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There’re a lot of things that Batman excels at. He knows a dozen ways to reduce your face into something that resembles a plate of meatballs, can deduce who murdered who just by looking at a crime scene and he can escape the kind of death-trap that usually awaits Black Friday shoppers in American retail shops.

For all his skill, cunning and genius however, Batman is an absolutely terrible father. He’s never going to win any parent of the year awards, especially when he spends his nights dressing his legally adopted and genetically linked children as a military arm of a circus highwire act. Over the years, he’s had several sons, from the first Robin, Dick Grayson; replacement and eventual Red Hood Jason Todd; wunderkind Tim Drake and his League of Assassins-raised spawn Damien Wayne.

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But it’s that never-ending war on crime that has made the dark knight a truly terrible surrogate father to all of them. The latest in DC and Warner Bros. Animation’s line of animated films set in a very specific and shared universe, Batman: Bad Blood follows on from the events of Son of Batman and Batman vs Robin.

Much like the films that came before, Batman: Bad Blood loosely adopts elements of previous storylines, weaving in ideas from Grant Morrison’s Batman comic book run and his big idea to go global with the Caped Crusader and his Batman Incorporated initiative. But while it may be a Batman movie, this Dark Knight isn’t the star of the show.

Read  The Justice League end-credits sets up a serious threat for the team

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Instead, the spotlight is on his extended family this time. With Batman missing in action, it’s up to Nightwing, Robin, Batwoman and Batwing to get to the bottom of this mystery and stop the a massively muscled Heretic and his crew. Pretty much your usual Wednesday night in Gotham City. It’s that establishment of a Gotham without the Batman that shines through an otherwise mediocre story that has to cram several years of plots and story threads into one cohesive tale over 70 minutes of slick animation and the gold standard of animated fight sequences.

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The Heretic may be a lost cause and a wasted opportunity, but seeing the dynamic between Nightwing and Robin, watching Batwoman make her own rules as she sets herself apart from the “little cult” and seeing Lucius Fox’s son Luke get some inspired action sequences as Batwing with some armour that could give Iron Man a run for his money, is great entertainment.

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And that’s the kind of films that these current slices of Justice League and Batman movies are lately. With a small screen adaptation of The Killing Joke on the way, these Batman flicks are popcorn fodder, the Fast and the Furious branch of the franchise. High stakes action, easy to pick entertainment that doesn’t require you to be well-versed in over 75 years of Batman history. And that, I can respect.

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Especially when these films make up for any story issues by having action sequences that echo the current flair of having realistic yet bombastic fights between characters. There’s an absolute art to how they’re staged; two dimensional exchanges of punches and kicks that never cease to be impressive. It’s the kind of fist-pumping action that you want to see on the bigger screen, when the likes of Nightwing and Batwoman square off with a variety of acrobatics and jiu jutsu holds that get turned up to 11 when Batman is finally unleashed.

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Last Updated: February 8, 2016

Batman: Bad Blood
Batman: Bad Blood may not be the most in-depth examination of the weirdest family around to ever spend their nights pulverising the criminal underworld, but it’s a fun idea that makes the best of what it has to work with. Even if it does make you realise that Batman actually is a jackass of a father.

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    Heretic turned out to be a big disappointment (heh) after his build up. Batwing’s inclusion just seemed forced & very convenient. Otherwise I was pretty happy with this one.

    • Captain JJ ‘saurus

      You seem forced and convenient!
      But yes, I do agree….though the person at the end! 😀

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        And here I thought I was inconvenient. :/

        • Captain JJ ‘saurus

          Haha! Take that! 😛

  • Jan Prins

    Soundtrack by Taylor Swift?

  • Captain JJ ‘saurus

    I really enjoyed this one, and I’m glad to see a hero animated movie reviewed here 😀
    Maybe you should do a “best of the best” batman animated movies article! Just a thought….maybe…I mean, you don’t have to. But you should.

    • Jan Prins

      He won’t. He’s a bastard like that. I asked him nicely to do a Create your Own Superstar tutorial for the latest WWE game and he told me in so many words where the cow buried the cheese.

      • Captain JJ ‘saurus

        But it’s Batman. If anything, Darryn is obligated to do it as the South African Batman.

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          You mean Boetman?

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            Damn it man. We’re trying to get him to write the article. Not break into your house you after dark.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Break into my house like the South African Catwoman, Die Swart Kat?

          • Captain JJ ‘saurus

            I was thinking more like AxeCop on a night mission…but yours sounds better now.

        • Jan Prins

          I do stand corrected and I humbly ask your forgiveness.

          • Forgiveness comes from a Three Stages of Hell extreme rules match.

          • Jan Prins

            I’d rather just lick your boots than suffer the agony of defeat!

    • I’ve actually got an idea for a general feature on the DC AU. Watch this space.

      • Captain JJ ‘saurus


  • Killsqu8d

    Heretic was lame smh died 6 minutes after being intoduced

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