DVD Review – Batman: Bad Blood
Batman: Bad Blood
Director: Jay Oliva
Writer: J.M. Dematteis
Cast: Jason O’Mara, Yvonne Strahovski, Stuart Allan, Sean Maher, Morena Baccarin, Gaius Charles, Ernie Hudson
Producers: Sam Register, James Tucker
Studio: Warner Bros.
Dick Grayson and Damien Wayne return to Gotham after hearing news of Batman’s disappearance. Dick realizes the only way to stop Gotham from falling into chaos is to take up the mantle of Batman himself. As the new Dynamic Duo, Dick and Damien run into Kathy Kane aka The Batwoman, who claims Batman died saving her from a new villain named the Heretic. Can Dick and Damien trust her? If so who is the Hereric and what does he want? Is Batman really dead? If he isn’t then in what condition will they find him?
This more or less isn’t so much a Batman story but more a Bat Family story. Normally these animated movies are based on an actual comic arc, but this one seems to cherry pick elements from several stories. Two of the most notable are Grant Morrison’s “Batman and Robin” run and also his “Robin R.I.P.” This is actually one of those times I wish I wasn’t familiar with the comics. The mystery of the Heretic is actually pretty clever but if you’ve read the comics you know exactly who it is so there’s no tension.
I have to admit I’ve never taken Batgirl seriously, but that being said Batwoman is an absolute bad ass. I was wondering how they were going to handle her relationship with Renee Montoya in this feature but surprisingly thry didn’t shy away from it, while at the same time not beating you over the head with it. What do I think of Batwing? Hey, every team needs a Tito Jackson. If Dick and Damien are Dr. Dre and Eazy-E, then Batwing is…MC Ren. It’s not that I had a problem with Iron Batman, but he did feel rather shoehorned in.
Ever since The Flashpoint Paradox, every DC Animated feature has been canonical, including the Justice League movies. Since this is the third post-Flashpoint Batman movie, it definitely feels like a trilogy. The movie picks up and references the events from “Batman Vs Robin.” And if you look at all three movies Bruce relationship with Damien is the most common thread. It has completely come full circle, as they now both fully embrace themselves as family. Dick finally gets screen time, maybe even center stage, as Dick is force to take up the mantle and live in the shadow of the man he’s been trying so hard avoiding. Dick may not be blood, but he’s every bit as family to Bruce as one can get.
As far as whether this is a recommendation, if you’ve seen the DC animated movies then you already know the answer to that question. Out of the last three Batman movies this one is actually the best. It introduces new characters (even another surprising cameo in the last scene) and probably features the most Batman villains in one movie in awhile. It’s also pretty shocking when you remember the fact that Joker hasn’t even been seen or even been hinted at for the last three movies. Taking Joker off the table leaves room for villains like the Court of Owls and Heretic to develop, who were both created in the last five years of the comics.
DC has another winner on its hands, but you already knew that much. For the few that still need confirmation on whether or not to watch any of the DC animated features, what are you waiting for?