The DC Universe continues combining its New 52 Universe and its animated movie universe with “Son of Batman.” It was a lot easier to adapt “Justice League: War” for the big or small screen given that it was already rooted in the rebooted world we’ve come to know in the past few years. The real question everybody wanted to know the answer to was, “How will a book written before the launch of the New 52 fit into the new cosmos?” Whether you like the outcome or not, credit has to be given to DC for accomplishing the feat.
When Ra’s al Ghul is assassinated by Deathstroke and his army, his daughter Talia and her son Damian are left on the run for their lives. She takes the boy to the only place she knows he’ll be safe: Gotham City and into the custody of the only man she can truly trust – The Batman. The Caped Crusader is caught off guard when he finds out he is the father of Damian. The heiress to the throne of the Demon leaves the 11-year-old under the wing of the Dark Knight. Batman soon finds himself partnered with a new Robin when he is put in the middle of a battle between Talia’s new brigade of Man-Bats and Deathstroke’s squad.
If you’ve read Grant Morrison’s graphic novel that “Son of Batman” is based on, then you know right off the bat (pun intended) this is not as faithful an adaptation as you might have expected. Whether or not you find this to be a good thing or bad is up to you. I personally found it to be entertaining and quite a brilliant way to pull the saga of “Batman and Son” into the New 52 world.
“Son of Batman” is presented in 1080p High-Definition 16×9 (1.78:1) with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. Viewers will find the picture is vibrant and clean. The audio will encircle the audience with the bombastic sounds of explosions and atmospheric elements.
The Blu-ray version of “Batman and Son” includes a satisfying amount of bonus material. It includes three featurettes entitled “Strange Blood Ties: Damian Wayne,” “Designing the Characters with Phil Bourassa,” and “The Fang and the Demon Head: The League of Assassins.” There’s also a sneak peek at DC Universe’s next animated movie, “Batman: Arkham Assault.” Four bonus cartoons from the DC Comics Vault top everything off.
“Batman and Son” is rated PG-13 for Stylized violence including bloody images, and some suggestive material. There’s more gore than usual as members of the League of Assassins and Deathstroke’s army get stabbed and shot. Several lines of dialogue are rather racy, but most pre-teens probably won’t get them. I still don’t really know why they needed to be included. Why not just leave them out and know that the movie is safe for everyone without question?
Some will see DC’s use of Deathstroke to be a desperate ploy to promote and push the character further into the spotlight while cross-promoting his presence on “Arrow.” Hey, business is business. DC executives and writers gotta eat, too. I like the character on the television show and I like him in the comics. If you don’t like him, then you’re probably going to have a problem with his inclusion in “Son of Batman.”
“Son of Batman” is made up of the first quarter of Morrison’s book sans all the romantic elements and other extraneous elements which could be trimmed out. A little shuffling is done to certain plot elements and events, Deathstroke is thrown in, and “Voila!” We get an energetic and fast-paced 74-minute movie.
“Son of Batman” is available on Blu-ray, DVD, and as a Digital Download.
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