Son Of Batman is made by Warner Bros. Animation and is directed by Ethan Spaulding. It is the third entry into the DC Animated Movie Universe. It is said to be “inspired” by a DC Comics story by Grant Morrison, though we find the story very different from the one depicted in the New 52.
Deathstroke (Thomas Gibson) attacks Ra’s al Ghul (Giancarlo Esposito), angry at the fact that the League of Assassins leader rejected him as an heir. Ra’s is killed in the ensuing battle, forcing his daughter Talia (Morena Baccarin) to flee with her son Damian (Stuart Allan). She brings him to Gotham City, revealing to Batman (Jason O’Mara) that Damian is his son. She begs him to keep the child safe, but Damian wants nothing more than to investigate and exact revenge on Ubu (Bruce Thomas), who betrayed Ra’s on Deathstroke’s behalf. Bruce tries to control Damian with the help of Alfred (David McCallum) and Nightwing (Sean Maher), but it becomes apparent that nothing can control Damian as struggles between his legacy of his grandfather and the one of his father.
The story takes most of its elements from the “Batman And Son” story-arc by comic book writer Grant Morrison, however, it also adds in elements from the “Death And The Maidens,” by Greg Rucka which sees Ra’s al Ghul getting killed in a takeover of the League of Assassins. The film did a good job of merging these stories without getting bogged down and the impressive animation definitely gave it an edge that is sometimes is missing from these adaptions.
I have two issues with the film. First, Tim Drake, the third Robin, is a big part of the original Morrison story. He tries to teach Damian how to be Robin and the jealousy between them is a driving part of the plot. It was sad to see this missing and though there was some competition between Damian and Grayson, that dynamic is missed.
The second issue I have is with Deathstroke. He is turned into a Mary Sue… or Gary Sue if you prefer. He is almost unstoppable in this movie, even Talia’s skills are nothing compared to his abilities. Also, why are they using Deathstroke? In the original comics, Nyssa, another daughter of Ra’s, was the original one vying for control of the League of Assassins. This would have made for a more compelling story-arc than a rampaging Teen Titan villain trying to get control. It was a missed opportunity and a misfire WB’s part.
However, the plot is good and moves at a great pace. I should also say that it is well-casted. Every person is selected with great care and each does a good job in the role. On that note, this is Jason O’Mara’s second outing as Batman and he does an excellent job of portraying the voice of the Dark Knight. He does a good job voicing Bruce Wayne’s frustration at his son’s choices and actions in the film.
Bottom line, while Son Of Batman missed some opportunities with the characters, the plot is engaging and does a good job crafting a Batman story. The Dark Knight is portrayed is an excellent manner on both the character design angle and on the voice acting.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Bloody action violence, innuendo, and language
FAVORITE QUOTE: He is the spitting image of you at that age. It’s a bit chilling.
Check out the trailer below:
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This article has been updated from a previous version.