BEWARE THE BATMAN: SECRETS Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Tuesday, July 23, 2013
As a long time comic book fan, this show is a puff of fresh air. I really enjoy the new angles that this show is bringing to the Batman mythos, as well as the exploration of some of the lesser known characters. Last episode focused on the Grant Morrison character Professor Pyg, and this go-round we have a character named Magpie, that I've only seen once before, back in John Byrne's The Man Of Steel #3. Her origin in this episode is infinitely more interesting, considering that her civilian name in the DCU is the unimaginative Margaret Pye. I don't want to spoil her genesis for this show though, since that's part of the fun of the episode. Suffice it to say that she's a fun character, and I hope for more of her in the future.
The action choreography in this eppy is top-notch and the physicality between Bats and Mags is a beautiful ballet of kicks and flips. This is where animation excels, as far as I'm concerned. Live action fight scenes only have so much prep time to train the humans doing the moves, but here, whatever the animators think of, they can just …create. And, cartoon or not, there's just something about a bad-ass gal in shiny shiny leather doing flips that's fun to behold.
There are a couple of tiddybits that geek'd me out. This episode introduces Babs, played by awesome animated mainstay Tara Strong! I know this show is supposed to just be the beginning years of Bats' nocturnal career, but I'm already excited to see Batgirl thrown into the mix! Man, what I wouldn't give for an animated show like this that follows the exploits of The Birds Of Prey!! But that's just me wishin'. I was surprised to see Miskatonic Psychiatric Hospital make an appearance, which (as a University) first originated in H.P. Lovecraft's 1922 serial "Herbert West - Reanimator". That is, I was surprised until I did a little digging, and it turns out that the fictional University was located in..wait for it…..Arkham, a fictional town in Essex County, Mass. I'm sure even the medium Bat-fans will recognize Arkham. Pretty impressive bit of Easter Egging by the shows creators, if you ask me. Also, little recognized Lunkhead made an appearance in this episode. I've only ever seen him once before in the mini-series Arkham Asylum: Living Hell. (He wound up being being sacrificed to the devil? Sure, why not. Poor fella).
I'm excited by Wayne's new driver/bodyguard: Tatsu Yamashiro, who some of you might know as Katana from the Justice League of America and Birds of Prey. This is a different take on the character, that of Alfred's god-daughter, and she doesn't have the husband sword that she likes to talk to and take to bed, but she's a welcome addition nonetheless. It looks like Bruce has taken a shine to her as well, since at the end of the eppy, he's ready to begin testing her, presumably in order to let her into the bat-fold. While I do like the practicality of Batman going solo, I'm also excited for sidekicks and a Bat-Family to take shape. I've always been more of a fan of the Robins and Nightwing and the Batgals then the main man himself, but I'm probably alone in that. What say you? Are you excited for some sidekicks to start kicking people in the …sides?
"More candy now."
"Just remember, you're only working for this marshmallow temporarily. *sigh* I need to punch something."
Ooopha. There's a scene where Batman is chasing Magpie as she giddily runs away over the rooftops of Gotham, and makes a pretty impressive leap off of a building, only to have Bats bind her ankles together with a bat-rope. The line then makes her fall and crash a floor or two down, against the side of a building! That would have probably KILLED a regular person. Granted, she claws her way free to fall and land on a car, only to regenerate and run away, but Bats didn't know that. Holy crap, Batman doesn't always think when he acts, does he?
The final say:
Mania Grade: B
Episode: Secrets (Episode 2, Season 1)
Starring: Anthony Ruivivar, J.B. Blanc, Sumalee Montano, Kurtwood Smith, Grey DeLisle, Cree Summer, Tara Strong
Written By: Mitch Watson
Directed By: Rick Morales
Network: Cartoon Network
Studio: Warner Bros.