Beware The Batman: Season One: Part One: Shadows of Gotham (Season One: Episodes 01-13) [Blu-Ray]
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-Ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 8/10
Batman, a crime-fighting vigilante of Gotham City, goes up against the underworld.
As a huge fan of Batman in general, I was quite ecstatic to see that Warner Archive Collection was going to be releasing ‘Beware The Batman: Season One Part One: Shadows of Gotham’ on Blu-Ray in addition to DVD. The ‘Season One Part One: Shadows of Gotham’ release includes the first 13 episodes of the series from season one, the final two of which are currently unaired, so that’s definitely a bonus treat worth mentioning.It’s truly fantastic to see all of these DC animated series’ finally seeing the light of day on the Blu-Ray format. This release follows Warner Archive’s release of ‘Batman the Brave & the Bold: Season One’ on Blu-Ray, in addition to the recently announced upcoming release of ‘Green Lantern The Animated Series: The Complete Series’ on Blu-Ray as well.
‘Beware The Batman’ changes the standard formula of the Batman universe in some large ways, but keeps it intact and true to form in many others. This time around, Batman/Bruce Wayne is assisted by none other than his butler Alfred, who just happens to be an ex soldier and who can take care of himself in dire circumstances quite sufficiently, very unlike the typical representation of Alfred fans are used to. I’ll admit this fact does take some adapting to, but it also allows for something fresh and new in a very well known world such as that of Batman and his crusade to fight evil in the city of Gotham. This series also ignores most all of Batman’s known villains, and instead brings a new array of villains that most of the casual Bat-fans won’t be familiar with. Some of these characters are indeed spawned from the comics, while I believe a number of others are created solely for this series, yet I am not absolutely certain regarding this fact. While it is disappointing not to see some of our favorite Bat-villains here, once you get used to it, it ends up being quite refreshing to see some new baddies we aren’t already so readily acquainted with.
OVERALL: While ‘Beware The Batman’ is by no means the best Batman animated series to date (it would be pretty tough to take that mantle from the 90s Animated Series in my opinion), it is quite enjoyable, and while some may be conflicted by the animation style, if you are able to move past that (I personally have no issue with it whatsoever) then you might want to check this series out. It keeps to the dark nature of the character of ‘Batman’ and while some elements don’t work quite so well, it really brings some fresh and unique elements to Batman’s world that I found helped make for a very enjoyable experience.
The Blu-Ray release of ‘Beware The Batman: Shadows of Gotham – Season One Part One’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation on all 13 episodes utilizing the original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio in which the series was originally broadcast. The video presentation looks pretty great on this one. There are some mild occurrences of banding as well as a tad of pixilation at moments, but that is to be expected to a degree with a CGI series such as this, and I can assure you that it is minimal and does not detract from the viewing experience. All of the colors look gorgeous, the edges of the animation are sharp, detailed and everything looks pretty impressive overall. I think most will be very satisfied with the high definition video presentation on these 13 episodes.
While the back cover of the Blu-Ray release notes the episodes including Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack, fans and audiophiles alike will be pleased to know that the release actually includes a lossless 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on all 13 of the episodes. This lossless stereo soundtrack sounds quite stellar and really hits hard. For those such as myself who prefer to use the simulated surround effect on their receivers for stereo tracks (I personally use the Dolby Pro-Logic II X function to simulate the stereo soundtrack into 7.1) this stereo soundtrack really impresses and allows the action and effects to seep into all of the proper surround channels so accurately that it’s hard to remember it is not an actual multichannel soundtrack.
There are no special features included on this Blu-Ray release, but I feel that I should note just how fortunate we are to even see this series released on Blu-Ray in any form and the incredibly reasonable price more than makes up for the lack of extras included.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of Warner Bros Entertainment and DC Comics.