The latest DC animated movie, Son of Batman is now available from iTunes and ready and waiting for you to stream to your Apple TV or download to your iPhone, iPad, or — and still the only place you can watch the iTunes Extras — your Mac.
Based on the recent Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert comic book arc, Son of Batman introduces the character of Damien Wayne, the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia, the daughter of one of his greatest enemies, Ras Al Ghul. Damien spent his formative years being raised by Ras and by the League of Shadows to be an assassin but his father challenges him to become something more, to become the next Robin. Nightwing shows up along the way, as does Killer Croc and the villain of the film, Slade Wilson, aka Deathstroke the Terminator (who is currently also the villain on the WB's Arrow TV show).
Son of Batman is really well done, but sadly is also really, unnecessarily violent. My 5 and 8 year old godkids love few things in this world more than Nightwing and Robin, and I can't even contemplate showing them this until they're 13. And that's a shame. Paul Dini and Bruce Timm didn't need gore to make the transcendent Batman: The Animated and DC doesn't need it here. Whatever "mature" audience they think they're pandering to with it can't make up for the new audiences they're missing out on engaging. But such is the tragedy of modern comics as well.
Still, this is easily my favorite DC animated movie since Batman: Under The Red Hood, which is also not for kids, but which also investigated similar themes of vengeance vs. justice and the incredibly thin line that separates Batman, Nightwing, and Robin from the monsters they hunt.
It'll be interesting to see if DC follows Son of the Batman up with the rest of the Damien Wayne story. Next up, however, at least for now, is Batman: Arkham Assault, a film based on the video game series.
If you check out Son of the Batman, let me know what you think!