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Western Animation: Son of Batman

A 2014 film adaptation of Batman and Son. When Talia al Ghul tells Batman that Ra's al Ghul has been murdered and usurped by Deathstroke, she reveals the existence of their son, Damian. Damian wants revenge, while Batman wants to mold him into a crime fighter. When Deathstroke kidnaps Talia to lure Damian into a final confrontation, Batman must go after Damian and stop Deathstroke.

A movie in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line, it's an adaptation of "Batman and Son", the arc that started Grant Morrison's Batman run. Voice actors include Jason O'Mara reprising his role from Justice League: War as Batman, Morena Baccarin (Firefly) as Talia al Ghul, Thomas Gibson (Criminal Minds) as Deathstroke, and Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad) as Ra's al Ghul.

Unlike most other DC Animated Movies, this one is intended to share continuity, and is stated to take place in the same world as Justice League: War.

List of Tropes

  • 555: Ubu has such a number scrawled on a napkin. In a bit of Shown Their Work, Lt. Gordon identifies a valid use for it: a phone sex hotline. Granted, it should be a 900 number, but perhaps Ubu didn't bother with that part.
  • Absolute Cleavage: Talia's outfits show signs of this.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: During the attack on the League of Assassins, Talia manages to fire an arrow clean through a helicopter's armor and kill the pilot. Later on, using a gatling-style automatic crossbow, she shoots down another helicopter. Swords are also routinely shown to cut just about anything but each other.
  • The Ace: Damian, which borders on Marty Stu levels. Batman and Dick Grayson as well, the latter of which beat Damian in a fight even though Damian had a sword, and the former of which… well, is Batman.
    • Broken Ace: To compensate, Damian lacks emotional tact and the ability to interact with other human beings, mainly due to being groomed to one day inherit the League of Assassins.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Deathstroke and Nightwing didn't appear in the original comic.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Talia al Ghul, who fits more in her traditional Anti-Villain Noble Demon's role than the outright villainy she was portrayed as in Morrison's run in Batman's titles; she was the Big Bad of this arc in particular.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Ubu, who is usually portrayed as a loyal servant to Ra's al Ghul, here betrays him and works with Deathstroke. We never find out why.
  • Adaptational Wimp:
    • Slade Wilson, a.k.a. Deathstroke, compared with his comics' counterpart and another incarnations.
    • Talia isn't quite as tough either.
  • Adapted Out: Once again, everyone in the Bat-Family is removed from the story except for Batman himself, Alfred, Nightwing, and whichever Robin is the center of the plot.
  • Adult Fear: Kurt's wife and teenaged daughter are being threatened by murder if Dr. Langstrom doesn't meet Slade's new demands. To make matter worse, his wife and daughter are separated from him, so he doesn't exactly know what these men are doing to them.
  • Animesque: Yes, yes it is.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: Damian catches Deathstroke's sword. Partially justified since his gauntlets are shown to be armored.
  • Beast Man: Ra's al Ghul planned to create an army of man-bat ninjas, using Dr. Langstrom's genesplicing research. Dubbed "Project Airstrike" by him.
  • The Berserker: Damian's a snobbish, if somewhat surly young lad most of the time. When the fighting starts, he becomes practically feral.
  • Big Bad: Deathstroke.
  • Blood Knight: Damian Wayne is a barely contained bottle of violence. He gets better by the end.
  • Bloodier and Gorier: Mooks are routinely killed in bloody ways, Damian is stabbed through both arms and gets one broken, and others are bloodied and bruised through various beatings. Fitting, as Justice League: War didn't shy away from this kind of violence, either, even if aliens were the primary victims of it.
  • Body Horror: After Killer Croc is captured, he starts going into withdrawal from the mutagen steroids that gave him his new tail and strength. His scales are flaking off and his tail is so decayed that Batman just rips it off with one good tug.
  • Boom, Headshot: Deathstroke threatens it on Talia, noting that the Lazarus Pit would not be able to heal it.
  • Brainy Brunette: Batman, as per tradition.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Damian Wayne, as is tradition.
  • Brick Joke: Nightwing's fight with Damian happens offscreen. When the credits roll, a few stills are shown from it.
