Monday, February 15, 2016

'Batman: Bad Blood' animated movie review

"Batman: Bad Blood," the latest installment of the DC Universe animated movies is a family affair.

That's fitting since the first of this Batman trilogy started with "Son of Batman," in which Bruce Wayne is surprised to learn he has a biological son, Damien, with Talia al Ghul. "Bad Blood" is about how Dick Grayson has to step in as Batman while his mentor is missing.

Obviously, the story takes up the theme of family with the introduction of Batwoman and Batwing (nicely addressed in the "Expanding the Batman Family" Blu-ray extra) and begins some time after the ending of "Batman vs. Robin." Essentially, the "Bad Blood" story is an amalgamation of the "Prodigal" and post-"Batman R.I.P." comic book story lines. (For the first part my CCC in-depth, issue-by-issue review of "R.I.P.," click here.)

Readers won't be surprised to see that Katie Kane/Batwoman's origin isn't too different from her comics counterpart. And just like in the comics, it's equally unclear why Wayne's Batman doesn't approve of Batwoman fighting crime in Gotham City, much less that Grayson brought her into the fold in his absence.

Luke Fox's Batwing is nothing less — and nothing more — than a weak Iron Man rip-off and his character isn't really needed. Unfortunately, like Cyborg in the Justice League, Batwing is the Batman family equivalent of forced racial diversity.

Grade: A- 

Batwoman and Batman (Dick Grayson) are about to face off against some
"nunjas" — a Grayson pun on ninja-trained nuns.
The same creative team and voice actors behind the previous Batman animated films handle "Bad Blood." The fight scenes here are the best of the bunch and the talking heads/DC animation creators and producers do a fine job of breaking down such sequences in the Blu-ray extra, "Putting the Fight in Gotham."

The best of the two bonus cartoons is from the "Batman: The Brave and the Bold" series featuring an alternative timeline a retired Wayne, his wife Selina Kyle (that's right — Catwoman!), their son Damien and Grayson as the next Batman.

Extras grades: B+ 

Having predicted this Batman storyline thread being a trilogy upon seeing "Batman vs. Robin," I have to concede there's room for more stories. I'd like to see a Nightwing solo adventure or one featuring Grayson teaming up with Batwoman or even a full-on Batman family story.

Or better yet, the next Batman-centric movie could feature my favorite fictional redhead, but for some inane reason DC Entertainment/Warner Bros. officials have sworn off any more animated films featuring a female lead. After all, for my money, the "Wonder Woman" animated film is one of the best DCE has produced.

SMH on the Powers The Be's line of thinking …!

The next DC Universe Original Movie, "Justice League vs. Teen Titans," gives us the first time the Teen Titans have gotten the animated treatment in the New 52-inspired animated world.

Nightwing has moved on from the team and his girlfriend, Starfire, is the young-adult leader of the teenage superheroes. "Justice League vs. Teen Titans" appears to be yet another story about the rebellious and still unlikable Damien Wayne/Robin, but it should contain a lesson for him about being a team player.

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