Beware the Batman: Shadows of Gotham collects 13 episodes of the computer-animated television series that originally aired on Cartoon Network. The series was produced by Warner Bros. Animation and took the place of the better Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
Beware the Batman once again goes back to Batman’s darker roots and more or less ends up feeling a tad mediocre compared to other animated series on the character. The biggest problems with the new series can be blamed on the crude animation.
Instead of being straight-forward animation like The Batman, Justice League, and most other DC cartoons, Beware the Batman attempted to break new ground for the character and is fully computer generated. Unfortunately, it ends up being a wreck. The characters look crude and bizarre as they move about like rusted robots.
Other problems with the series include uninspired plotlines, and confusing characters.
The storyline is mostly the same as the other Batman cartoons with a few twists. Beware the Batman takes place at the beginning of Batman’s career as a crime fighter. The cartoon also puts a greater emphasis on fighting then mystery solving.
While the new storylines have elements of traditional Batman tales, many of the classic characters have been changed, some drastically altered for the new series.
Alfred isn’t the old butler seen in other cartoons and films. Beware the Batman gives Alfred the new role of Bruce Wayne’s bodyguard and puts a greater emphasis on the character being a war veteran. After a few episodes, a girl named Katana replaces Alfred as Batman’s bodyguard.
The new series also does away with many of Batman’s classic rogue gallery and replaces them with villains like a frog and a pig, or a girl obsessed with shiny objects.
As a fan of all DC Comic animated series (most notably Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Justice League or Batman: The Animated Series), I was very interested when Beware the Batman: Shadows of Gotham arrived on DVD, and was willing to give it a chance despite my concerns within seconds of the first episode.
Minutes into the third episode, I had lost all interest in the show and it never seemed to get better as the other episodes played out.
Beware the Batman: Shadows of Gotham isn’t a horrible adaptation of Batman, but seems weighed down by the computer animated look and the refreshing of classic characters.