I always snort a little when I see an animated feature that’s rated PG-13, but in the case of Batman: Bad Blood, it’s actually pretty appropriate. It’s not just dark themes and comic book violence – we’re talking about conversation starters here: “Why is Batman in bed with two ladies? Why is that lady trying to take home the other lady in the bar? What does it mean that Batwoman can make another baby from her ‘supply’?” It’s edgy and progressive for adult viewers and savvy teens, but perhaps a bit advanced for younger Batman fans.
The same can be said for the movie’s sophisticated rendering of the Batman universe and use of lesser-known characters. It can all be a bit complicated for the casual viewer, but you’ve got to give DC props for not underestimating their audience. This installment of the Batman saga finds Batman missing after battling Firefly, Tusk, and Killer Moth. Batwoman is the only one with any inkling as to what happened to him, but her explanations lean heavily toward the cryptic.
With so many unanswered questions about Batman’s whereabouts and Gotham City in a vulnerable state, Nightwing (adult Robin), Robin (replacement Robin, Batman’s jerky son), and Batwoman (replacement Robin’s creepy mother) band together to keep the city safe from the the villainous Heretic. Though not exactly mainstream, Batman Bad Blood does an excellent job of delving deep into Batman’s world and calling upon fan knowledge, preventing it from becoming a rehash of a well-worn franchise.
Blu-Ray special features include the featurettes “Putting the Fight in Gotham” and “Expanding the Batman Family”, plus a preview of the upcoming Justice League Vs. Teen Titans.