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Beware the Batman – Instinct review: A Kid’s Show Remains Less Than OK

Pyg and Toad

Pyg and Toad are back! And this time they’re attacking the fashion industry! We’re treated to a cold open where a pop singer in the vein of Lady Gaga or Bjork, wearing a swan dress, is tortured by Pyg and Toad! Good for them! I much prefer eco-terrorists to fashionistas. I’m on Pyg and Toad’s side. They try to kill Bjork Gaga by throwing her off a gigantic clock!

Batman, however, is a total tool. Especially so when he’s being Bruce Wayne. Early in the episode, Bruce demonstrates his crime fighting instincts for Katana and points out a cashier stealing from the cash register, a cheating husband who removed his wedding ring, and a pickpocket on the corner. These aren’t Batman crimes! These crimes are symptoms of capitalist unhappiness and an individual’s need for more resources. Anti-system criminology aside, these are the crimes best handled by the police, not Batman! Earlier in the season, Batman beat up some graffiti-ing teens! I hate this Batman so much (usually). The Batman on this show is meant to identify with children, so basically he’s a man with zero depth whatsoever. He fights crime because crime is bad. He always knows what to do and always saves the day, much like a child pretending to be a superhero. This is not the same characterization we see in The Dark Knight movies, where Batman is weak and vulnerable; or in Batman the Animated Series, where Batman is a trained, crime fighting expert. Really, Beware the Batman offers an overly simplistic version of the hero that doesn’t inspire much at all except the desire to run around and punch things...you know, what a stupid kid would be into (like me. This is what I was into as a kid). 

The villains are the only reason to watch this show; however, to be clear, I do not actually recommend watching this show. I want Anarky to destroy the city, 'cause it’s full of social inequality! I want Pyg and Toad to destroy the fashion industry, 'cause it’s based in exploitation and unhappiness! So when Pyg beats the crap out of Batman with defribrulators, then Toad shoots him with the sonic booms from his mouth, I hope the Bat dies - Dr. Hate style. Even if Pyg is stupid enough to hide a bomb in a truck labeled, “Pyg’s Bomb Style BBQ!” he’s still cool enough to invite all the stars of fashion week to a building rigged with bombs. All of this is fleetingly mentioned in the background.

Most of this show is bad animation all the time. As I’ve said before, the fights can be cool. This is because the show's producer put his money into the fight scenes in EVERY episode. However, as the season has waned, you can tell he started running out of money. Everything looks cheap now. The human models look so stiff and imprecise. The faces have no emotion whatsoever. Characters look like they never react to anything because the computer that makes this show is not programed to show emotions. Everyone looks like an action figure - because that’s exactly what they’re supposed to look like. This show is an exercise in selling toys. The part where Bruce and Katana ride motorcycles is completely unnecessary except for the point of selling toy motorcycles. Also, everything is ugly and dark. I hate posting stills from this show. It's like a cheaply made video game cut scene.

Alfred is not in this episode. Sight. I'm not sure why this show is so insistent on wasting its best character. However, Katana’s boring boyfriend is back from two episodes ago. He still sucks. He tries to kiss Katana and it gets weird. Then Katana asks him to analyze some resin. He does, then sells Katana out to Lady Shiva and the League of Assassins. It’s like the writers for this schlock thought of a few elements (Anarky, Lady Shiva, Pyg and Toad, The League of Assassins) and now insist on recombining them in every possible combination. Probably because this would sell more toys (if you keep seeing the same “guys” on TV, well then by golly you just have to have those “guys”, wherein “guys” is a non-gendered reference to action figures) I hate this show. 

I guess come back next week to see how the season ends. Will the League of Assassins, Ra Al Ghul, Batman and Katana all have a big ass fight? Of course they will.



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