Batman is back in the NuDCAU film Batman: Bad blood. A sequel to other Batman films in the line including last year’s Batman vs Robin, Bad Blood follows the Batfamily and Gotham struggling to handle the disappearance of Batman. The film introduces two new heroes from the comics for the first time to the screen, Batwoman and Batwing. Some spoilers below.
The film introduces our new villain Heretic as a big threat who seems to know too much about the Batfamily. He has gathered a gang of lesser villains like Firefly, Electrocutioner, Mad Hatter, Tusk and Killer Moth and the gang of villains worked out better as a group. They even made Mad Hatter even more threatening with an Odd Job like ability to throw his hat to kill people with its razor’s edge. Heretic himself was a pretty interesting villain though he turned out to be under utilized as the main villain, Talia took over.
Overall I thought Talia had an interesting plot but for a movie series that seems to keep somewhat a continuity, her going from someone who took a bullet for Damien in Son of Batman to her actions in this are baffling and not really explained well
Nightwing is forced to take up the mantle of Batman to fill the void as we hear the criminals have figured out Batman must be dead as he has been missing. In keeping with the previous movies, and pretty much all Nightwing characterization ever, he is sick of being in Batman’s shadow and taking up the cowl is not something he is interested in at all. Unfortunately with everything in this movie the most we get to see of the Dick Grayson Batman and Damien Robin team up are some driving around and a fight against Black Mask and his goons. The movie would probably have improved with some more exploring the whole “Gotham without Batman” and the Dick and Damien dynamic duo.
Batwoman is the main reason I was interested in the film and was happy that she played a large part in her first appearance outside of comics. Mostly I liked her role but that was partially that was excitement in getting to see her. They were upfront with her sexuality and her beginning to date Renee Montoya was part of her subplot in the film. They changed a few things from her new comics origin and overall I would say it wasn’t for the better as it took her character from more interesting one to a character that followed a lot of tired tropes for women. In the comics her motivation to becoming Batwoman is that it gives her a way to serve that she lost when she was kicked out of the military. Bad Blood changes it to the more generic motivation that she became Batwoman so she wouldn’t be a victim anymore. She gets some fun quips in but others kind of felt like they were the writers ideas for what a Strong Female Protagonist should say. During the fight scenes with female antagonists she quite predictably got paired up against them, though at least her fight with Talia was pretty good. And of course there is a scene with her fighting in her underwear in there cause why not?
Also introduced from the comics was Batwing who is Luke Fox, skipping the first Batwing of the comics David Zavimbe. While Batwoman is already in costume and her origin is partially told via flashbacks and exposition, Batwing’s origin is told during the movie. A genius who chose to enlist in the military and resists his dad’s attempts to get him to work for Wayne Enterprises, Luke is at least smart enough to figure out on his own that the company supplies Batman. His story is pretty simple and uncomplicated and probably the weakest. He seems to put on the suit and jump into being Batwing pretty easily. He does cause both of the locations they fight in to start crashing down because of his fights which I like to think is them showing how new he is but that may be giving the movie more credit.
The fights were well choreographed and were interesting to watch, the voice acting wasn’t bad, and the movie served to be at least entertaining if you don’t expect too much out it. Mostly it just made me want a Batwoman animated solo film.