I don’t know how it happened but I somehow missed this feature in the DC Animated Universe. I’m not sure how this slipped past me because this movie has Batwoman in it and she kicks ass. After spending a long moment of staring in the mirror and saying how dumb I was for forgetting the existence of this film and that I deserve to be punched in the face, I immediately sat down with Batman: Bad Blood and checked this one out…and I really enjoyed it!
|Did I say that Batwoman kicks ass? I did? Well, she does and it bears repeating.|
The mysterious Batwoman (Yvonne Strahovski) finds herself in a fight against some of Gotham City’s criminals and Batman (Jason O’Mara) arrives to help. Together they are met with a strange man in his own bat-themed mask calling himself the Heretic (Travis Willingham). The Heretic denotes a bomb and Batman manages to get Batwoman to safety but it appears he didn’t make it. At the behest of Alfred, Dick Grayson (Sean Maher) takes over the mantle of Batman. Batman’s son; Damian Wayne (Stuart Allen) joins both Grayson and Batwoman to uncover if Batman is really alive or not. However, Damian soon learns the horrifying truth that his own mother; Talia al Ghul (Morena Baccarin) is behind the plot but the truth of who the Heretic is and how far their plan reaches is even more terrifying.
|Poor Dick Grayson, he not only has to be Batman he also has to spend time with that|
butthole Damian. Look, the kid is a jerk.
There was a time when I would endless sing the praises of DC’s animated films—especially when Marvel was still making their own. I loved the way they were adapting their books to the animated feature format but lately I’ve been less than impressed. Issues that mostly stem from cramming too much story into too short of a running length and an almost childish-like obsession with trying to be dark and mature, the films have been fairly disappointing lately. Oh, and let’s not forget how misogynistic they’ve also been. Batman: Bad Blood doesn’t suffer from any of these shortcomings (well, not entirely).
|The Heretic is just a huge Bat Fan.|
My overly energetic geek side found the best element of this film to be the presence of both Batwoman and Batwing. I love both of these characters from the comics and seeing them come to life in animated form (and we’ll soon see Batwoman come to life on Arrow) is really fun. Both of the characters are done justice as we have their histories and backstories adapted well and their overall attitudes made the transfer from the pages successfully. The best part is that, despite forcing in a scene that involves Batwoman in her underwear, the character isn’t treated as just a sex symbol first and a hero second. DC too often presents their female characters as just bodies to lust after rather than characters in their own right. I was really worried that Batwoman was just going to be treated in this manner but, rather, she is handled as a vigilante badass with a backstory first and then with some femininity afterwards. Basically, Batwoman is treated like a male character—like Batman—is treated and that was very refreshing…especially considering DC’s track record.
|Batwing is like what you get when Iron Man makes a Batsuit.|
Unlike a lot of other DC animated films made within the last few years, this one isn’t hampered by the feeling that too much story is being jammed into a running length that isn’t long enough. Instead, Bad Blood is able to tell a concise story that is able to unfold at a natural pace and never, at any point, does it feel rushed. For lack of a better word, the story and plot are perfect—perfect in the sense that there is no bloated feeling or a third act that is rushing to get things all wrapped up.
|The movie also has the Mad Hatter in it. Not many people will say this but the|
Mad Hatter is one of my favorite Batman villains. I would love to see what
Tom King could do with the character.
Batman: Bad Blood is an exciting addition to the DC animated universe. The animation looks great, the action is very satisfying, the story is solid and the voice acting is fantastic. It does sometimes suffer from DC’s overly eager attitude of trying to be “too mature” and there are moments that come off as accidental comedy due to the fact that it is trying so hard to be adult that it feels like a child who is pretending to be a grown up. This happens way too often in DC’s work as they endlessly attempt to replicate Christopher Nolan’s tone in the Dark Knight trilogy and they always fail. However, unlike their other attempts at being R-rated adjacent, this one only has a fleeting second or two where it is painfully obvious it is trying to wear “big boy pants.” This aside, the film is fantastic and very entertaining.