I was pretty sure that this show would never return. Maybe this version of Batman was too dark for kids, maybe DC doesn’t know how to properly market their characters through toys, who knows. But come on people it’s Batman, how hard can it be??
Nonetheless, when I first heard that Beware the Batman would be returning to Cartoon Network to finish up its run I was happy, mostly. Thank the Gods for DVR because they have decided to put it during their Toonami block which runs LATE night on Saturdays. I mean like 3 AM. Whatever. It’s back, and we have MORE than half of the season ahead of us. So let’s get started shall we?!
The last time we left our team of Batman, Katana, and Alfred, they were battling the League of Assassins and Ra’s Al Ghul had returned! First off, I have to mention that Ra’s is voiced by Lance Reddick (Fringe) which is a great fit. He does his best to give Ra’s an accent, and it comes off really nice, and intimidating as Reddick can do so well. The first episode we will talk about today is called “Fall”. Actually both episodes that I will be talking about fit nicely together, of course maybe this was one of the major issues with the show being cancelled. Not enough standalone episodes. But I like it, so we will continue.
The episode jumps back and forth between the past and present and we are shown more of Alfred’s back story. Alfred has been captured by the League of Assassins and is brought before Ra’s. He had been working as a spy but got caught, of course there is a reason why that happened. Alfred was partnered up with Katana’s father, Edogawa Yamashiro, but Yamashiro had betrayed his friend. Ra’s brings in him into the tent and demands him to choose between Alfred and his family and gives Yamashiro the Soultaker sword. Of course he chooses to kill Alfred, but he can try! Alfred fights back and ends up using the sword on his friend, he then flees the tent. We flash to the present.
Batman and Alfred are in the Batcave, and Batman is testing out his new glider cape. After some amusing banter with the Batcomputer, who you may remember has a personality of its own, Alfred reminds Bruce that Dr. Jason Burr is going to show them what he has learned about the Ion Cortex. When Bruce asks where Katana is, Alfred tell him to go easy on her. It is the anniversary of her father’s death. The trio head to Wayne Industries to find an empty lab, but suddenly Jason shows up on a TV screen and tells them that he is going to sell the Cortex to the LOA. He of course has wired the lab to explode, and explode it does!!
We are shown more of the back story of how Alfred came to be the protector of Katana, and that a lot of it was based on guilt. We are also shown the day that he first meets the Wayne’s, I really liked this episode for these reasons. especially since they decided to give Alfred a different back story in this show. Adding depth and more badassery to this famous Butler, helped to show how he dealt with helping Bruce grow up and deal with the anger that he felt when his parents were killed.
But the question this episode is why did Jason betray his friends, especially Katana who he had been trying to build an intimate relationship with?! Of course after a manhunt throughout Gotham and its outskirts, the team locates the truck in which Jason is transporting the Cortex. They assault it, and after an awesome battle the LOA is able to take out the Batmobile, and seemingly Batman with it!! Of course he ends up ok, and the duo head into the Fall Point Power Substation to find out what’s going on.
Jason gives Ra’s and Lady Shiva the Cortex, they tell him to hook the device up and not to fail. Alone, Jason is working on his task when he is confronted by Batman and Katana. They realize that he has green eyes and that he is still under the control of Cypher (watch episode 9, or read the recap here). Jason tells them that they are too late and draws a knife, Katana then precedes to take off her mask and approach him, she then kisses him! This works and Jason returns to normal, Batman then tells him that they can help him but he must first stop the Cortex. As he goes to fix it, suddenly there is a green flash! Lady Shiva has consumed his soul with the Soultaker Sword and Jason is dead! The duo is captured and Ra’s enters the room and introduces himself. Batman breaks free but is unable to take out Ra’s and he is quickly taken down by the villain. Suddenly Alfred is there with a missile launcher, and threatens to take the whole place down. Ra’s remembers his old foe and asks Alfred if he is going to kill Katana, like he did her father. Alfred tells Katana not to listen to the lies, and fires a missile at the ceiling, cutting them off from the LOA and Batman! They escape but Batman is in the hands of the LOA! Ra’s then activates the Cortex and sends Gotham into darkness, the episode ends.
