Son Of Batman: Justice Not Vengeance

Much to his surprise, Bruce Wayne/Batman (Jason O’Mara) finds out he has a brash, brooding pre-adolescent progeny raised and trained by terrorist group, the League Of Assassins. Inspired by Grant Morrison and Andy Kurbert’s (illustrator) comic book “Batman & Son”, Son Of Batman finds the Bat Of Gotham discovering he has ten-year-old son by Talia Al Ghul (Morena Baccarin) who is just as much a Wayne as a he is. And his name, Damian. You can tell he’s Bruce Wayne’s son just by how he carries himself and also being the spitting image of his father as Alfred aptly points out.

Damian Wayne (Stuart Allan) was created after a night induced passion between Batman and Talia Al Ghul after she drugs him and it seems neither of them carry condoms thus we have a brooding serious child of Bruce Wayne. Damian looks up to his grandfather, The Demon’s Head Ra’s Al Ghul (Giancarlo Esposito). As heir to The League Of Assassins, he has been trained his whole life, making him deadly and not to be trifled with. If you don’t believe me ask Deathstroke. After Nanda Parbat is assaulted by Slade Wilson/Deathstroke (Thomas Gibson) and his goons, Talia brings her son to Gotham City to meet and take up residence with his father while she tries to find Deathstroke and take her revenge. This leads up to the ego-driven Damian succeeding in annoying both his father and Alfred Pennyworth (David McCallum) in addition to earning ridicule from Dick Grayson/Nightwing (Sean Maher) who Damian soon knocks on his ass.

Daughter Of The Demon, Talia Al-Ghul (Morena Baccarin) (Son Of Batman, Warner Bros Animation)

Daughter Of The Demon, Talia Al-Ghul (Morena Baccarin)
(Son Of Batman, Warner Bros Animation)

Damian is motivated to find who attacked his grandfather, an arrogance and egotistic single-mindedness that he must have picked up in the gene pool from his father. Wearing Dick Grayson’s old costume, Damian becomes the new Boy Wonder, Robin, and joins Batman on his crusade to take down Deathstroke. The film’s content is quite mature throughout, with the revelation of prostitutes (or harlots as Damian puts it), drugs, murder and when Slade calls Batman Talia’s “sperm donor”. The sheer amount of murder and killing is shocking but not unnecessary. The fight scenes are legendary and DC are known to make excellent animated movies with the brutality and savagery that epitomizes DC as a brand and seperates from that of MCU. As adult as the content is, the film’s seriousness is unburdened with witty one liners from Damian on more than one occasion.

Let’s be honest. Damian is an asshole but in the words of Guardians Of The Galaxy’s Star Lord “not 100% a dick.” He’s arrogant, egotistic, cocky but still a great character and not afraid of doing what needs to be done. He’s utterly ruthless and that shocks Batman. Damian maybe ten years old but he’s not a child in his own mind. He’s killed too many people for someone so young and was robbed of a childhood, just like he was. They’re more alike than they know, yet they couldn’t be more different in terms of ideologies and the moral codes. Allan really captures the character of Damian in that this ten-year old thinks that he knows the world despite never really leaving Nanda Parbat. Damian doesn’t know the world or people as his father does. He thinks he’s smarter and more superior than everyone. Damian and Bruce are so alike which causes them to clash. Damian is truly Bruce Wayne’s son.

The brooding yet witty and intelligent Damian Wayne. Truly, the apple doesn't stray from the tree. (Son Of Batman, Warner Bros Animation)

The brooding yet witty and intelligent Damian Wayne. Truly, the apple doesn’t stray from the tree.
(Son Of Batman, Warner Bros Animation)

The voice cast is on top form with Esposito (Money Monster, Breaking Bad) as Ra’s Al Ghul. He’s not in the film much at all and I think they killed him off too quickly. Oops! Spoiler alert! But in comparison, McCallum makes a great Alfred Pennyworth and I love his encounters with Damian because his British wit and Damian’s one liners make up a great comedic cocktail. It’s comedy gold to say the least. Maher is a fun Nightwing and shows Damian that there’s more to life than killing and fighting ninjas whilst O’Mara is an apt Batman yet he’s no Conroy (Arkham Trilogy) or Weller (The Dark Knight Returns Part I & Part II). I liked Baccarin (Deadpool) as Talia Al Ghul but I don’t like how she was reduced to a damsel in distress. Anybody who knows her character, knows that she can handle herself and doesn’t put herself in situations where she’s the equivalent of a Disney princess.

In conclusion, this is a great movie about conflicting ideologies and yet another great Batman story. This movie was my introduction to Damian Wayne and I have enjoyed my encounters with his character since in the DC animated universe and most recently in Justice League VS Teen Titans. Adult themes, great voice performances and wonderful animation style. DC are known for their animated movies and this is a great addition to their forever growing slate.

Bruce Wayne/Batman (Jason O'Mara), Damian Wayne/Robin () & Dick Grayson/Nightwing () (Son Of Batman, Warner Bros Animation)

Bruce Wayne/Batman (Jason O’Mara), Damian Wayne/Robin (Stuart Allen) & Dick Grayson/Nightwing (Sean Maher)
(Son Of Batman, Warner Bros Animation)

‘Justice not vengeance’ is something that Bruce tries to teach Damian, but it’s also a moral dilemma; sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference.