the world of Gotham by taking us to ‘The Cauldron’ and teaching us all about how a financial crisis crippled parts of the city. The ‘ghosts’ who inhabit this district, referred to as a ‘No Mans Land’ for all you easter egg hunters, are a little generic but they were never meant to be the focus here.
The continuity of the show continues to be one of its strongest aspects with Stagg Industries continuing to loom over the plot seven episodes after the pilot.
I can only assume that the writers are either leading us on a wild goose chase to thinking that Barbara will eventually become Batgirl or we’re very slowly circling this story coming in a future episode, not necessarily this season. There’s certainly some serious effort being put in to her character and showing her fascination with the Bat.
If you’re still late to the party on this one then ‘Allies’ is a great episode to jump in to the series, teaching you a little of the mythology and a lot about the world it’s creating.