A Son Will Rise
Celebrating Batman’s 75th anniversary comes the second instalment of the DC Universe Animated Original Movies for 2014, following Justice League: War (an adaption of Geoff Johns and Jim Lee’s 2011 Justice League: Origin). Son of Batman, an adaption of Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert’s 2006 Batman and Son story arc, follows Batman gaining knowledge of having an adolescent offspring with Talia al Ghul, who was secretly raised by his grandfather, Ra’s al Ghul, as well as the League of Assassins.
Having no knowledge whatsoever of Morrison and Kubert’s Batman and Son story arc this film gives quiet an amazing insight into the character of Damian Wayne and also into the odd father-son relationship with Batman. Written by James Robinson, well known for his numerous works with both Marvel and DC, along with Joe R. Lansdale provide a very engaging and well-written story. Probably the most prominent aspect to the story was how the relationship of Batman and his son, Damian, were articulated. As both having different upbringings and basically being opposites in regards to there motives and opinions surrounding the issue of death. With Damian, believing to have more of a beneficial outcome by providing death to those oppose him whilst Batman, as well all know frowns upon the idea of it. This becomes the main underlying theme for this story and progressively and also subtlely makes this a very interesting story to follow.
In addition, what makes this story stand out and more intriguing, compared to the predecessor film, is the brilliant voice-acting provided. Reprising his role as the iconic Batman, Jason O’Mara is subtlely making this character his own within the New 52 animated film adaptions. With that being said, it must be acknowledged that Mr. Stuart Allen, who voiced Damian Wayne/Robin, has done quiet an excellent job at making this character his own. His voice work as Robin really embodied a character who in clear terms is a blood thirsty pre-teen assassin. Allen really demonstrated a side of Robin that felt very different to previous portrayals of the character, his voice made it feel as though he owned this character as how a lot of fans acknowledge that Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamil’s voice works on Batman and the Joker are without a doubt irreplacable, however Roger Craig Smith and Troy Baker’s work as these two characters in Batman: Arkham Origins is also an oustanding addition in the voice work they provided. Allen’s low register and slow-paced voice made this specific Robin not as comical and energetic as how a large majority of fans would recognise this character to be. The Robin in this film became more a tactical and predator-like, asssassin who thrives on the hunt of his prey.
Directed by Ethan Spaulding, a prominent figure for his involvement on the animated television series Avatar: The Last Airbender and also The Legend of Korra, this addition to the DC Universe Animated Movies is a film that is most definitely a stand-out addition to the list of previously released DC’s animated films. Similarly, to Justice League: The Flashpint Paradox it carries the same level of violence and graphic content and probably more that will enhance the viewing experience for notable fans and people just wanting to watch an interesting aspect of Batman. All in all, Spaulding does an excellent job of being an amazing story teller with the ability able to combine a very story and charcter driven film mixed in with great action sequences.
In closing, Son of Batman is an excellent film to help celebrate 75 years of Batman. Whether it be the action storyboards, the adapted story-arc or the voice work, this film most likely demonstrates it all. The film is engaging, violent and very much a Batman animated film that fans would come to expect and will most likely be considered to be a watch for those who crave the caped crusader. Son of Batman clearly demonstrates why DC Comics is really on top of its game when it comes to animated superhero films or television shows.