No longer just a channel that plays cartoons non-stop, the Cartoon Network here in America now only really airs series that make returns on their investments. When not buying cheap animated shows from Canada, the Cartoon Network looks for shows that will garner profits from merchandise only. After their entertaining “Green Lantern” series and the critically acclaimed “Young Justice” failed to show a profit, the Network cancelled both series and replaced them with two substitutes guaranteed to make money. The first was a watered down version of their aught hit “Teen Titans,” and the next is yet another animated series starring Batman.
Except this time, this isn’t Batman so much as it is an extreme version of Batman. This is the toyetic Batman. Folks like the Riddler, or Joker will reportedly not appear on the program, so the creative team has brought aboard a slew of obscure Bat rogues that can pose a threat, and become great toys. Heck, even trusty butler Alfred is now a young, muscular bad ass with two guns. Because Jason Statham is a huge movie star in America, Alfred Pennyworth is now a bald British middle aged bloke who consistently tests Bruce’s reflexes and martial arts abilities. And he’s not just his butler, but his bodyguard as well. But he wants to be a crime fighter like Batman is. As an ex-spy he’s itching to go out and fight the bad guys, but Bruce insists he stay in the mansion and protect Bruce Wayne.
After an attempt to kidnap Bruce by two villains named Mr. Toad and Professor Pyg, they instead find Alfred and take him hostage hoping to lure Bruce out. Batman goes in for Bruce and fights the pair of foes in an effort to save Alfred as Alfred shows that he, of course, can take care of himself, while helping the other hostages break free. The series has a blandness to it that’s immediately noticeable. Even lame Batman iterations like “The Batman” had its own signature to it, but this series so far has no life to it. It’s dull, and to make it worse, the animation makes the entire show look like the characters are fully mobile plastic action figures talking and running around. Batman especially looks like his cape and cowl are made of a plastic rain slicker.
The pilot tries to squeeze in so many elements that the story falls by the wayside, all for the sake of exploring story foreshadowing for future episodes, and introducing characters. DC announced last year that they were re-designing the firearms thanks to the Colorado theatre shooting and they made good on their promises. Guns look like laser blasters, they shoot some odd form of bullets, and they’re colored bright shades of yellow and red. To make sure fans tune in the for the second episode, the writers also have to squeeze in the introduction of new side character Tatsu aka Katana. She’s an Asian young woman who is now Bruce’s bodyguard and chauffeur while Alfred will now basically be the Robin to Bruce’s Batman. If this pilot is any indicator, this yet another drab and tedious action series from the CN, a network no longer based around quality entertainment for kids as they are selling toys to kids.
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