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Review: Beware the Batman: Tests

Episode three also begins with an epic Batman entrance. Two young ruffians are vandalizing a store and at one point one of them says that “this is justice.” This is when Batman steps out of the shadows and declares “No, I am justice.” However, after Batman subdues them and leaves them for the police, Anarky steps out of the shadows and offers to be their “sponsor.” This time the villain also gets a dramatic entrance.


Following this exposition, Tatsu is shown doing an agility test to see if she is capable of being Bruce Wayne’s protection. Alfred praises her efforts, but Bruce is less than thrilled. After this scene, Tatsu is looking at a glowing sword. While doing so, she is summoned to the “Trophy Room”, where she discovers that the fireplace contains a hidden door. This initiates an interesting subplot for this episode, the testing of Tatsu. She needs a handprint to get through the secret door, which she expertly steals from Bruce Wayne, only to get to an elevator that leads to…..a secret library? However, this is only the beginning.


Meanwhile, Anarky keeps bailing out his sponsored young ruffians and outfitting them with more high tech tools to practice their “art.” Anarky looks intimidating, but inhuman. He has an all-gray costume, which looks good. However, his entire face is the same color as his costume and his eyes have no pupils. It does not look like he wears a mask, but rather he just has a weird face. Despite his odd appearance, Anarky proves to be a formidable opponent when it comes to hand-to-hand combat with Batman. Even so, Anarky is hard to take seriously because his voice sounds like Neil Patrick Harris. Doogie Howser is not intimidating and Anarky needs to be presented as such.


This episode also shows off some of the cool gadgets and high-tech artillery Batman as in his arsenal. In this episode, Alfred drives the Batmobile remotely, and we discover it is impervious to chainsaws and can shoot missiles. Although, it is a little disappointing to discover Alfred controls it with what looks like a PS4 controller. Surely, Bruce Wayne could afford something a little more sophisticated. Furthermore, Batman has a motorcycle that can turn into a glider, which provides a stunning visual, but presents a believability problem.


The big thing this episode has going for it is its visuals. Again, we see epic entrances, cool fight scenes, and the introduction of new aspects of Batman’s arsenal. The “Will Bruce Wayne trust Tatsu?” story line continues through this episode and barely stays interesting. One can clearly see how creative the writers are trying to be. It is evident they want to craft multi-episode story arcs that will keep viewers from episode to episode. They are bold, and I respect that. However, their writing fails at times, and this episode makes that painfully obvious. Anarky’s final ploy in this episode is to place bombs on two gondolas and give Batman only time to save one of them. If this sounds familiar, it should. This is a hybrid of two of Joker’s plots in The Dark Knight. It combines elements of the Joker’s attempt to blow up one of the ferries and the whole save Rachel Dawes or Harvey Dent scene. The writers furthermore rip off The Dark Knight when Anarky makes a speech to Batman about why chaos is better than order. You can plainly see how they are trying to make him like that character, but they make him less scary than Heath Ledger’s Joker. In a show that is aimed at kids as well as adults, you cannot go that scary, but in order to make this character work, you need to go there. We see again why this shows miserably fails at being a show for both kids and adults.


Overall, the negatives outweigh the positives in this episode. This villain had more potential than Professor Pyg, Mister Toad or Magpie, but they still failed. I appreciate the bold leaps the writers take, but they keep missing the mark. A show cannot survive with a writing staff that fails this much.


Beware the Batman: Tests:


2.5 out of 5 Batarangs


Reviewed by Alex Hey

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