So yeah, A TON of back story and action here! The next episode Darkness deals with the fallout of the Cortex. There is so much chao in Gotham once the power goes out, and without the caped crusader it is going to be tough for the GCPD to take care of things on their own.
Katana and Alfred return to the Batcave and she is upset they left Batman behind, but even more curious about what Ra’s had said. Alfred tells her again not to believe Ra’s lies and that the villain is trying to drive a wedge between them. They have bigger things to worry about right now, protecting Gotham’s citizens and saving Batman. Katana sees that the Bat Signal is lit up and goes to address it.
Of course as well all know Batman doesn’t need rescuing. Ra’s goes to talk to Batman and tells him his plan. He then asks bats to join them, of course Batman refuses and Ra’s tells him that he will die instead. Once Ra’s is gone, Batman is then attacked by the his cellmate, who turns out to be Silver Monkey!
Gordon realizes that they are in more trouble than he thought when Katana shows up and tells him what happened. Katana tells Gordon that they have to hack into the Cortex by using the GCPD’s mobile command center, and that he is tasked with this job. She then returns to the Batcave and collects some explosives, she is going to take out the Cortex one way or the other!
Back in the cell Batman and Silver Monkey realize that they must work together to escape, and Batman has a plan. Using the synthetic cord from his cape, remember the one that he uses to glide around, Batman is able to saw through the cage bars, but it will take the two of them to get it done in time, before they are discovered. Once free, the two part ways, Batman allows Silver Monkey his freedom… this time.
Gordon has no idea how he is going to hack the Cortex, but Barbara does! She persistently tells her father that she is the only one who can do it, and that she is the only person for the job especially considering she hacked the GCPD when she was 12! Of course Gordon doesn’t want her anywhere near the danger, but when Barbara decides to take matters into her own hands he realizes he has no choice. They have to get the mobile command center close enough to the cortex to get the hack going. So they head out into the dangerous streets of Gotham.
Batman has escaped and he heads to shut down the Cortex. Ra’s is about to address the Governor, Mayor, and Police Commissioner, notices a flicker of lights and sends Lady Shiva to investigate. She finds Batman meddling with the Cortex and they attack, but then suddenly Silver Monkey shows up and helps Batman! What a nice guy right?! Silver Monkey tells Batman about a ventilation shaft which he can use to escape and then covers the hero. Lady Shiva takes on Silver Monkey with the Soultaker Sword.
Ra’s is shown telling his demands, and that he will return the power to the city if the Mayor agrees to be under the “protection” of the LOA. The Commissioner refuses, but is suddenly taken away by ninjas, and all you hear is screaming. Ra’s then tells the Governor and Mayor that they until Sunrise to make their decision.
Katana and Alfred have made it to the power station, just in time to miss Batman. Lady Shiva is waiting there for them with Silver Monkey’s broken mask in hand. They are captured and brought before Ra’s, who proceeds to tell Katana that he is disappointed that she has not killed Alfred to avenger her father. Alfred tries to tell her not to listen but Ra’s reveals the truth, and Alfred finally breaks and tells her that he had no choice. She says there’s always a choice and attacks him!! They fight but Ra’s separates them and sends them to their cells, Ra’s finds a cellphone in Alfred’s pack and calls Batman. He tells Batman, who has just rescued Gordon and Barbara from some punks, that the city has already been given to the LOA, Batman responds that if Ra’s wants a fight then come get some! He then smashes the phone, Barbara explains Katana’s idea to him. Batman gives Barbara the task of finishing the hack and makes an Oracle reference. So cool! Batman tells Gordon that he has to protect his daughter while Batman buys her time to complete the hack by taking on Ra’s and the LOA.
The final scene of the episode is Ra’s at Blackgate prison releasing all of the villains that Batman has locked up this season. This is a very “Knightfall” reminiscent scene, and I am looking forward to the outcome! Beware the Batman may not be some peoples cup of tea, but I enjoy it. I like the fact that they use these more obscure villains and the inclusion of Katana as his partner instead of Robin is a fresh idea. Keep it tooned her to DFAT every week for my recap! I promise that they won’t be as long as this one!
Beware the Batman airs on Cartoon Network at 3amEST, LATE Saturday night, EARLY Sunday morning.