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On TV Today's Date:

The Batman
Original airdate 9/25/04

How do you update a sixty year old icon of comics for a modern audience? Have his butler serve him nachos.

This week, Gotham's crime bosses are tired of Batman disrupting their business and have hired a mercenary named Bane to take out "The Bat". It isn't long before Bane sets his first trap and Batman walks right into the fight of his life.

Traction is a slim on plot but heavy on fighting. After Bane leaves Batman broken following their first fight, Batman comes back for another. The action is good, but the plot may leave you wanting.

There is only one moment during the half hour show that it stops to let the audience breathe. Alfred has a flashback to the night he picked Bruce up from the police station after his parents had been shot. It's an interesting scene and one I don't think I've seen before in modern comics. Maybe Alfred needs his own comic book that explores what it's like to live with Bruce Wayne/Batman. It can't be any worse than Aquaman.

Bane remains mostly true to his comic book origins. He's a mercenary from South America with a super suit that injects "venom" into his blood stream, turning him into a rampaging hulk (no crossover pun intended). Traction follows a standard comic plotline; boy meets masked man, masked man almost cripples boy, boy invents bat-themed robot suit and beats masked man unconscious.

Come to think of it, that's a standard gay porno plot too.

The Bat-suit does come out of left field and is a quick solution to the Bane problem, but you gotta jump start that toy line somehow. I would like to see Bruce Wayne show more emotion to develop his character. He suffers a humiliating defeat in his first fight with Bane but isn't really that shaken up about it. Determination is about the closest thing we get to an emotion, but it would have been nice to see Bruce show a little humility or reach out to Alfred for help.

It also seems funny that Batman would defeat Bane so definitively so early in the life of the show. What will they do for Bane's second appearance?

Anyway, third episode in The Batman, the show continues to improve.

Michael Goodson


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