  • The Cameo: When Batman visits Croc in Arkham he passes by Joker and Two-Face's cells. All that's seen of Joker is his shadow in a convenient lightning flash and an Evil Laugh, while Two-Face is flipping his coin in the shadows.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Deathstroke and his branch of assassins don't mind using guns in addition to melee weapons. Damian isn't above fighting dirty, either, moreso once he's under Batman's wing.
  • Comic Book Fantasy Casting: Thomas Gibson seems to be channeling Ron Perlman as Deathstroke.
  • Composite Character: Due to Tim Drake's absence in the movie, Nightwing fills in for him as the main target of Damian's insults. Deathstroke, being given Talia's Big Bad status from the original comic book story arc, also gets a chunk of her original role.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Batman against Deathstroke is so one-sided that the latter can't even land a hit.
  • Curse Cut Short: Nightwing tells Damian to "go f—" before Alfred interrupts.
  • Demoted to Extra: Talia al Ghul is the Big Bad of Batman and Son in the comics, but her movie role is quite smaller. Much of her original role is given to Deathstroke in the film.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: The backstory includes Talia Al Ghul drugging Batman and making him have sex with her. But it's okay, he enjoyed it.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Damian thought his father would be taller.
  • Eye Scream: Damian manages to gouge Deathstroke's eye out, which fuels his vendetta against the boy. Damian also performs a Goomba Stomp on Ubu, right in his eyes. During the climax, Damian also nearly batarangs Deathstroke's one remaining eye out, then spits in it just to spite him. Damian just seems to really hate eyeballs.
  • Fan Disservice: Talia's cleavage doesn't really combine well with a face bloodied and bruised from constant torture.
  • Forklift Fu: Batman uses this against Killer Croc. It pins him for a bit, but Croc eventually uses his tail to lift it off the ground.
  • Freudian Excuse: It's implied that his grandfather's murder is why Damian is particularly confrontational during the pursuit of Deathstroke.
  • Glorified Sperm Donor: Batman to Damian, and Deathstroke even calls him such.
  • Healing Spring: The Lazarus Pit, naturally. Deathstroke plans to sell dips in the pit to the richest buyers.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Talia takes a bullet for Damian, but since the Lazarus Pit is literally right next to her, it's taken care of pretty fast.
  • I Choose to Stay: Damian decides to stay on as Robin after everything is said and done, though he was ready to go with his mother when she asked him to.
  • I Have Your Mother: Deathstroke tries to force a one-on-one between him and Damian by threatening Talia.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Ra's and Damian can both deflect bullets with their swords.
  • Improbable Age: Damian makes some rather questionable boasts, such as hacking NORAD at the age of six or mountain climbing at four.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Batman rips off Killer Croc's tail while interrogating him, then switches tactics by offering to give him pain killers since the Arkham staff are too terrified of Croc to do it themselves.
    • Deconstructed with Damian. He tries to do this to Dr. Langstrom, but just winds up alerting Deathstroke's men and starting a huge brawl.
  • Jerkass: Damian, full stop, though near exclusively to Nightwing. Aside from trying to kill him when they first met, Damian insults his former Robin costume as "effeminate" and tells him to remember who the blood son is.
  • Killed Off for Real: Ra's al Ghul is permanently killed by Deathstroke, who lures him into single combat then has his men launch a missile at their location. The blast consumes Ra's and gives him some pretty horrific burns, and the trauma is such that he dies before he can get into the Lazarus Pit. The extent of his wounds are said to be beyond the Pit's ability to heal.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: When Lt. Gordon begins to identify the phone sex hotline number, he realizes he's in front of Damian and changes it to "chat".
  • Leeroy Jenkins: Damian isn't exactly one for planning ahead and has a habit of rushing in and using force rather then using stealthy approaches.
  • Made of Iron: Damian and Deathstroke. See Curb-Stomp Battle above; Deathstroke just walks it off, no worse for wear. And in the climax, Damian is impaled through his forearms and keeps going.
  • Male Gaze: When Talia is bound in chains, she makes an... "interesting" pose, and the camera pans so we can see it.
  • Mama Bear: Talia. See Heroic Sacrifice.
  • May-December Romance: Implied with the Langstrom couple. Francine is noticeably more youthful than her husband, Kurt.
  • Muscles Are Meaningless: Ubu is a heavy construction vehicle in the form of a man. Damian is a preteen boy. Guess who wins. The same with Damian against Deathstroke, which would be amazing if Deathstroke had his enhancements (in the comics, both Damian and Deathstroke have enhanced strength, which isn't established here).
