I don't know what it is about animated shows based on DC Comics characters as of late. It seems that as soon as we get attached to them, they disappear from the television line-up. "Beware the Batman" is the latest show to go the way of the Bermuda Triangle and vanish into thin air.
It went on hiatus and was supposed to return to the Cartoon Network roster in January 2014 but never did. Thankfully, Warner Bros. has released the first thirteen episodes of the series on Blu-ray and DVD as "Beware the Batman: Shadows of Gotham - Season One Part One." Hopefully, it will help tide fans over until new episodes arrive in some form.
Gotham City is overrun by crimes committed at the hands of masked villains and other malicious forces. The police department, led by Lieutenant James Gordon, is constantly trying to keep up with the evil schemes. Many times they come up shorthanded. A mysterious avenging angel calling himself the Batman lends a hand in the war against corruption, swearing an oath to defend his city against lawlessness and wrongdoing.
"Beware the Batman" was intended to take the place of the lighter-hearted "Batman: The Brave and the Bold," which ended after three seasons. A much darker take on the Dark Knight's mythos, it's more based on the newer "Batman: Earth One" re-telling of the hero's early days of fighting crime versus the campy feel of the 1960's television show we were used to from "Batman: The Brave and the Bold."
Just like in "Batman: Earth One," Alfred Pennyworth isn't just young Bruce Wayne's butler. He's a battlefield-trained ex-medical officer who actively helps the Batman fight crime and solve mysteries. The Caped Crusader is also assisted in his endeavors by the sword-wielding Katana.
The audio and video for "Beware the Batman: Shadows of Gotham - Season One Part One" will please home viewers. It's presented in a 1080p High-Definition 16x9 (1.85:1) format accompanied by Dolby Digital 2.0 sound. The picture is clean and vibrant and all the sound effects, dialogue, and music are well-balanced.
"Beware the Batman: Shadows of Gotham - Season One Part One" is a bare-bones Blu-ray and DVD release. There are no extra features to be found on the release. it's a shame they didn't include some interviews with the voice actors or show runners.
Although "Beware the Batman: Shadows of Gotham - Season One Part One" is not rated, some warning needs to be given to parents. There's a good amount of comic book violence to be found. The villainess Magpie is scantily clad in a costume that is reminiscent of something you'd see a dominatrix wear in an S&M club. I don't really know what the reasoning is in having her dressed like this in a Saturday morning cartoon for kids.
I really enjoyed "Beware the Batman: Shadows of Gotham - Season One Part One" and hold onto hope that we'll get the new episodes being aired overseas right now in the U.S. at some point. Even if Cartoon Network doesn't air them, I'm sure they'll pop up on Blu-ray and DVD sometime. If you like your Batman dark and enjoy a lot of the newer villains introduced in the comic books over the past few years, you'll no doubt love this show. The CGI animation can be off-putting at times, but if you can just look past it and get to the heart of the stories you'll find a wealth of entertainment.