Justice is the Family Business
The DC Animated Universe has given fans gems like Justice League: War, The Dark Knight Returns - Part I and II, and Son of Batman, and continues to supply fans with comic book easter eggs presented in tight stories that are worthy of theatrical adaptations.
The next film to be released in the animated universe is Batman: Bad Blood, a story featuring not only Batman, but Damian Wayne's Robin, Nightwing, fan favorite Batwoman and, for the first time, Luke Fox as Batwing. While not much is known about the plot, fans now have a chance to see a snippet of the 2016 feature.
In a video published by DC Entertainment, DC All Access co-hosts Jason Inman and Tiffany Smith head to New York Comic Con to find out more about the film. To watch the trailer, skip ahead to 1:17.
Here are a few things we learn from the trailer:
1. Batman is missing in action.
Bruce's whereabouts are unknown, but we do learn a few hints of how he went missing from Jason O'Mara, the voice actor behind Batman for the film.
"Batwoman comes along [...] but she's using guns and that's not really Batman's thing. She gets herself into a little bit of trouble, [and] Batman sacrifices himself in order to save her and is never seen or heard from again."
Which leads into the next point:
2. Dick Grayson has donned the cape and cowl.
"If that's your best Batman, you're not gonna fool anyone...Grayson." It is revealed that Dick Grayson, the first Robin who evolved into Nightwing, has taken up the mantle of the Batman in Bruce's absence.
His reasons behind it are plausible: Gotham needs a hero, and the hero they need is Batman. But can Dick fully take on Bruce's legacy in the same way?
Jay Oliva, director of the film, had some input on the matter:
"Nightwing has been trying to fill the shoes of Batman, but [is] not doing a very good job."
3. Damian Wayne returns to Gotham.
"Damian comes back from the monastery where he's trying to find himself." - Jay Oliva
Damian Wayne, the new Robin that fans saw in Son of Batman and Batman v. Robin, returns for his third animated film as the faithful sidekick to Dick. "There's no way you're gonna pull this off without my help."
Fans know Damian to have a darker edge than the previous Robins, but when your grandfather is Ra's al Ghul, that might be expected. But will this be the first time fans will see Damian in a different light? Only time will tell.
4. Batwoman arrives on the scene.
In the trailer, we see that Dick has enlisted the help of Batwoman and Batwing in matters related to Bruce's disappearance.
"Along the way, Luke Fox, who ends up being Batwing, and also Batwoman join the fray, and they try to solve the mystery of what happened to Batman." - Jay Oliva
We see the team expand as things become hectic in Gotham. But will the team dynamic be enough to find out where Bruce is as well as protect the crime-ridden city? "I don't trust her," Damian admits. Even Batwoman is letting the record show that she's not like the rest of them. "Just because I wear this doesn't mean I'm part of your cult."
5. Luke Fox suits up as Batwing.
The son of Lucius Fox, an associate of Batman, Luke Fox joins the team to help find Bruce. In an interview with Tiffany Smith, Gaius Charles, the voice actor behind Luke Fox, feels honored to have been given the role:
"This is the first time we're seeing him on screen at all [...] When you see Batwing, he's just taking on the role, so there's room for him to develop. Hopefully there will be sequels and we'll get to see him mature into the role."
When Tiffany asked about the pressure of taking on the role for the first time, Gaius had a different answer in mind.
"I didn't really feel a lot of pressure. I really felt like it was a great honor to bring life to this character [...] To step into a brand new character, I just thought that it was a really cool honor to kind of give it my own spin and have a first crack at it."
Batman: Bad Blood, the sequel to 2015's Batman v. Robin, will be available directly to video in 2016.