Beware the Batman: Broken, Review
Humpty Dumpty as Batman's villain of the week may not sound all that appealing, but "Broken" managed to make the bizarre threat into a truly cinematic episode!
Alright, you’ll have to stick with me on this one. The villain of Beware the Batman, “Broken,” is Humpty Dumpty. Well…technically he’s Humphrey Dumpler, a character created by Dan Slott and Ryan Sook in an obscure Arkham Asylum story. Anyway, he looks pretty much like you’d expect him to, and he’s got a fondness for numbers and technology. I know…this doesn’t sound like a terribly inspiring Batman episode, but it was actually quite good.When giant toy soldiers start popping up around Gotham, the police (not to mention Batman) get interested. When it turns out that these toy soldiers actually have human beings trapped inside, well, that’s another level of interest. And when it turns out that these things are rigged to explode if you try and get the people inside out, well…it’s time to get to the bottom of things. Still not convinced? Hang around for another 200 words or so.This all turns out to be an elaborate revenge plot, orchestrated by the bizarre Mr. Dumpler, to get back at mob chieftain, Tobias Whale. Yes, I realize all of these names are a bit on-the-nose, but when AREN’T they when you’re talking about Batman villains? While all of this sounds completely ridiculous, by the middle of the episode, they’ve managed to craft a fairly tense, serial-killer flick vibe.Batman’s uneasy relationship with Lieutenant Gordon, who consistently gets the best lines of dialogue yet heard on the show, is explored, and it’s cool to see that this show is going to make these two earn their friendship. The same goes for the ongoing Katana/Tatsu Yamashiro sub-plot, as she earns Alfred and Bruce’s trust. They certainly aren’t cramming Katana down the viewer’s throat as Batman’s new partner, and by the time it actually happens (I suspect we’re still several episodes away), it will actually mean something. Bonus points for the Barbara Gordon appearance!Where does the episode falter? The climax, despite a bizarre simulated suicide (that’s right), and a couple of visual callbacks to Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film seemed a little tidy, even for a cartoon. But the terrific hard-boiled dialogue, successful duplication of the tone of TV crime proedurals, and a truly impressive “Batman whups on dudes who have no chance” sequence make “Broken” solid viewing.Den of Geek Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars.Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all news updates related to the world of geek. And Google+, if that’s your thing!