“Tragedy strikes the Batman’s life again when Robin Jason Todd tracks down his birth mother only to run afoul of the Joker. An adaptation of the 1988 comic book storyline of the same name.”

This one was better than most! I really liked the approach to Batman: Death In The Family. There are four different short stories in this compellation of short films: Batman Under The Red Hood (2010), Sgt. Rock (2019), Adam Strange (2020), Death (2019). Each short film has redeeming qualities, but none more so than Death .

Oh what a gut punch this Death is! It genuinely had my nearing tears. Vincent, a struggling artist, meets a mysterious gothic girl who helps him reach his creative climax while also escorting him into understanding his death. Just so subtle and everything comes together with sad brilliance. Serious major credit.

Batman: Under The Red Hood (2010) is this rendition is shrunk down to 20 minutes but with well written voiceover narrating all the moments that make that story work. Bruce Wayne is explaining it to Clark Kent in a diner, and it’s proof that the man behind Batman is human. It is much easier to appreciate the full length version Batman: Under The Red Hood..

Sgt. Rock is a story I have never heard of before, so for those with no idea like me: “Just after recovering from losing his entire unit in battle, Sgt. Rock leads a special army of commandos against a Nazi secret research base.” The ending to Sgt. Rock is a bit predictable, but the satisfaction of the vampire killing the Nazis at the end is satisfying.

I think that Adam Strange took inspiration from Starship Troopers (1997). The bugs look the same and both are science fiction? I think those may be the only connections I can draw, but seriously the bugs are all the same. Adam Strange is the least memorable of the four shorts in this HBO streaming option.

Batman: Death In The Family is airing on HBO Max.

Stanko Rating: B- (3.0/5 Stars)

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