When I first saw the premise, I was convinced it would be just like the listless 1st half of Agents of SHIELD’s 1st season. A ‘superhero’ universe with no superheroes, and a monster-of-the-week premise that was done to death by Smallville over a decade ago. At best, I thought it would be another of the overdone Police Procedurals, and God Help Me if I know whether we’ll see NCIS or CSI reach Little Rock 1st.
But instead, it’s gone a fascinating direction. Without utterly overthrowing the classic Batman mythology, it’s exploring two taut psychological plotlines.
1) How could a city become so dysfunctional that not only would the city embrace a masked vigilante righting its wrongs in the night? But how could it fall so far that it could be beset by supervillians that would DRIVE someone to become that superhero?
2) The eternal question, “How did Bruce Wayne learn to channel everything he was into becoming the Crazy-Prepared Determinator known as Batman.”
Now the problem the series is going to have is point 2 is going to be a long, slow burn. No matter how much tragedy Bruce saw, and the knowledge we have of where he’s going, can we really stay interested long enough in him to see him become the Batman? Related to this, we known James Gordan isn’t going to have a lot of wins on the way. What can we see on the way to make us want to walk through the slime with him?
Are they willing to do a time jump at some point to bring us closer to the day Bats arrives? Or are they really hoping to have a self-contained pre-superhero series fans will follow? I have to believe that it’s going to be a struggle to maintain the myth-arc without bringing us to the origin. So I still have my concern that in the end, this will degenerate into a police procedural, with perhaps some corruption and mob angles thrown in.
But I’ll be happy to be proven wrong. Because Bruce Wayne is still my favorite superhero, and seeing an origin of him well done is not a bad thing.