According to producer Mitch Watson, Alfred Pennyworth in this show is based on Jim Malone (Sean Connery) from The Untouchables (1987): "He's a man who was once in a physical condition on par with Batman, who was now in his 60s and past his prime, but still able to provide advice to Batman and be an ally when necessary." See more »
It's been the same cycle with every new animated interpretation of Batman since TAS. "I don't like the way it looks!" "The writing's not as good!" "They ruined (insert character's name here)!"
A few years go by, cooler heads prevail, and eventually most seem to come around and appreciate each of these shows for what they are rather than holding them to up to their own preconceived notions of what Batman "should" be.
I get it. You're a "hardcore" Batman fan. You know what it's all about and every little nuance of the mythology. But here's the thing - there is no one true Batman. The character's been around so long and gone through so many permutations that there is no definitive version. There are depictions that strike a chord with certain generations for different reasons, but in the end the Adam West show is a valid as Christopher Nolan's films. Each incarnation highlights and honors different aspects of these characters. That's what's so great about Batman. That's why he's survived as long as he has. He's malleable. As long as you keep the cornerstones of his mythology in place, he's pretty flexible when it comes to adaptations.
This is not TAS. I think we can probably all agree that that's still one of the better representations of Batman and the most successful show overall. But we live in a world of hyperbole so if something's not amazing, that means it must suck. I don't think Beware the Batman is as good as TAS. Not by a long shot. But that doesn't mean I can't enjoy it.
Adjusting to a new look always takes some time, but I've grown to like it. And I think the voice cast is strong. For a show aimed at kids, the writing strikes me as more sophisticated than anything from The Batman
and especially The Brave & The Bold.
I like seeing new villains. I like the detective side of Batman getting more attention. And I like the risks they're taking with characters like Alfred. Borrowing from the Earth One/Sean Connery take definitely sets this apart from previous series. In my opinion, the more traditional take on Alfred makes more sense - but I do admire their decision to do something different.
It's not a perfect show. But I'm interested to see how it evolves. Fans always hate anything new or different. Give it time. When they roll out another new Batman cartoon in a few years, everyone will probably be moaning about the good old days of Beware the Batman.
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