|Beware the Batman|
|Based on||Batman, by Bob Kane|
|Theme music composer||Dum Dum Girls|
|Opening theme||"Beware the Batman", performed by Dum Dum Girls|
|Ending theme||"Beware the Batman" (Instrumental)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||26 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||22 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Warner Bros. Animation
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Original release||July 13, 2013– September 28, 2014|
|Preceded by||Batman: The Brave and the Bold|
Beware the Batman is an American computer-animated television series based on the DC Comics superhero Batman. The series premiered in the United States on Cartoon Network on July 13, 2013, as part of their DC Nation block, replacing Batman: The Brave and the Bold. The series was produced by Warner Bros. Animation and DC Entertainment. The series ran on Cartoon Network until it was pulled from the schedule four months after its premiere, without official explanation. After the series was put on hiatus, the remaining episodes of the season began to air on Adult Swim's Toonami block, from July 27 to September 28, 2014.
The series is set during Bruce Wayne's early years as the Batman, following his initial period of battling organized crime. Over the course of the season, he hones his skills with the assistance of his butler, Alfred Pennyworth. Bruce is introduced to Alfred's goddaughter Tatsu Yamashiro. Tatsu is a martial arts swordsmaster hired to act as Bruce's bodyguard, but also recruited to act as a superhero partner to Batman.
After Batman: The Brave and the Bold ended its run in November 2011, a new series went under production, so that Batman could return to a more "serious tone". With Batman receiving a new sidekick, Outsiders member Katana, Register even commented that "Katana is gonna be his new Robin, but not necessarily." The series was a 3D computer-animated format, similar to the earlier Green Lantern: The Animated Series's animation style.
In the wake of the 2012 Aurora shooting, which occurred during a screening of the Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises, it was announced that the series content would be altered in order to make the firearms in the show look less realistic. In addition initial announcements for the series were accompanied with promotional art that was not intended for public release, depicting Alfred as a gun-toting butler. This upset fans of the Batman mythos, who argued against Alfred's participation in Batman's exploits, and his use of deadly firearms as against the Batman's principles. In response to fan criticism, producer Glen Murakami acknowledged that this poster image was an inaccurate representation of what the character's actual role would be. He elaborated that the poster was intended to be an action-themed shot that displayed the cast of characters, but that Alfred's portrayal had been misleadingly made more exciting. "You can't have an action pose of a guy standing with a tray", joked Murakami. Mitch Watson also noted the problem presented if Alfred were fighting alongside Batman, as he would be recognized as Bruce Wayne's butler, and thus reveal the identity of Batman. Regardless, both producers insisted that Alfred would remain true to his intended characterization as a mentor to Batman, who could potentially help Batman if a story plot called for it. Scott Thill, technology and pop culture commentator for Wired magazine, praised the initial choice to debut the villain Anarky on television, claiming the character was relevant following the rise of the Occupy movement and the hacktivist activities of Anonymous.
In promoting the series, Warner Bros. debuted a trailer a month prior to the series premier, featuring action sequences from the first three episodes, highlighting Batman, Professor Pyg and Toad, Magpie, and Anarky. On July 2, the opening title sequence was released to Entertainment Weekly, a week prior to the series premiere. It depicts Batman, Alfred, Katana, and the Batmobile, in a stylized red background with stark red lighting effects, contrasted by dark shadows and silhouettes. The show's opening theme is composed by the indie rock band the Dum Dum Girls.
The requirements of 3D animation at times necessitated that inanimate objects such as ships and city streets were built, rather than simply drawn, creating a need for the completion of entire set designs. This would increase production times, but later allow the developers to bring cinematic qualities of lighting and camera play to the series. Batman's utility belt was fully recreated from cardboard and worn by producer Glen Murakami's design team, to test how the belt would function while in motion. "If you really built it, it would work", said Watson. Batarangs were designed to flip-open and function when retrieved from the belt. The Batmobile was also subjected to scrutiny, as a "certain amount of weight" was added to it as it moved on city streets, out of concern that it would be unbelievable otherwise.
Three months after the series premiere, Beware the Batman was pulled from the Cartoon Network schedule and put on hiatus on October 23, 2013. Cartoon Network did not provide an official explanation, leading fans to believe that the series had already been canceled. Cartoon Network then moved the series to the Toonami block on the network's late-night Adult Swim showcase. Toonami aired all 26 episodes in order on Saturday, May 10, 2014, during the early morning time slots. Cartoon Network then declared the series a financial failure and decided to "write it off". On September 28, Toonami ran a marathon consisting of the final seven previously unaired episodes.
Crime-fighting vigilante Batman teams up with swordmistress Katana and his ex-secret agent butler Alfred Pennyworth to face the criminal underworld led by Anarky, Magpie, Ra's al Ghul, Tobias Whale, Professor Pyg, Mister Toad, Lady Shiva, Key and Humpty Dumpty. Anarky, in particular, was intended to be the main villain in the series.
While the developers allowed themselves license to stylize the characters' appearances, the villains were particularly designed to be "over the top".
|2013||Annie Award||Best Animated TV/Broadcast Production For Children's Audience||Nominated|
|2014||Daytime Emmy Award||Outstanding Children's Animated Program||Sam Register, Glen Murakami, Mitch Watson, Amy McKenna||Nominated|
|Outstanding Casting for an Animated Series or Special||Andrea Romano||Nominated|
|Outstanding Directing in an Animated Program||Butch Lukic, Curt Geda, Sam Liu, Rick Morales, Andrea Romano||Nominated|
|Outstanding Main Title and Graphic Design||T.J. Sullivan||Nominated|
On February 18, 2014, the first 13 episodes of the series were released on Blu-ray and DVD in a collection titled Beware The Batman: Season 1 Part 1-Shadows of Gotham. The twelfth and thirteenth episodes (titled "Attraction" and "Fall") had yet to air, despite being released on this collection. A second collection, titled Beware The Batman: Season 1 Part 2-Dark Justice, was released on September 30, 2014 containing the remaining 13 episodes of the show's only season.