Batman Factor

Beware The Batman: The Animated Series

Beware The Batman

Batman has had his fair share of appearances on the big screen over the decades. The success in movies had led to numerous TV shows over the years. Whatever the case may be, the Caped Crusader has always been one of the most viewed superheroes.

Some of these shows have gone on to have superstar status, but some have been short-lived. One of the latter is the 2013 animated series Beware The Batman. Like many of the Batman TV shows, it had a hard time following up the legendary series from the 90s.

Produced by DC Entertainment and Warner Bros Animation, the animated series starred Batman (of course) and was meant to be a replacement for another show, Batman: The Brave and The Bold on the DC Nation block.

Premiering on the 13th of July, 2013, it ran for four months on Cartoon Network before it was inexplicably put on hold and then transferred to Toonami, completing its run from the 27th of July 2014 to the 28th of September, 2014. It had 26 episodes and ran for only one season before it was canceled. 

Beware the Batman
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Beware The Batman: Overview

Many other animated series and even movies focused more on the later years of Batman’s career. Most of them depict an established Batman that has been around for a while and knows his way. The settings and villains and other pivotal characters are also pretty established and have come into their own. 

However, with Beware the Batman, the stage was set to an introductory tone. It follows Bruce Wayne’s early years as the Batman, a young billionaire vigilante looking to rid his beloved city of the crime and injustice that saw him lose his parents as a child. In some way, it is set in between his starting point that was characterized by tackling organized crime and his full-on, more experienced years. 

As the season progresses, Bruce hones his skills as Batman. But he is not alone. He is aided by his trustworthy Butler and Guardian, Alfred Pennyworth. He is also introduced to Alfred’s goddaughter, an expert swordsman and martial artist known as Tatsu Yamashiro. She eventually adopts the moniker Katana, and while she primarily assists with bodyguarding Bruce, she functions as a superhero partner to Batman. 

Characters from Beware The Batman

Interestingly, the characters depicted in Beware the Batman were some of the less familiar characters in the Batman mythos. Despite the number of on-screen adaptations of Batman’s world, not many of them had ever even showcased these characters. The idea was to portray a side of Batman’s world that had not previously been seen before. 

Some of these criminals rule the Gotham underworld in the series. The pack is led by Anarky, considered the main antagonist of the series, and includes other villainous characters like Magpie, the more familiar Ra’s al Ghul, Tobias Whale, Professor Pyg, Mister Toad, and Humpty Dumpty.

Beware The Batman: Style

After Batman: the Brave and Bold finished its run, the studios wanted a Batman animated series to replace it. However, a replacement alone wasn’t enough as they wanted something that had a more serious tone. It was meant to be edgy and pack a punch.

The series’s design was similar to that of the Green Lantern: The Animated Series and focused on 3D/CGI animation. 

Adaptations

Since its cancellation, and even before it aired, Beware the Batman and related elements have featured different variations and publications. Here’s where you can find them. 

  • DC Nation #2 (vol 1) (2012-11-07)
  • Beware the Batman #1 (2013-10-23)
  • Beware the Batman #2 (2013-11-27)
  • Beware the Batman #3 (2013-12-31): In the mouth of the Whale!
  • Beware the Batman #4 (2014-01-29): Bat vs. Bat
  • Beware the Batman #5 (2014-02-26): Two Katanas?! But which one is the real Katana?!
  • Beware the Batman #6 (2014-03-26):[49] First-Person Shooter
  • Beware the Batman (2015-01-21): Includes issues 1-6, Rough Seas (from DC Nation Free Comic Book Day Super Sampler: Beware the Batman/Teen Titans Go! #1).
  • In 2014, there was an online game named Gotham Streets based on elements from the series hosted on the Cartoon Network website.

Verdict On Beware The Batman

The 1992 Batman: The Animated Series set the bar very high, not just for Batman-related animations, but for DC cartoons in general. As such, there hasn’t quite been many series offered that have lived up to that standard.

From Batman: Brave and the Bold to The Batman, whatever the case may be, there’s none able to compare to the original series in the eyes of the public. 

Until the Beware the Batman came into play.

Batman, The Animated Series, stole a place in watchers’ hearts for its stylized storytelling and how it emphasized characters. It made every single frame feel like it mattered, and you could tell there was real growth in all of the elements involved. People invested in the show, and in the end, it paid off for them. 

For Beware the Batman, despite its crazy cliffhanger ending, which in all reality isn’t much of a cliffhanger because of how empty it leaves you— you get the feeling that the show takes itself seriously. And why shouldn’t it?

Its characters are well rounded, the fight scenes are well-coordinated, and carry consequences as well. There was this one time Batman faced Killer Croc, and there was no sugarcoating the aftermath of that fight. It felt real. 

And the villains? For once, we get to stay away from the old and usual, and while it might be a bummer for some people not to see the Joker or the Riddler, these guys know their stuff. Especially the main antagonist Anarky, who is as formidable as he is insane. 

That said, Beware the Batman could have very well been the show for the ages, but it’s an untimely death. While it may not have pulled the financial status that the studios wanted it to bring in, and where the fans might not have caught on to it.

Beware The Batman is an underrated gem. In its own right. We have the unfortunate luck of never knowing just how great it could have been. 

The lone season Beware the Batman is still available for you to rewatch and digest. If you love Batman, you should definitely add this to your collection.

Beware the Batman Vol. 1
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