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Western Animation / Batman vs. Robin

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A 2015 movie in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line and part of the DC Animated Movie Universe, Batman vs. Robin is a loose adaptation of Night of the Owls and a sequel to Son of Batman. Voice actors include Jason O'Mara, Stuart Allen, Sean Maher, and David McCallum reprising their respective roles from Son of Batman as Batman, Robin, Nightwing, and Alfred; Jeremy Sisto (Law & Order) as Talon; legendary Batman voice Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) as Thomas Wayne, Grey DeLisle (Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated ) as Samantha, and "Weird Al" Yankovic as the Dollmaker.

Not long after becoming Robin, Damian Wayne and his father, Batman, investigate a crime scene. While there, Robin encounters a mysterious figure, Talon, who offers him a chance to be free of Batman. Intrigued, Damian seeks out Talon, who proceeds to tempt him away from his father's guidance and lead him on a life-altering course through the depths of Gotham's most secret society, known as The Court of Owls.

This film also has a sequel, Batman: Bad Blood.

Here is the character sheet.


  • Abusive Parents: Talon's alcoholic father beat him as a child (in the shown example it was because Talon bungled a robbery). It's implied that Talon anonymously called the police sometime afterwards and his father was killed in the ensuing shoot-out.
  • Adaptation Distillation: It's a very loose adaptation of the comic Night of the Owls, but only a few basic parts are kept, many parts are removed, and many others changed. The added drama of the strained relationship between Robin and Batman is borrowed from the Born to Kill story-arc, with the Talon essentially playing the part Nobody did in the comic. It also borrows an element from Morisson's Batman #666.
  • Adaptational Wimp: Talons can only survive a very short time out of stasis, at best a full day and and at worst a couple of hours, while in the comics they were completely immortal. They have also become mindless zombies, while in the comics they had distinct personalities and the ability to speak.
  • Alien Blood: The Talons don't bleed and when destroyed turn into black mush.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Court of Owls, a secret society of wealthy members of society hoping to impose their vision on Gotham.
  • And Show It to You: The Dollmaker gets his heart ripped out by Talon right after Damian threatens to do it with his batarang. Talon then shows the heart to Damion and says "Never doubt your instincts".
  • Animated Adaptation: A loose one of Night of the Owls.
  • Asshole Victim: The Dollmaker is a twisted serial killer who kidnaps children and uses their skin and limbs to create cybernetic killer "dolls". His gruesome death at the hands of Talon is well-deserved.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Two examples both involving the Talons invading Wayne Manor:
    • Batman and Nightwing when the Talons first arrive.
    • Bruce, in a mech suit, and Alfred do this when the Talons invade the Batcave.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: Batman is powerless to do anything about the Court of Owls, as its members are some of the most influential people in Gotham and he is bound by his no-killing rule. Instead, the organization is destroyed by Talon, who murders all of its members.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The Batman Cold Open shows the Batmobile tearing through the snow, only to later show it being piloted by Robin.
  • Battle Butler: Alfred picks up a shotgun for the final battle.
  • Book Ends: The movie starts with Damien resisting the urge to kill the Dollmaker, repeating the mantra "justice over vengeance", only for Talon to appear and do the deed for him, telling Damien he should trust his instincts. When Damien has Talon at sai-point at the end of the final confrontation, Talon once again tells him he should follow his instincts as he grabs Damien's wrist and thrusts the weapon into himself.
  • Big Bad: Talon becomes the main antagonist once he turns on the Court of Owls, kidnaps Damian and decides to murder Batman.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Samantha is played up as Bruce's girlfriend but it turns out she's the Grandmaster of the Court of Owls and just trying to recruit him into the organization. She's already in a relationship with Talon.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Court of Owls is destroyed and Talon is beaten. But the experience really shakes Damian and makes him question where he truly belongs. He leaves Bruce to find his way in life, but Bruce makes it clear he does love him and states to Dick he'll likely return to him. The final shot of the movie is Damian taking Bruce's advice to go train with the monks that helped Bruce.
  • Blade on a Rope: One of the weapons used by the Talons is a rope dart. It is employed against Nightwing during the battle at Wayne Manor, though Batman manages to free him before the Talons reel him in for a final blow.
  • Brick Joke: Damian expresses the desire to drive the Batmobile at the end of Son of Batman. This film opens with him stealing it and driving to the Dollmaker's hideout.
  • The Cameo:
    • An image of the Joker appears for a brief moment on the Bat-computer next to Dollmaker.
    • A picture of Starfire appears briefly on Dick's cell phone.
    • The corpses of Batwoman and Talia al Ghul appear in Batman's hallucination.
  • Cast as a Mask: Robin Atkin Downes as the Grandmaster of the Court of Owls, but not the true identity of the member involved. Under the mask, the Grandmaster is Samantha.
  • Casting Gag: Kevin Conroy, Batman's previous voice actor, now voices the new Batman's father.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Grandmaster scolds a subordinate for not properly monitoring one of the Talons' tanks, saying that too low a temperature would be the end of it. In the climax, Alfred, after being informed of this by Damian, alters the cave environmental systems to flash-freeze the remaining Talons.