  • Mythology Gag: The Batmobile's design heavily resembles the one from Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
  • Never Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight: Deathstroke's mooks, armed with automatic weapons and using helicopter support, inflict a disproportionate number of casualties on the League of Assassins than they received in turn.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Man-bat ninjas, as part of Ra's plan to take over the world.
  • No Social Skills: Damien
  • "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: It's all but stated outright that Batman only slept with Talia because she tricked him into drinking some sort of mind control potion, but Batman does admit that part wasn't so bad.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Nightwing interrupts Damian's attempt to kill Ubu. Cut to Nightwing calling Batman to inform him that he has Damian, who is now suspended from a streetlight while Nightwing is covered in cuts. The credits show a few snippets from the battle.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Damian, naturally. He was trained by the League Of Assassins since he was four, and is able to beat up men several times larger than himself — including Ubu, who is at least twice as tall as Damian and probably three times the weight.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Deathstroke doesn't have much in common with his comic book counterpart. His history with the League of Assassins is exclusive to this adaption.
  • Prehensile Tail: Killer Croc has one, which Batman notes is a new addition. It's strong enough to lift a forklift.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Batman gives a harsh, but much needed to one to Damian, after he nearly kills Ubu.
  • The Resenter: Slade's primary motivation stems from his resentment over the fact that he was passed over when Ra's found Batman. Had Batman never come into the picture, Slade would've been Ra's chosen successor and (according to his words) would've married Talia, meaning Damian would've been his son. He passes this resentment onto Damian because the inheritance passed to him after Bruce declined instead of back to Slade. Damian gouging out his eye with a sword certainly didn't help things.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Damian's primary motivation in the film.
  • Rock Beats Laser: The League of Assassins manage to shoot down helicopters with catapults. While this would certainly work, it's highly improbable that they could be aimed so accurately.
  • Role Reprisal: Jason O'Mara reprises his role from Justice League: War as the Dark Knight himself and David McCallum reprises his role from Batman Gotham Knight as Alfred.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: Averted with Damian. He completely understands it, and isn't pleased when Alfred was being sarcastic at him.
  • Servile Snarker: Alfred is just full of snark, which works rather well when played off Damian.
  • Shout-Out: The display of Batsuits in the cave includes the original Bob Kane design from Detective Comics #27 as well as the Animated Series version.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Played with. Talia offers Batman a drink at one point. He refuses, since she drugged him the last time.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Deathstroke and his men sometimes pop out of seemingly nowhere. Unusually, Batman himself only does it once, to Lt. Gordon.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: When Batman has a flashback to his childhood, his young self looks exactly how Damian is drawn (sans Talia's green eyes).
  • Teen Genius: Damian is an expert hacker, knows how to drive (not that Batman will let him), and breaks into Bruce's office at Wayne Industries to tell him that someone's skimming from the Argentina sector.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Batman, of course, and he tries to impart this ethic to Damian.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Slade keeps his promise to Dr. Langstrom and doesn't harm neither his wife nor daughter.
  • Tykebomb: Damian is being raised to take over the League of Assassins. Batman tries to humanize him to correct for this.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: We last see Ubu in the hospital.
  • Wolverine Claws: Ubu fights with a pair of four-clawed gauntlets.
  • The Worf Effect: Talia, who is very easily taken out to establish Deathstroke's badassery.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Deathstroke has no problem killing Damian, partly because of the eye and partly because Damian was made heir to the League of Assassins when he was previously favored for it.
    • Slade also has no problem threatening the life of Rebecca Langstrom if it means her father does his work better.
    • Ubu, when it's a child of his former master.

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