Damian Wayne is a little piece of shit.
That’s the first thing you need to know about Batman’s kid. But there’s a backstory to it, before you go off hating the… little piece of shit. He’s the illegitimate son of Batman and Talia al Ghul. He was raised, without his father knowing of his existence, by an isolated group of ninja assassins who commit terrorist acts in the name of the environment. His grandfather is Ra’s al Ghul, an insane assasin who is a few hundred years old, made almost immortal by a mystical pool of glowing green liquid.
Yeah, that will kind of mess up a kid’s mind.
Anyway, let’s talk about the animated adaptation of Son of Batman. In this story, Batman discovers that all this time he’s had a kid raised as a killer, by one of his enemies, and the mother of his kid just leaves Damian with Bruce. Oh no, a guy who has made a career out of alienating almost everybody in his life now has to connect with the son he never knew he had! Comedy ensues! Except not really.
You see, I’ve always held DC animation up to a high standard. I grew up watching Bruce Timm’s Batman: The Animated Series. Justice League and Justice League Unlimited are amazing cartoons that showcase the potential of the DC Universe’s properties when transported to another medium. The direct-to-DVD DC movies have been mostly great, with Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Justice League: The New Frontier, and Batman: Under The Red Hood being stellar adaptations of great comics.
So why do I feel like DC’s animated features have taken on a steep decline since Flashpoint Paradox? I mean, that one by itself wasn’t bad, but… Justice League: War was a special kind of stupid. I admit that a lot of my hatred of these adaptations stem from the New 52. Grant Morrison’s Batman and Son is a pretty good story that I enjoyed, so the animated adaptation should be pretty good, right?
I thought it was a mixed bag.
Son of Batman took a lot of liberties with the source material (mainly with Damian becoming Robin almost immediately after living with Batman) but I was pretty fine with it. A couple of scenes with Nightwing, Alfred, and Damian made me laugh. And I like the fact that they toned down Damian’s personality since at that point in the comics Damian was a pretty insufferable piece of shit.
Here’s the thing I really disliked about Son of Batman though. Voice acting, especially during the prologue, was terrible. The guy playing Ra’s al Ghul sounded like he just wanted to just finish reading his lines, take his paycheck and go home to his dog and get drunk. And the guy playing Deathstroke was… indifferent. I couldn’t believe it was Kevin Conroy. And the scene where Batman finally got fed up with Damian? I wanted Batman to lose his shit and scream at Damian that the annoying little kid finally gets some sense in him, like the way it happened in the comics. But no, we get Batman the… gentle lecturer. It wasn’t a great scene.
All in all, Son of Batman was a pretty decent effort for a Bruce Timm-less DC Animation. It’s nowhere the heights of The Dark Knight Returns, but thank goodness it wasn’t as terrible as Justice League: War.
Anyway, I know 90% of us will watch it to see Damian be the insufferable psychopathic little shit that he is, and it delivered.
What do you think of Son of Batman? Tell me about it in the comments!