Beware the Batman

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Beware the Batman
Beware The Batman.jpg
Genre Action
Adventure
Superhero fiction
Drama
Based on Batman by Bob Kane
Developed by Glen Murakami
Sam Register
Mitch Watson
Butch Lukic
Voices of Anthony Ruivivar
J.B. Blanc
Sumalee Montano
Kurtwood Smith
Opening theme "Beware the Batman" by Dum Dum Girls
Ending theme "Beware the Batman"
Composer(s) Frederik Wiedmann
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 26 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Sam Register
Producer(s) Glen Murakami
Mitch Watson
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) DC Entertainment
Warner Bros. Animation
Broadcast
Original channel Cartoon Network (2013)
Adult Swim (Toonami) (2014)
Original run July 13, 2013 (2013-07-13)  – September 28, 2014 (2014-09-28)
Chronology
Preceded by Batman: The Brave and the Bold

Beware the Batman is an American computer-animated television series based on the DC Comics superhero Batman. The series premiered in the United States on Cartoon Network on July 13, 2013,[1] as part of their DC Nation block,[2] and made its Canadian premiere on October 11, 2013 on Teletoon.[3] It was Cartoon Network's replacement for Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Beware the Batman was produced by Warner Bros. Animation[4] with animation produced by Xentrix Studios in India.[5] Beware the Batman ran on Cartoon Network until it was pulled from the schedule months after its premiere, without official explanation. The series was canceled but the series returned, via Adult Swim's Toonami block, in May to September 2014, re-airing all the episodes before ending with the remaining produced episodes.

Synopsis[edit]

The series is set during Bruce Wayne's early years as the Batman, following his initial period of battling organized crime. Over the course of the season, he hones his skills with the assistance of his butler, Alfred Pennyworth. Bruce is introduced to Alfred's goddaughter Tatsu Yamashiro. Tatsu is a martial arts swordsmaster hired to act as Bruce's bodyguard, but also recruited to act as a superhero partner to Batman.

Characters[edit]

Character development[edit]

Role in Beware the Batman[edit]

Crime-fighting vigilante Batman teams up with swordmistress Katana and his ex-secret agent[6] butler Alfred Pennyworth to face the criminal underworld led by Anarky, Magpie, Ra's al Ghul, Tobias Whale, Professor Pyg, Mister Toad, Lady Shiva, Key and Humpty Dumpty.[1][2][6] Anarky, in particular, was intended to be the main villain in the series.[7]

Creation and concept[edit]

We've taken the essence of all the characters and we've put sort of a different spin on it. You know, there's some stuff we can't adapt because it's too complicated or [not fit for a kid's show].

Glen Murakami, 2012.[8]

While the developers allowed themselves license to stylize the character's appearances, the villains were particularly designed to be "over the top".[9]

Production[edit]

Background[edit]

Initial promotional art for the series depicted Alfred armed with guns and fighting alongside Batman. This upset fans of the Batman mythos, prompting a response from producers.[8]

After Batman: The Brave and the Bold ended its run in November 2011, a new series went under production, so that Batman could return to a more "serious tone".[10] With Batman receiving a new sidekick, Outsiders member Katana, Register even commented that "Katana is gonna be his new Robin, but not necessarily."[1] The series was a CGI computer-animated format, similar to the earlier Green Lantern: The Animated Series '​s animation style..[4][6]

In the wake of the 2012 Aurora shooting, which occurred during a screening of the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises, it was announced that the series content would be altered in order to make the firearms in the show look less realistic.[11] In addition initial announcements for the series were accompanied with promotional art that was not intended for public release, depicting Alfred as a gun-toting butler. This upset fans of the Batman mythos, who argued against Alfred's participation in Batman's exploits, and his use of deadly firearms as against the Batman's principles. In response to fan criticism, producer Glen Murakami acknowledged that this poster image was an inaccurate representation of what the character's actual role would be. He elaborated that the poster was intended to be an action-themed shot that displayed the cast of characters, but that Alfred's portrayal had been misleadingly made more exciting. "You can't have an action pose of a guy standing with a tray", joked Murakami. Mitch Watson also noted the problem presented if Alfred were fighting alongside Batman, as he would be recognized as Bruce Wayne's butler, and thus reveal the identity of Batman. Regardless, both producers insisted that Alfred would remain true to his intended characterization as a mentor to Batman, who could potentially help Batman if a story plot called for it.[8] Scott Thill, technology and pop culture commentator for Wired magazine, praised the initial choice to debut Anarky on television, claiming the character was relevant following the rise of the occupy movement and the hacktivist activities of Anonymous.[12]

In promoting the series, Warner Bros. debuted a trailer a month prior to the series premier, featuring action sequences from the first three episodes, highlighting Batman, Professor Pyg and Toad, Magpie, and Anarky.[13] On July 2, the opening title sequence was released to Entertainment Weekly, a week prior to the series premiere.[14] It depicts Batman, Alfred, Katana, and the Batmobile, in a stylized red background with stark red lighting effects, contrasted by dark shadows and silhouettes. The show's opening theme is composed by the indie rock band the Dum Dum Girls.[15]

CGI development[edit]

The way these guys have constructed the city itself – I mean, they're still building it; they're building Gotham City itself – it's not just a couple of sets.

