After a great second episode, did Cartoon Network's "Beware the Batman" falter or continue to surprise in its third entry titled 'Tests'? Series main antagonist Anarky also made his debut this week and set the tone for the cat-and-mouse chess game set to unfold between he - the "White King" and Batman - the "Black King."

OVERVIEW | It's episode three and we were finally introduced to who the producers say will be the main villain for the first half of "Beware the Batman." Anarky, voiced by Wallace Langham, is an interesting choice. A little known character from the Bat-books, his depiction here was actually pretty close to past incarnations of the character. Having watched countless animated programs, I know what geeky/gamer character sounds like and that's definitely what we have in Anarky. We aren't quite told what the character's motivations are but his name pretty much spells it out. It will be interesting to see what the "White King" has in store for the "Black King" moving forward and if the character is indeed 100% Lonnie Machin, or a mixture of Machin and Ulysses Armstrong.

While Anarky had a solid debut, I found the sidestory with Tatsu and her test administered at the hands of Batman to be a little more interesting. We saw she had the moves, as she excelled on Batman's obstacle course but as Batman stated, he needs more than a "gymnast" in a partner (Dick Grayson foreshadowing?). As such, the actual test for Tatsu assessed her detective skills and she managed to score high-marks with the Bat and looks to be well on her way to suiting up.

PRODUCTION INTANGIBLES | The Bat-cycles transformation to the Bat-glider was pretty cool and well animated. Also, the fight scene between Batman and Anarky was superbly executed as the show has now convinced me that the hand-to-hand combat will be its strong-suit.

QUESTIONS | Again, we have a fall that should have killed a villain only for them to mysteriously get up and walk away. If the show is using the Machin version of Anarky, I suspect there may be more of a plausible explanation for his survival as opposed to Magpie apparent invulnerability. Also, that obstacle course Tatsu trained on, while cool, should be pretty damn suspicious.

HIGHLIGHT | Another episode where Batman utilizes his detective skills is always a win. Also, Alfred had some time to shine with some nice one-liners a funny bit where he struggles to figure out the video game controller-like settings on a remote controlled Batmobile.

VERDICT | A solid episode that looks to have laid some nice groundwork for future storylines. Who is Anarky and how long before Tatsu suits up as Katana? We should be finding out very soon.

DC References
Doodlebug Beware the BatmanDaedalus Boch aka Doodlebug Created in Arkham Asylum: Living Hell #1, Doodlebug is a psychology imbalanced artist who goes to extreme measures to immediately paint his 'prophetic' visions using whatever materials are current at hand...including people. He shares a cell with Junkyard Dog.

Beware the Batman Junkyard DogTucker Long aka Junkyard Dog Created in 2003's Arkham Asylum: Living Hell #2, Tucker Long is obsessed with trash and whatever he can discover within it, lottery tickets, money, etc. He was killed by his cell mate Doodlebug when he plucked out his heart to use in one of his paintings.

Beware the Batman AnarkyAnarky Created in 1989's "Detective Comics #608" by Alan Grant, Anarky is described as an anti-villain, someone who breaks the law with the intention of performing good deeds. Stories featuring the character often revolve around political and philosophical ideas. In creating the corrector, Grant instructed co-creator and artist , to make him a cross between V and the spy from Mad Magazine's "Spy vs Spy." Warning: Researching specifics about the character will probably lead to spoilers in the show so do so at your own risk.

Beware the Batman SoultakerKatana's Soultaker Katan's sword makes a brief appearance this episode. The Japanese sword captures the soul of every person it kills and allows her to communicate with its captives for advice and battle tactics.

Running Time: 30 minutes
Season One Premiere: July 13, 2013
MPAA Rating: Tv-PG
Starring: Anthony Ruivivar, Sumalee Montano, JB Blanc, Greg Ellis, Kurtwood Smith, Udo Kier, Lance Reddick, Tisha Terrasini Banker, Cree Summer
Directed by: Sam Liu
Producers: Glen Murakami, Mitch Watson, Sam Register (executive producer)

"Beware the Batman" is an American produced animated cartoon program airing on Cartoon Network starting July 13, 2013. Sam Reigster serves as executive producer with Glen Murakami and Mitch Watson as the hands-on showrunners. The voice cast features Anthony Ruivivar as Batman, Lance Reddick ad Ra's Al Ghul, Cree Summer as Magpie, Sumalee Montano as Katana, JB Blanc as Alfred and Kurtwood Smith as Lt. Gordon."
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