Let’s just say I haven’t been keen on DC’s animated movies ever since Bruce Timm left. Flashpoint Paradox was an acceptable movie, but Justice League: War was so terrible it was embarrassing. Son of Batman was decent, but it toned down a lot of Damian’s personality. Come on, Damian Wayne needed to be an annoying little shit.
Thank goodness Batman Vs. Robin came along.
WARNING: SPOILERS FROM THIS POINT ONWARDS
The film starts with Damian, current Robin and the son of Batman, investigating a mass kidnapping of children. He finds them in an abandoned warehouse where they are being experimented on by the Dollmaker. At this moment I geeked out, because I have so much love for the Grant Morrison Batman run that any reference to it is welcome. Long story short, Batman and Robin defeats the Dollmaker and his army of little brainwashed children. Then the mysterious Talon steps in, murders Dollmaker in cold blood, and offers Robin the freedom that Batman never trusted him with.
Talon, of course, is working for the mysterious Court of Owls – a legendary cabal of powerful rich men who have controlled Gotham City. Bruce Wayne tried to prove the Court’s existence when he was a kid – he blamed them for his parents’ deaths – but he eventually shrugged them off as mere urban legends. Now he has solid evidence that the Court exists, and he is powerless to stop them. He needs his son, but the Court has manipulated Damian to turn against him. What’s a masked vigilante to do?
I really enjoyed how they managed to combine elements from two different eras of Batman into one movie. They took the quintessential Scott Snyder story – The Court of Owls – and managed to tie it in with a Batman Vs. Robin arc (which was from an earlier Grant Morrison run) and gave us a movie that was entertaining and stands up there with Under The Red Hood.
I’m miffed by a couple of decisions, though – the identity of Talon and the Grandmaster. In the movie, the Grandmaster is Bruce Wayne’s girlfriend, Samantha, and Talon is some random guy adopted by Samantha’s father. In the comics, Talon was William Cobb, Dick Grayson/Nightwing’s great-grandfather. The Grandmaster is none other than Lincoln March, who claims to be Thomas Wayne Jr., the younger brother of Bruce Wayne.
Lincoln March is fantastic villain on his own and he is creepy as fuck. He should’ve been the movie’s big bad, not Talon, although I understand they needed to make the conflict between Bruce and Damian the main focus of the movie. I hope we get to see Lincoln take control of the Court in the future, especially now that Talon’s murdered most of it.
Overall, I really enjoyed this movie, and I hope this means future animated features from DC will be just as great.
- So “Weird Al” Yancovic played Dollmaker. He was absolutely perfect for the part. Too bad Dollmaker died too early. Who’s gonna rip off the Joker’s face now?
- Really not feeling Jason O’ Mara’s voice as Batman. He’s doing a fine job, don’t get me wrong, but he’s no Kevin Conroy.
- Also, come on, how many stories of “Batman’s girlfriend turns out to be the mastermind all along” are we going to get?
- What I really enjoy about Scott Snyder’s run on Batman is that we get to see Batman make mistakes, and it blows up in his face so magnificently. Such a refreshing change from Grant Morrison’s invincible Bat-God.
We really get to see Bruce make a shitload of mistakes here, and boy does it hit the fan so hard.
- You have no idea how happy I was to see them reference Future Damian Wayne/Batman from Morrison’s classic Batman #666.
- This was probably the most brutal Batman animated movie to date. Yes, it’s more brutal than Jason’s death in Under the Red Hood. Batman, Damian, and Nightwing have taken on so many injuries I’m sure it’s impossible for them to walk again.
- I cheered so loudly when Batman used the mecha suit. I mean, who wouldn’t?
- “Get the hell out of my cave!”
So there’s my Batman Vs. Robin Review. What do you think of Batman Vs. Robin? Let me hear your thoughts in the comments!