If you’re a fan of the site and you’ve been following my personal reviews, you already know that I not only enjoy horror films, but I also love mythology stories and anything having to do with comic books and superheros. It is this love of superheros that has brought me to review Ethan Spaulding’s new animated film, Son of Batman.
Ra’s al Ghul and his League of Shadows’ stronghold has been breached by a former student, Slade Wilson, who has come to kill Ra’s and put an end to the League. Slade is successful and in doing so, forces Talia al Ghul to take her son, Damian, to a safe place. That safe place happens to be Gotham City where Damian will meet, for the very first time, his father… the Batman!
Not having read the 2006 comic arc, Batman and Son, from which this film is adapted, I am not familiar with Damian Wayne’s original character. I have, however, read a lot of Damian’s story through the pages of the 2011 series, Batman and Robin. It is much different reading the story of this character on the pages of a comic book than it is to see him in a film, given life by animation and a voice actor. In the books, I hated Damian Wayne; he was obnoxious and brash and I didn’t care for him or his story one bit. Son of Batman does manage to bring some of those characteristics to the screen, but not as explicitly. He is still rude, but it is more as a snobby know-it-all child than a mean-spirited trained assassin. He is still a genius, trained under the world’s greatest murderers, but the portrayal is certainly a bit different.
I have never been a fan of anime styled artwork, which includes the American counterparts like this and other DC Universe animated movies. My love for anything relating to the Bat, however, greatly overshadows that dislike, and once I got involved with the story enough, I forgot I was even watching a ‘cartoon.’ Even if you are like me and aren’t a fan of this artistic style, there are still a lot of things that may please you. There is great use of lighting and texturing, especially evident in scenes with water or fire.
Additionally, do not discredit this film or dismiss it as a child’s cartoon just because it is animated. Between the sexy seduction of Talia to Batman, the extremely bloody sword fights, and the choice of language used by certain characters, there is plenty you won’t want your child witnessing.
With a number of character cameos from the Batman universe, both casual and hardcore fans alike will be pleased with DC’s Son of Batman. I am very happy with how the film came out, even if I like the cover art and packaging better than the style used for the actual film!
Son of Batman will be officially released on DVD and blu-ray by Warner Home Video on May 6. The blu-ray/DVD combo package includes some awesome featurettes, which give some background history of both the League of Shadows and of Damian’s existence in the comic book world.
I highly recommend this animated film to comic book fans or even to you guys reading this that want to try something new. I give it 4 batarangs to the face out of 5.