Batman (Jason O’Mara) has always had daddy issues. Starting from his childhood when his parents were viciously murdered and his “father” figure became a servant he could order around and fire whenever he wanted, and then a police detective who he could also order around and leave if he wanted to, Bruce Wayne really hasn’t had much of a solid male figure.
Which make it pretty great when it’s revealed that Batman has a son in the person of Damian Wayne (Stuart Allan). That’s right ladies and gentlemen, Batman has a kid. Now on first glance, this might make some people cringe just from the idea. I mean come on, this is Batman we’re talking about! He probably has a Batcondom in his belt somewhere. Besides, superheroes having babies has never worked out in the past.
But this is the animated relm, and when it comes to direct-to-dvd movies based off comic book characters, DC is king. Because see, Damian isn’t just Batman’s son… he’s also Talia al Ghul’s (Morena Baccarin). Which means he gets to grow up in the League of Shadows run by his grandpa Ra’s al Ghul (Giancarlo Esposito). However, all that goes away when Deathstroke (Thomas Gibson) attacks, and Talia is forced to leave Damian with Batman while she goes off and tries to take Deathstroke down or something.
So there Damian is, the spoiled heir of a great empire who is basically an orphan having watched his father-figure grandpa die, who understands how to fight and wants vengeance in any way possible. Sound familiar? That’s the point: he’s basically baby Bruce Wayne.
Bruce takes him under his wing and they go off to confront Damian’s methods of killing people while also trying to take down good ol’ reliable villain, Deathstroke.
But enough about the plot, let’s talk logistics. For starters, voice acting. Jason O’Mara reprises his role of Batman from Justice League: War and to be honest, while he’s not quite Kevin Conroy, he does a good job as the Bat. But to be honest… that’s where the good voice acting dies.
And then there’s Deathstroke. Now called me old fashioned, but I liked Ron Pearlman‘s deep, menacing, totally in control voice in Teen Titans and Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox. I’m also fond of Manu Bennett‘s Australian, deep, menacing, breathy take on the character. Do you see a pattern here? If you’re gunna portray one of the biggest villains in the DC pantheon, you need a deep, menacing tone to go along with it. And frankly, Thomas Gibson sounds like a tenor trying to sound like a baritone trying to sound deep and menacing. It just doesn’t work. Just no.
The animation however is pretty good, leaning more towards JL:War than JL:Flashpoint. The story likewise is good, though it suffers from a lack of focus that really could’ve made the film much better. But oh well, beggar’s can’t be choosers right?