Beware the Batman: Control, Review

Despite a villain that makes for a really cool visual in the usually dark world of Beware the Batman, the latest episode, "Control," didn't quite make the grade.

The biggest problem that Beware the Batman has faced is one of consistency. The show quickly won over naysayers with smart characterizations, fluid visuals, and some genuinely strong episodes, but it hasn’t yet been able to crank out several exceptional episodes in a row. There’s nothing inherently bad about “Control,” but it’s a fairly bland outing, and despite the return of some supporting characters and the usual references to the League of Assassins, it doesn’t feel essential.“Control” sees the return of Dr. Jason Burr, the fellow who has a huge crush on Katana, and also the inventor of the Ion Cortex, the revolutionary energy device that the League of Assassins desperately wants. To acquire it, they deploy Cypher, a cybernetic villain with the ability to control individuals’ minds through a surprisingly graphic physical/neural hook-up. Of course, Cypher catches up to Burr while he’s having dinner with Katana, Batman shows up, and the expected slugfest ensues.Cypher has a striking look, and his glowing green tendrils made for some great visuals on the episode. The problem is that Cypher is…well…a cypher. We’re told nothing about him other than that he’s a rather enhanced operative of the League, and that’s not really enough to make us care about or fear him. The cybernetic “puppetry” he does with his victims is kind of creepy at first, but when deployed throughout the episode it loses its impact.Add to this Batman spouting some dreadful master/student dialogue at Katana (things like “think with your head, not with your heart”) and one remarkably lazy visual of Batman on his grapnel ascending a building (which looks like a video game cut scene from 2002) and that’s a recipe for a forgettable episode. It’s not BAD, but it’s not gonna be enough to win folks over who can’t let go of previous animated incarnations of Batman. As someone who is rooting for this show to succeed (and who believes it has had several genuinely great episodes so far), I want and need Beware the Batman to do better than this.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!


2 out of 5