Review – Batman: Bad Blood

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Review – Batman: Bad Blood

While I’m not the only one that enjoys a solid Batman story, there is something to be said about over saturation of any one character. I understand the choice as a business decision; Batman is the most popular DC characters and he sells well. I’m just at the point where I might need a bit of a Bat-Break. No, DC, stop now – I’m not asking for a Nightfall DC Animated story. Perhaps focus on the other characters of Gotham. Oh wait that’s another TV Show currently on Fox…. Maybe the Bat Family?

Which, to commend DC Animation, is exactly who they focused on in Batman: Bad Blood – the other characters that make up the Bat Family. So where does this film rest in the overall DC Animation collection? Is it going to prepare you for the upcoming Bat-Fleck?

Story

Without going into spoiler territory let me give you the gist, but first I want to offer up a small warning – there are Nunjas in this film. Yes, if you break that word down you will understand: Nun and Ninja. Ninja Nuns. Now what writer could have come up with this? Yup, small warning – this story is adapted from a Grant Morrison book. While I have mad respect for the writer, I just never found my Morrison story, something that truly spoke to me. Much like Son of Batman, all goes well until about 75% into the story and then the Man Bats show up, or Nunjas in this case, something that sort of breaks the understanding you have of the established universe.

This story focuses more on the Bat Family: what would they do if Batman went missing? During a chance encounter with some villains Batwoman is rescued by Batman – only to have the building explode with Batman still inside. Batwoman doesn’t believe he’s dead and starts investigating his disappearance. Alfred puts out the call to the rest of the Bat Family – well actually only Dick Grayson (Nightwing) and Damian Wayne (Robin). I guess Tim Drake (the other Robin) was busy. Dick steps up and dons the Bat Cowl, and if you give a Nightwing a Batman Mask he’ll need a Robin to go with it

Now while I certainly enjoy Damian Wayne (at least when Peter Tomasi writes him) I was more then a little bummed that Tim Drake didn’t show up. I think he would have helped balance the dynamic and help with the banter a bit. Need more characters? How about Batwing!

Thoughts

Batman Bad Blood I feel suffers from the same thing Batman and Robin (Joel Schumacher) did: too many supporting characters. The movie is certainly no Batman and Robin. It was actually fairly entertaining, and definitely action packed. I however did notice where it was struggling – in trying to find its voice, or defining which character should I be focusing on. To me Batwoman seemed like the most interesting character, and while they did their best to make her the focus, especially with her tragic backstory, it felt at times that a solo movie would have been a better idea.

Then again it was probably a business decision much like Batman Superman Apocalypse, which for all intents and purposes was a Supergirl film – but you certainly couldn’t make a TV Show out of that character – or even a solo film (or could you?)

Batwoman sadly had to share the spotlight and her character development suffered because of it. Most of her out-of-costume scenes were far more interesting. And after seeing her meet up with Montoya I think you absolutely should make a Batwoman and Question animated feature.

Which then brings us to Batwing. I must say this – we really need to try harder to come up with original characters. The minute he got into his suit it was clearly Falcon from the Avengers. So much potential of a deeper character was glossed over.

Extras

So with every DC Animated film there is always a preview for the next one. The name Teen Titans vs JLA alone totally excited me – until I heard the premise: That’s So Raven. Yup it’s that time again – Raven’s Dad is coming for his visit. Another DC story told time and time again. Don’t get me wrong – it’s interesting the first time you’ve seen it. But the added storyline is Damian Wayne joining the Titans. Which again I’m a fan of Damian, but perhaps you should have Tim Drake there to help add some contrast.

Overall

I was pleasantly surprised by the movie – while not my favorite it’s certainly not the worst (cough cough Assault on Arkham.) There is a ton of action – with an interesting Morrison plot twist at the end. It also helps introduce you to some of the other characters of the DC Universe.