Hey folks, Cobrak here!
Batman: Death in the Family is being adapted…again. DC had previously adapted the story in their Batman: Under the Red Hood animated film a decade ago. And it was awesome! So why do it a second time you ask? Well, this time YOU get to choose Robin’s fate.
Taking cues from recent Netflix releases like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, and Minecraft: Story Mode, DC has released a trailer for their new animated short film, Batman: Death in the Family. It looks to use Under the Red Hood as a jumping off point to tell a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style story. I honestly can’t tell if they are reusing remastered footage from Red Hood or if they just really nailed the style they used in that previous interpretation. Either way, it looks great.
I remember when the original Death in the Family comic came out back in 1988, and how cool I thought it was for them to let me, the reader, decide the outcome. The setup, in a nutshell, was the current Robin, Jason Todd, has been searching the world for his birth mother. After finding her, the two of them are taken to a warehouse where she ends up handing her son over to Joker under threat of blackmail. The Clown Prince of Crime ends up beating Robin with a crowbar, then blows up the warehouse. At the back of the comic, readers were instructed to call a number and let DC know if Robin should live or die. Unfortunately, voting was done via a 900 number and my mom and dad were having none of that. So, thanks to my parents, Robin died. Although, looking back now, Jason Todd was not that great of a character and probably deserved it. And without Jason’s death we likely never would have had many of the great storylines that followed. It had huge repercussions, something I feel is missing in comics these days.
Of course, by giving viewers choices in the story they are having to add in story elements. Judging from the trailer it seems that they might be pulling from other Batman storylines, like Hush. How this works out we will see, but I’m excited. DC’s animated fare has had ups and downs, especially concerning animation quality, but no real flops in my opinion. I’ve enjoyed them all to some degree and will be there on day one for Batman and Robin’s newest animated adventure.
The voice cast includes Bruce Geenwood (Batman), and John Dimaggio (Joker) reprising their Under the Red hood roles, as well as newcomers Vincent Martella (taking over the part of Jason Todd), Zehra Fazal (Talia al Ghul), and Gary Cole (Two-Face/Harvey Dent and Commissioner Gordon).
The trailer doesn’t mention a release date, but I think it’s safe to expect it this fall. Included on the Blu-Ray are the interactive Death in the Family, plus several other previously released animated DC short films.
Check out the trailer below and let me know what you guys think. Are you excited? Should they have chosen to do this with a story that hasn’t already been adapted?