Beware The Batman Episode 6 “Toxic” Review:
Batman: “There are two things in life everyone’s powerless against. Love and revenge.”
One of the reasons I love this is that it makes for great sci-fi. There’s just enough babble to make it seem futuristic, but enough detective work to make it seem plausible. Also, I like that Simon Stagg is a greedy weapons’ contractor. You don’t see a lot of Batman going after rich evil people these days. They’re all criminally insane or terrorists usually. Nice to see Batman change up his targets.
Speaking of how the villains are usually mentally ill, it’s strongly foreshadowed that the psychologist Dr. Ravencroft is a villainess, which I predicted…and loved! It’s nice to see Batman cares for the downtrodden and in this version, goes after even those in power with “normal” minds and bodies. Dr. Ravencroft asks Bruce on a date, and is especially creepy in this episode.
So, anyway, Batman helps Metamorpho find Stagg, but is still looking for a cure for him. I doubt he’ll find one, as Metamorpho is no doubt destined to team-up with Katana in The Outsiders. It was great to see Batman uncover Stagg’s operations while dodging a dinner date…they’re really pushing the spy/detective angle on Batman…and it’s nice to see him uphold things like love, equality, and logic. But, I still have no idea how you’d “weaponize” DNA. That’s what makes it good sci-fi!
This was a very risky episode of Beware The Batman, I feel. It challenges preconceived notions of Batman’s bravado, and shows a more sensitive side in his empathy with Metamorpho and his lover Sapphire. It also challenges body norms and traditional notions of love. Metamorpho asks several times if Sapphire still loves him the way he is, and she is conflicted. But, I suspect there’s more to their love than appearance.
Also, the animation here is top notch. The imagery and the contrasting plots are perfectly juxtaposed. One story is about dating to keep up the appearance love (Ravencroft & Bruce Wayne), and the other is about recognizing inner beauty free of social conventions like dating. (Metamorpho and Sapphire) Stagg reacts emotionally to danger, while Batman acts logically.
I love this interpretation of Batman. I know it’s pretty much a Romeo and Juliet story, but I needed to see that Batman is capable of such logic and compassion, as opposed to being the cold, brazen, macho man of recent public memory. Finally, I just can’t wait for The Outsiders to form! The first I’d heard of them was actually in Batman: The Brave And The Bold! But, I know it’s a Silver Age superhero team…
I really like The Silver Age Batman detective story they’re going for. I haven’t been this excited about a cartoon since Batman: The Animated Series! Great episode…great themes, great visuals! Definitely one of my first A+ rated episodes! I hope they keep it going!