  • Composite Character: Dollmaker has the real name of the Supergirl villain, Anton Schott, but his appearance evokes the Barton Mathis version. His backstory continues this, with their fathers similarly being combined, being named Winslow Schott, the alter ego of the Superman villain Toyman, but with a history of being a serial killer closer to Wesley Mathis.
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Three Talons come very close to killing Batman in their first encounter. Dozens of them fare far worse in the climax.
  • Dragon Ascendant: Talon turns on the Court of Owls and kills all its members, becoming the sole threat at the end of the film.
  • Dragon-in-Chief: Talon is the Court of Owls' assassin and its main threat, given that the other members are not experienced combatants.
  • Dragon with an Agenda: Despite being a member of the Court of Owls, Talon believes he does not fit in, as the other members are all influential people, while he is just a lowly thief who happened to be adopted by a wealthy family. As a result, he does not share their ideal of returning Gotham to its "Golden Age", and instead spends most of the film trying to turn Robin into his disciple. When the Grandmaster orders him to kill the boy, Talon seizes control of the Court and kills all its members.
  • Deadly Hug:
    • During a hallucination, Batman hugs an adult version of Damian, who repeatedly shoots his father with a handgun until the latter apologizes for the way he's been treating him.
    • Talon does this to Samantha, after initially appearing to spare her life during the massacre of the Court of Owls. He points out that she'd do the same to him if she had the chance.
  • Death by Secret Identity: The Court of Owls as a whole, along with Talon, discover that Batman is Bruce Wayne. Within a minute, Talon has slaughtered all of them, and he dies at the end of the movie anyway.
  • Dramatic Unmask:
    • During the hallucination, the Batman who kills the Waynes takes off his mask to reveal an adult Damian.
    • The Grandmaster insists that Robin take off his mask as a sign of loyalty, revealing his Secret Identity.
    • Talon unmasks himself after killing Samantha. Later Bruce does the same when fighting an unmasked Talon (who already knows his Secret Identity) to show It's Personal.
  • Early-Bird Cameo:
    • Batwoman and Lucius Fox show up as corpses in Batman's hallucination. They joins the cast in the sequel, Batman: Bad Blood.
    • We also see a picture of Starfire in Dick's phone before her voice-only cameo in Bad Blood and her first full appearance in Justice League vs. Teen Titans.
    • This film was set up with one as a short attached to Justice League: Throne of Atlantis saw Nightwing and Robin pick up the case with the Scarecrow after Green Lantern forces Batman to break away from it to deal with Atlantis — and ended with Talon watching the duo.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: The Grandmaster figures out Bruce is Batman after finding out that Damian is Robin.
  • Heel Realization: The hallucination makes Bruce sees a Bad Future in which Damian takes his mantle as Batman but kills with no regret. This makes him realize his harsh methods and lack of trust could indeed make Damian turn out this way, leading to much character development in the final act.
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: The Court of the Owls is destroyed by Talon, who is the Grandmaster's lover.
  • Idiot Ball: After the mysterious figure rips out the Dollmaker's heart and leaves, Batman arrives, takes one look at the corpse, the one with the gaping wide hole in his chest, sees the nearby batarang, and assumes Robin did it with that. This heavily conflicts with his typical characterization as the world's greatest detective.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: Damian promises not to enter the creepy abandoned factory until Batman arrives. He breaks in immediately.
  • Ironic Echo: When Batman gets angry at Robin finding out where the missing children are, Robin snarks at his lack of gratitude. "An alternate response might be: "Good work, Robin", but I guess I expect too much." Batman repeats the words after his Big Damn Heroes, when Damian insists he doesn't need rescuing.
  • Irony: Part of Talon's interest in Damian is the mistaken belief that they were both "born in the gutter" and thus cannot fit in with the high society peers that surround them. In reality, Damian is both the biological son of Bruce Wayne and therefore descended from one of the oldest and wealthiest families in Gotham, and the grandson of Ra's al Ghul, a centuries-old immortal who was in control of a vast criminal empire far more powerful than the Court of Owls, one that Damian was set to inherit before he became Robin. Damian is many things, but "born in the gutter" has never been one of them.
  • It's Personal: Batman tells Talon that he will enjoy beating him up for trying to take control of Gotham, wrecking the Wayne Manor and messing with Damian.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: Batman and Robin's shaky relationship culminates in a fight at the midway point of the movie.
  • Lodged Blade Removal: Nightwing is stabbed by several Talons while defending Wayne Manor. He is later seen pulling the spears out of his body and bandaging the wounds.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Dick getting a call from Kory (A.K.A. Starfire).
    • The Talon's comment to Dick that "You would have made a good Talon". In the original story, Dick was indeed groomed to be a Talon.
    • The suit that Damian wears during Batman's hallucination is the same suit he wears as Batman in Batman # 666 and subsequent stories by Grant Morrison about a nightmarish post-apocalyptic future. Indeed, Bruce's hallucination evokes the imagery of that comic-book story.
    • Alfred telling young Bruce his parents' deaths just happened, there's "no ulterior motives". In the Golden and Silver Age, Joe Chill was a hitman hired by crime boss Lew Moxon who wanted revenge on Thomas Wayne. In some versions, Joe Chill was just a random mugger, and in post-Zero Hour, the killer's identity is never revealed nor does Batman never confronted him; though it is implied the Post-Zero Hour version of Lew Moxon was involved in it.
