I think fans have been clamoring for a CGI flick ever since WB launched the DC Universe line of animated movies with Superman: Doomsday all the way back in 2007. Most often, Kingdom Come gets brought up in these types of conversations, but I’m not so sure a Kingdom Come adaptation will ever materialize. However, Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons is a fine consolation prize.
Now, it’s probably best that I clarify what sort of CGI is on hand. It’s nothing realistic like, say, Resident Evil: Vendetta or even along the lines of Beware The Batman, for that matter. Truth be told, I was expecting something akin to Iron Man: Armored Adventures, but that wouldn’t even be a good comparison. Actually, Super Sons is more like a beautifully hand-drawn cartoon with fully rendered 3D environments. This is sort of a double-edged sword though, because I reckon casual viewers may not even notice this is CGI. Whether that’s a strength or criticism is up to you the viewer, I guess. It should also be addressed that this picture has nothing to do with the timeline established by Superman: Man of Tomorrow and Batman: The Long Halloween; Super Sons is its own thing.
I never expected a buddy comedy starring Damian Wayne and Jonathan Kent to be DC’s first foray into this realm, but here we are – and I can’t complain. I genuinely enjoyed this movie from start to finish. It doesn’t drag at all, and features that certain sense of optimism that the best Superman-related movies and TV shows deliver. I may dig The CW’s Superman & Lois, but the needlessly negative drama on that show is getting under my skin. Super Sons shows the Kent household as I actually want to see it. In other words, I don’t want to know who’s cooking meth or cheating on their wives in Smallville; I want to see Superman as the father we know he can be.
It’s actually quite wise of the filmmakers to not only set Damian and Jonathan as the main characters, but to have them function as onscreen surrogates as well. I’m not sure if that latter quality mentioned was intentional, but I think neophytes can relate to the unaware Jonathan who is coming into his powers, just now finding out his dad is the Man of Steel, and thrust into a world-threatening crisis. Damian, meanwhile, is someone with whom DC veterans can identify. You see, the Justice League and Teen Titans are already established in this continuity, so folks like myself and (probably) a good chunk of those reading this review need no introduction to such concepts.
Giving away too much about the plot isn’t my style, but I’ll at least say this: Robin and Superboy are forced to come together when Starro begins invading the world, and controlling both the Justice League and Teen Titans. With all the heavy hitters off the board – including their famous fathers – the two young lads must thwart the extraterrestrial threat. I admittedly hate Starro because his presence means Invasion of the Body Snatchers is about to be rehashed for the millionth time, but I found myself enthralled. Some parts are predictable, yet the horror elements injected by the filmmakers made for some pretty cool scenes.
There isn’t too much in the way of bonus features, but we do get treated to a nice little documentary called “Rival Sons: Jonathan and Damian” that explores their relationship in comics and film. Additionally, two episodes of Batman: The Animated Series – “The Demon’s Quest, Parts 1 and 2” – are found on the disc.
Anyone looking for an uplifting and visually striking DC animated movie needn’t look farther than Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons. I wouldn’t mind seeing a sequel to this, not to mention more movies done in this style – but let’s not rule out something as realistic looking as the aforementioned Resident Evil: Vendetta, WB.
Batman and Superman: Battle of the Super Sons
Robin and Superboy kick butt in DC's first foray into CGI animated movies.
- Beautiful visuals
- Entertaining buddy comedy element
- Optimistic as a movie about young superheroes should be
- Casual viewers may not notice it's actually CGI