Mitch Watson, 2012.[9]

The requirements of CGI at times necessitated that inanimate objects such as ships and city streets were built, rather than simply drawn, creating a need for the completion of entire set designs. This would increase production times, but later allow the developers to bring cinematic qualities of lighting and camera play to the series. Batman's utility belt was fully recreated from cardboard and worn by producer Glen Murakami's design team, to test how the belt would function while in motion. "If you really built it, it would work", said Watson. Batarangs were designed to flip-open and function when retrieved from the belt. The Batmobile was also subjected to scrutiny, as a "certain amount of weight" was added to it as it moved on city streets, out of concern that it would be unbelievable otherwise.[9]

Airing[edit]

Three months after the series premiere, Beware the Batman was pulled from the Cartoon Network schedule and put on hiatus on October 23, 2013. Cartoon Network did not provide an official explanation as to why, leading fans to believe that the series had already been canceled.[16] Cartoon Network then returned the series for the Toonami block on the network's late-night Adult Swim program block. Toonami began all 26 episodes, starting from the beginning, on Saturday, May 10, 2014 for early morning slots.[17] Cartoon Network then declared the series a financial failure and decided to “write it off” their network financially, with Sym-Bionic Titan. On September 28, Toonami ran a marathon consisting of the final seven episodes that had yet to air.[18]

Home video[edit]

On February 18, 2014, the first 13 episodes of the series were released on Blu-ray and DVD in a collection titled Beware The Batman: Season 1 Part 1-Shadows of Gotham.[19] The twelfth and thirteenth episodes (titled "Attraction" and "Fall") had yet to air, despite being released on this collection.[20] A second collection, titled Beware The Batman: Season 1 Part 2-Dark Justice, has been announced for a September 30, 2014 release date. The collection will be released on both Blu-ray and DVD, and will contain the remaining 13 episodes of the show.[21]

See also[edit]

Program lists

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Harvey, James. ""Beware The Batman" CGI Animated Series Coming For 2013, "DC Nation" Updates". The World's Finest. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b nerdblog (March 29, 2012). "‘Beware The Batman' teaser image released". Nerdage. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Beware the Batman". Teletoon Canada. Retrieved September 19, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Lesnick, Silas (March 28, 2012). "Cartoon Network Wants You to Beware the Batman!". Superhero Hype. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Xentrix Professional Services". Xentrix Studios. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b c Beat, The (March 29, 2012). "Beware the Batman leads new Cartoon Network lineup". Comics Beat. Retrieved April 4, 2012. 
  7. ^ Veronese, Keith (July 19, 2012). "Bruce Wayne goes back to his detective roots, in Beware the Batman". io9. Retrieved July 21, 2012. 
  8. ^ a b c Thill, Scott (July 20, 2012). "SDCC 2012 – Beware the Batman Interview". Pixelatedgeek.com. Retrieved August 22, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c SDCC 2012: DC Nation – Beware The Batman – Mitch Watson & Glen Murakami Interview (video podcast). Misfitsofscifi.com. July 17, 2013. 
  10. ^ G-Man (July 24, 2010). "Comic-Con: Brave and the Bold & Young Justice Panel". Comic Vine. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  11. ^ Wallenstein, Andrew (July 27, 2012). "Warner Bros. tones down 'Batman' TV toon". Variety. Retrieved August 10, 2012. 
  12. ^ Thill, Scott (April 18, 2012). "Beware The Batman's CGI Teaser Surfaces, But When Will Anarky Arrive?". Wired. Retrieved April 19, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Cartoon Network Releases 'Beware the Batman' Sizzle Reel, Images". Comic Book Resources. June 19, 2013. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  14. ^ Franich, Darren (July 2, 2013). "First look at 'Beware the Batman' opening titles". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  15. ^ ""Beware the Batman" Title Sequence Hits Online". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved September 5, 2013. 
  16. ^ "‘Beware The Batman’ Might Have Already Been Canceled". Gamma Squad. October 22, 2013. Retrieved October 10, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Beware the Batman Joins Toonami Line-Up Starting Saturday, May 10th, 2014". World's Finest. Retrieved April 16, 2014. 
  18. ^ "Good News/Bad News Batman Fans". toonami.tumblr.com. September 22, 2014. Retrieved September 22, 2014. 
  19. ^ http://batman-news.com/2014/02/14/beware-the-batman-season-1-part-1-coming-to-blu-ray-and-dvd-on-february-18/
  20. ^ http://comicsalliance.com/beware-the-batman-blu-ray-dc-cartoon-network/
  21. ^ http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/dcmarvelrelatedfilms/news/?a=101894

External links[edit]