  • Navel-Deep Neckline: Samantha is wearing a dress with a plunging neckline when first introduced, as is one member of the Court of Owls.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Talon raids Wayne Manor with a batch of Talons, invades the Batcave, incapacitates Nightwing, and gets a near-lethal blow on Bruce. He would've finished him off if Damian hadn't jumped in for the rescue.
  • Off to Boarding School: Bruce threatens Damien with a year spent in a strict boarding school in Switzerland if he doesn't stop running off. By the end of the movie he realizes this is the wrong approach and suggests Damian go to the monastery he was trained in. Damian appears to reject the idea, but is shown going there anyway.
  • Ominous Owl: Shortly after his parents' murder, Bruce witnesses an owl preying on a bat. Reminded of a nursery rhyme he heard during his childhood, he comes to believe that a secret organization called Court of Owls is behind the crime, and starts associating the bird with bad omens as he grows up.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • A lot of the film's problems could've been avoided at the start if Damian had bothered to tell Bruce someone else killed the Dollmaker instead of lashing out at him. Bruce, being as observant as he is, could've also figured out that Damian wasn't the one after seeing there wasn't any blood on Damian's knife and the way Dollmaker was killed.
    • Through the entire movie, Bruce refuses to tell Damian a single thing about the Court of Owls- giving Damian the growing impression that Bruce doesn't trust him- and even once Batman finds out Robin is consorting with Talon he still doesn't tell Damian that Talon is working for a secret order that wants them both dead.
  • Powered Armor: Batman dons a mecha suit in the final battle.
  • Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: Batman, when he dons the mecha suit to fight the Talons.
    Batman: I'm only gonna say this once, you sons of bitches: get the hell out of my cave.
  • Samus Is a Girl: The Court Grandmaster sounds male, but is actually Samantha.
  • Secret Circle of Secrets: The Court of Owls, in spades. They're a secret, white-mask and black-cape wearing society of society's elites using disposable warriors in their villainous plan to user in a new "Golden Age", and master detective Batman has no knowledge of their existence until they abduct and try to recruit Bruce Wayne.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: After Damian beats him and has him at sai-point, Talon takes his own life by forcefully thrusting it into his neck.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Talon sold his abusive father out to the police, who was then gunned down in the resulting shootout. Thinking that they're Birds of a Feather, he urges Damian to kill his own father as well.
  • Shadow Discretion Shot: Talon and his lover discuss the future of the Court of Owls while having an intimate moment, with shadows covering their naked bodies.
  • Starter Villain: The Dollmaker is only in the first six minutes of the movie, then gets his heart ripped out by Talon.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: The Dollmaker, courtesy of Weird Al Yankovic. He has the creepiest voice ever even if it sounds childlike.
  • Stock Scream: One of the Talons utters a Wilhelm Scream when Batman is fighting them with the mecha suit. Extremely glaring since none of them ever utter a single sound otherwise.
  • The Starscream: Talon kills the Grandmaster and the entire Court of Owls.
  • Table Space: Bruce and Samantha are shown dining at either end of a long table at the Wayne Manor.
  • The Undead: The Talons are members of the Court of Owls which grants them an impressive healing factor and virtual immortality at the cost of having to die in a special ritual. The process isn't quite perfected, though, so they don't last long outside of special storage tanks.
  • The Unfought: After much build-up, Batman never really takes on the Court of Owls. He only meets them twice in the film, once as Bruce Wayne and another as Batman, after which he winds up drugged and being rescued by Alfred and Nightwing. By the time he recovers, Talon has already killed them for him.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Talon isn't happy about Damian's lack of 'gratitude' after Talon turns on the Court instead of killing Damian. He fails to understand that Damian genuinely loves his father.
  • We Can Rule Together:
    • Bruce is offered this by the Court of Owls since he's one of the most influential people in the city. Bruce plays dumb and asks to think it over (using the distraction to put a tracker in the mask), but obviously wasn't going to consider their offer.
    • Samantha offers this to Talon, suggesting that her family's influence would allow him to rise above his station. He would have accepted, but when it came between choosing between her and Damian, he chose the latter and wiped out the Court.
    • Talon in turn offers it to Damian, but by this point he's soured their relationship and Damian turns him down.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Batman has no problem blowing up the Talons and otherwise using lethal force on them after figuring out they aren't normal humans.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Dollmaker's modus operandi is to kidnap children and turn them into brainwashed minions.
    • Batman has no choice but to fight the children who had been brainwashed by the Dollmaker. In the middle of the film, Robin himself becomes his opponent when an argument devolves into fisticuffs.
    • Talon turns on the Court of Owls and kill all its members, including a little girl that was attending with her parents, although this happened off-screen.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The Dollmaker sincerely believes he's helping the kids he kidnaps, tortures and mutilates.