Battle of the Super Sons delivers a predictable but pleasant enough DC Comics animated movie.
Published on February 2, 2023
Rating 3 /5
Battle of the Super Sons does a decent job adapting the recent comic book developments of Batman and Superman dealing with raising sons. Batman has struggled to raise his son Damien as the next Robin, a significant chore considering Damien’s unlearning of being a deadly assassin. Superman has settled down with Lois Lane to have his son Jonathan, bound to take after his old man in abilities and title. As preteens, they learn the basics and hit the ground running for handling the common task of saving the world from an apocalypse. The comics were okay, and this movie is okay as well.
The film's first half is enticing for the characters' chemistry. The Superman family dynamic is vital in the first act. Jonathan is a plucky and eccentric boy who has moments of aspiring for something more. It’s also a lot of fun watching Jonathan realize his father is Superman. Much like Superman: The Animated Series, the film progresses with Jonathan exploring his inherited Kryptonian powers and realizing they’re not fully developed.
There’s some solid chemistry between Jonathan and Damien. It’s weirdly charming how Damien is constantly curious about Jonathan’s powers, testing them out by shoving him off cliffs and chucking Batarangs at his head. It’d be great if the whole film were these many exchanges and if they were allowed to play out longer than they do. This is primarily due to the voice actors Jack Dylan Grazer and Jack Griffo nailing their central roles. They’re so good that they deserve a better script than a routine superhero story.
Jonathan and Damien are placed in a typical world-ending situation when the entire Justice League becomes infected by the alien entity Starro. Starro as a villain, is more intimidating for his plague than Starro himself. When Starro’s many little starfish transform the human population into mind-controlled zombies, watching one come out of Batman’s mouth is terrifying. When Starro himself shows up, the only things he has to say are banal rantings about taking over the world and how nobody can stop him. So, of course, the kids just getting used to the roles of superheroes stop him on their own. You can probably guess which part of the body that Jonathan attacks with his heat vision (hint: Starro has a gigantic eyeball right in the center).
The mission to stop Starro makes this superhero story seem more standard than it should. A few other superheroes are thrown into the mix, but they only add a little to the picture. Aside from Superman playing the world’s most encouraging dad, every other hero is just kinda there. Batman is predictably stoic, Green Arrow is light with quips, Lex Luthor is a power-hungry President of the US, Jimmy Olsen is a chipper underdog, and Wonder Girl’s only motive seems to be handling the Teen Titan’s employment services. They add minor moments of character an otherwise by-the-numbers animated superhero movie, which Warner Bros has been churning out progressively for years.
Battle of the Super Sons delivers a predictable but pleasant enough DC Comics animated movie. It does an okay job adapting the comics and makes for one of the good-but-not-great entries in the long line of the DC animated movie universe. Hopefully, there’s better stories down the line for Jonathan and Damien as this film left me thirsty for more of their comradery.
Mark has been a professional film critic for over five years and a film lover all his life.