Blu-ray Review: Son of Batman

When writer Grant Morrison first introduced Damian Wayne, the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, in 2006 I wasn’t sure what to think. Part of me was intrigued and part of me was annoyed. Then I learned that the idea of this character had actually been born in a one-off story written way back in 1987, Batman: Son Of the Demon, wherein Talia seduced Batman and doesn’t tell him that she gotten pregnant. So when she randomly shows up at his doorstep and says here’s your son he’s your problem now, it makes a little more sense.

Damian Wayne had a very interesting character arc in the comics; I won’t go into here as to avoid spoilers, though it made me very curious how they were going to adapt his story, or at least the beginning of it, into an animated film.

Damian’s introduction to Bruce is completely different than the comics but works on it’s own accords. In the comics Talia delivers Damian to Bruce in order to disrupt is work and part of Damian’s arc is deciding he wants his father approval and growing to become a proper hero.

In the movie, the League of Assassins is attacked by a rogue offshoot lead by Deathstroke and al Ghul is killed. Here Talia delivers Damian to Bruce in order to keep him safe. Meanwhile she goes after Deathstroke herself. Again, Damian determines he wants his father’s approval, but it is the mystery of how Deathstroke is tied to the kidnapping of Dr. Langstrome (the original Man-Bat) that drives this story.

I’m glad the creative force behind Son of Batman decided to go its own route. It allowed them to set the store completely outside the often times convoluted history of the comics. Son of Batman establishes it’s own unique relationship between father and son and gives it plenty of room to grow with future films, which I hope they do. I think it would be fascinating to see perhaps a trilogy of films about Bruce and Damian concluding the same way Damian’s arc did in the comics.

The animation here is very well done. The action scenes play out very nicely, especially the fight scenes between Damian and Deathstroke. The only thing that really struck me as out of place is when Damian gets blades through both his forearms and is still able to continue on fighting as if nothing had happened. Why give a character such a drastic wound, if it’s not going to play out in the story?

Outside of that one glaring mistake I found Son of Batman very entertaining and a great addition to the Warner Bros./DC Animated world.

The film is presented in 1.78:1 and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1. This is a great looking and sounding film.

If you want to know more about the backstory of this film look no further than these special features. You get Strange Blood Ties: Damian Wayne (15 min.) A good introduction to the character. However be forewarned, they do spell out his entire comics story arc, so you if don’t know it and don’t want spoilers, maybe skip this one. The Fang and the Demon Head: The League of Assassins: (10 min.), a good intro to Ra’s al Ghul, Talia and the League. Designing the Characters with Phil Bourassa: (9 min.) A look at how each character was given their look for the film. Sneak Peak at Batman: Assault on Arkham (7 min.) This is the next DC animated film. Looks pretty cool. DC Vault: Four episodes from the TV series’ Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond and Batman: Brave And the Bold, with three featuring Ra’s and one focusing on Damian.

DC might be WAY behind Marvel when it comes to live action movies, but DC is the king of the animated films and Son of Batman is a great addition to those films.

Warner Bros. presents Son Of Batman. Written by: Joe R. Lansdale. Based on characters created by Bob Kane and the graphic novel Batman and Son by Grant Morrison. Directed by: Ethan Spaulding. Starring: Jason O’Mara, Stuart Allen, Thomas Gibson, Morena Baccarin, Xander Berkeley and Giancarlo Esposito. Running time: 74 min. Rating: PG-13. Released: May 6, 2014.

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