There are many, many animated action shows which have been deemed to be cancelled too early, Young Justice, Sym-Bionic Titan, Green Lantern the Animated Series just to name a few. And this streak wasn’t ended when Cartoon Network cancelled Beware the Batman last year.
When it was first announced, complaints were made, of course. “Why another Batman show?” “Why CGI?” “Why are they using secondary villains?” The problem any Batman series will have is that it is not Batman: The Animated Series, the pinnacle o Batman media, considered by some to be the best representation of Batman on screen. But you have to take things as they come, just because something doesn’t match up to a previous version, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. And that’s exactly what I did with Beware the Batman.
I actually thought it was quite refreshing that we got different Batman villains to what we are used to seeing, even if a couple were kind of just straight up replacements (Magpie was Catwoman, Anarky was The Joker). 2 of the most exciting villains were Humpty Dumpty and Killer Croc. Humpty Dumpty’s stand out episode was one he was hardly in but his fingerprints were all over, Games, a Saw style murder mystery that put the characters together in a house full of traps. Killer Croc was just brutal and his fight with Batman in the prison was probably the best of the series.
The show was split into 2 arcs, League of Assassins and the rise of Harvey Dent in the second. The second half was a lot stronger than the first and culminated in a great 3 parter that brought in the ubiquitous Deathstroke.
And that is why I am really upset about this ending, you had so many things set up in Season 1 that Season 2 could have built on. We saw the formation of The Outsiders in the season finale, consisting of Batman, Katana, Alfred, Barbara Gordon, Man-Bat and Metamorpho, imagine a season 2 becoming a team up show like a Justice League that allows different characters to have stand alone episodes. We know Harvey Dent would have completed the transition and become Two Face, something which had been built up really well in the final 13 episodes of the series. Anarky was still in the mix, as we saw in the last episode, his game of human chess had been won by Batman, but he was up to play again. And mentions of the Penguin were made. Would the series have introduced more of the classic villains? I like to think no, it had a decent rogues gallery, and with 75 years of comics mine, I’m sure more could have been introduced.
But these are all what ifs, as we all know another action show has been sent out to pasture, which I don’t understand, at a time where superhero movies are the biggest things in cinema, we can’t get a decent serialised superhero story in animation. These shows aren’t given a chance to grow and expand, instead cut of just as they begin to grow their wings