Is it just us, or are people finally starting to realize that Adam West is the best Batman ever?

On Monday night, Netflix released the first season of their new series, The Witcher, based on the internationally bestselling novels by Polish author, Andrzej Sapkowski. The show is incredible, capturing all the feel of the novels while adding a new layer of characters. If you’re a fan of the books, you’ll love the show; if you’re a fan of Netflix’s dark fantasy series, Magic, then be sure to check out The Witcher as well. 

The two series share many similarities, and it’s no secret that Witcher creator, Henry Cavill has cited influence from the Magic cast and crew. Fans of both series should enjoy the new show. 

The Best Batman Ever

The most striking thing about The Witcher and Magic is the way in which they deviate from the source material. Take a look at the TV show The Witcher, and you’ll see many references to the books. From the Mad Max-inspired truck in the opening credits to the show’s soundtrack, which is built upon traditional European folk songs, to the characters’ dialogue, which is littered with medieval lingo and obscure references, it’s clear that show creator, Julie Gadot and her team wanted to remain faithful to the spirit of Andrzej Sapkowski‘s books. However, they also wanted to make the material their own. It’s Gadot‘s Magic that she really shines in.

A Different Take On Batman

There are so many ways in which The Witcher and Magic depart from the Batman formula. For example, we don’t see Bruce Wayne or any of his relatives in this story. Instead, we get to witness the early development of Geralt of Rivia, the main character, and learn more about his life and times. Although he is a witcher (a magic user), he is not the dark knight himself. Instead, he is a somewhat reserved and even-tempered man who sees more clearly than most people what needs to be done. This takes the form of saving peasants from the terrifying creatures that inhabit their dark world, and bringing them safely to the light.

The Books Are Vividly Detailed

The biggest turn-off for The Witcher and Magic fans may be the books’ incredibly vivid, detailed descriptions of the worlds they depict. If you’re the type of person who finds such details easy to picture, then these novels are probably not for you. Thankfully, there is an option. While watching the show, you’re supposed to feel like you’re reading the novels, and there’s a reason why: the details correspond perfectly. For example, the characters constantly eat small fish and chips, or meatballs — small bites, designed to be quickly consumed. This is something that Sapkowski describes in his books, and the show captures it perfectly. These meals are described in great detail, and you can see the portions that the characters consume. It isn’t just about entertainment: knowing the way that the characters eat and act will give you a clearer picture of the world and its people. 

No More Mr. Nice Guy

Speaking of pictures, we get to see a whole lot more character development than most shows, which is another way The Witcher and Magic deviate from the standard superhero formula. This is most apparent in Geralt’s relationship with Yennefer, a sorceress who is the love of his life. In the books, it is revealed that he saved her from certain death many years earlier, and she reciprocates his feelings. Their Magic romance is one of the series’ highlights. However, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Yennefer is a deeply mysterious character, whose past is shrouded in darkness. In the show, she has been known to manipulate and deceive Geralt, and even kill for the sake of their Magic arts. He has also been seen to be quite the jealous and possessive partner, wanting to control every aspect of Yennefer’s life. This dichotomy adds an interesting layer to their relationship, which makes it even more compelling. 

Less Talk, More Action

Both The Witcher and Magic are incredibly action-packed thrillers, which makes sense, given that they are based on novels by Sapkowski. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing. The show’s creators were able to condense the books’ complex storylines into 12 episodes, which allowed for more action, and less talking-head exposition. One of our favorite things about The Witcher is the amount of violence that is shown. While watching, you’ll see bodies lying around and in various states of dismemberment, which adds a level of realism that puts much of Hollywood’s violent fare to shame. If you’re a fan of traditional fight scenes, with lots of grunting and blood-thirst, then The Witcher is definitely the series for you. There is also Magic, but its fights feel more like gymnastics than anything else, and the violence is slightly toned down.

A Bigger World

One of the things that made The Witcher so special is its vivid descriptions of the worlds that it depicts. While it is set in a medieval setting, the world is presented in a way that feels very contemporary. This is in part thanks to Gadot‘s Magic stylings, which give the world a distinctively digital feel. For example, cars are often shown fully intact, even though they are made of solid steel. However, when they break down, the pieces are often destroyed entirely, adding another layer of impact and reality to the universe. The Witcher is a large series, comprised of six books, which have been translated into 39 languages. In addition to adding more depth to the source material, Gadot‘s Magic stands as a testament to Sapkowski’s extraordinary imagination and storytelling ability. Although the series is ultimately aimed at a mainstream audience, it remains difficult to put down once you’ve begun it.