The first DC Universe Animated Original movie of 2016 has arrived. I always enjoy picking these films up and reviewing them when they come out. Mainly it’s because it’s the one area of DC that is above Marvel. DC knows how to do animation. It doesn’t matter if it’s TV or film, they bring a cool vision to comic books stories.

Batman: Bad Blood continues the storyline that started in Son of Batman and continued in Batman vs Robin. The film opens with a new hero in Gotham, Batwoman. After an encounter with criminals Firefly, Electocutioner and the mysterious Heretic, Batman goes missing and Batwoman is the only one who witnessed the events. 

 In the wake of the Dark Knight’s disappearance, his former ward Dick Grayson aka Nightwing takes charge in leading Bruce’s son Damian (Robin) and Batwoman to finding what happened to Batman.

Believe it or not, this film is a bit more of a character piece more than a straight up superhero story. With Batman the driving force of the plot it allows for the viewer to spend time the 3 people most affected by his absence. I found it pretty insightful as we get a little piece of the puzzle with Nightwing, Robin and Batwoman as they all are connected in someway to Bruce Wayne and his crusade. Dick Grayson laments looking up to Bruce as a father but realizing it’s a very lonely life with him. Damian, his own son feels no connection to his father. Kate Kane, who was inspired by Batman but may or may not have questionable methods in how she handles her second life. I liked that the film took a moment to breathe with these characters. Also we are introduced to Batwing, Luke Fox. Son of Lucious Fox, he joins the Bat family on this case as well. We don’t get to know him all that well other than the fact that he’s a soldier. 

 The film moves at a brisk pace. It’s only 74 minutes but the story unfolds quite well with not too much filler. The endgame is pretty standard stuff but with this being a bit more character focused, I can forgive that.

Batman: Bad Blood is another solid entry in DC’s animated canon. Gotham may be familiar territory but we get 3 compelling leads stepping up in the spotlight with the Caped Crusader missing. 

 Final Rating (4/5) If this was a straight up Batman flick, it might have scored a little lower. Yet with Batman missing and the film focuses on the effect of his absence on his team it actually elevates it from the standard fare.

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