Batman: Death in the Family
review by Bobby Blakey
DC Entertainment has proven themselves with an outstanding catalog of animated feature films over the last couple of years including The Dark Knight Returns, Batman vs Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Death of Superman saga, Batman: Hush and more recently Superman: Red Sun. Now they are stepping up their game even further with their first interactive feature Batman: Death in the Family. Could this film actually bring a new level of fun to the Bat-verse or will it be a choice not worth making?
DC Showcase Batman: Death in the Family follows the infamous murder of Batman protégé Jason Todd that will be undone, and the destinies of Batman, Robin and The Joker will play out in shocking new ways as viewers make multiple choices to control the story. And while Batman: Under the Red Hood provides a baseline, the story also branches in new directions and features several characters previously unseen in the original film. Bruce Greenwood, Vincent Martella and John DiMaggio reprise their Batman: Under The Red Hood roles of Batman, young Jason Todd and The Joker, respectively. Other featured voices are Zehra Fazal as Talia al Ghul and Gary Cole as Two-Face and James Gordon.
I was afraid this was going to get convoluted and feel like a cheap cash in with using the Under the Red Hood film, but I was so wrong. This is such a fun and cool new way to experience this story. I know there have been other shows that have done this, but cemented in a iconic story like Death in the Family and how each decision could change how it played out is just fun. I took the time to make every possible decision available which I expected to take forever, but it still plays out in a reasonable amount of time. What is even better than the cool new directions is that each one doesn’t always play out the way you expect it to.
The animation and voice work is great as always, but this film is all about those stories. I hope this is only the first to take this fun twist because it
was just that great. I honestly didn’t have high hopes for this one, but it is dark, emotionally deep and heartbreaking and way violent in the best way possible. Whether you know the story or a big fan of it like myself this film delivers. If you have not seen the Under The Red Hood feature that makes this work even better for the surprises, but do suggest you check that one out too.
In addition to the main film this release also includes four additional previously released shorts including Sgt. Rock, Death, The Phantom Stranger, and Adam Strange. As if this wasn’t enough to get fans excited this release also includes bonus content including commentaries and three non-interactive versions of the Batman: Death in the Family – entitled Jason Todd’s Rebellion, Robin’s Revenge and Red Hood’s Reckoning.
Grab your copy of Batman: Death in the Family when it hits Digital and Blu-ray on October 13th from Warner Bros Home Entertainment.