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Robin's Fate Is In Your Hands in 'Batman: Death In The Family'

The US comic-book industry- or at least the super-hero lead part of it- has long been known for its stunts. Over and over again DC and Marvel, usually driven by flagging sales, would create a high-profile 'event' designed to draw publicity and boost circulation. Famous events include The Death Of Superman, Marvel's Civil War and Crisis On Infinite Worlds. DC's animated movies have done their best to recreate the comic experience for the screen, including concepts such as Elseworlds and crossovers and adaptations of some of the biggest events. Next up is their adaptation of one of the publisher's most notorious event storylines, Batman: A Death In The Family. But this particular DC Animated Universe film will feature an interesting twist.

A Death In The Family was a 1988 four-issue storyline written by Jim Starlin and illustrated by Jim Aparo. The story featured the divisive Jason Todd version of Robin, who had become unpopular with a large section of the readership. A plotline that saw Todd seeking his true birth mother culminated in a cliffhanger ending in the second issue where Robin's fate was put in the hands of the audience. Readers were invited to call a 900 number and vote for whether he would live or die. The event attracted a great deal of attention and a fair bit of controversy. Not least because infamously the readers voted for him to be killed off (by a narrow margin).

The animated version will give this power to you. At least if you buy the Blu-Ray or DVD (the feature is reportedly not available on the digital download) you'll be given the chance to decide his fate. Like an animated version of a Choose Your Own Adventure or Black Mirror's interactive episode Bandersnatch, the film will come with choices at several key points and multiple endings.

Death In The Family is the headliner in a new DC Showcase release,  an anthology of 2019-2020  DC Animated Shorts. The interactive film is described as an "extended length short",  which we guess puts it somewhere between a short and a feature. A featurette, if you will.

A Death In The Family will feature the voices of Bruce Greenwood as Batman, Vincent Martella as young Jason Todd and John DiMaggio as The Joker, reprising their roles from the popular 2010 Batman: Under The Red Hood film. It's written, directed and produced by Brandon Vietti.

Check out the trailer, and the full line up of included shorts, below. DC Showcase Animated Shorts: Batman Death In The Family is available on Blu-Ray and digital from October 13, 2020

Originally attached to Batman: Hush, Sgt. Rock is executive produced and directed by Bruce Timm (Batman: The Animated Series) from a script by award-winning comics writers Louise Simonson, Walter Simonson and Tim Sheridan (Superman: Man of Tomorrow, Reign of the Supermen). The original tale finds battle-weary Sgt. Rock thinking he has seen everything that World War II can dish out. But he is in for the surprise of his life when he is assigned to lead a company consisting of legendary monsters into battle against an unstoppable platoon of Nazi zombies. Karl Urban (Star Trek and Lord of the Rings film franchises) provides the voice of Sgt. Rock. Also voicing characters in Sgt. Rock are Keith Ferguson, William Salyers and Audrey Wasilewski.

Inspired by Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, Death is produced and directed by Sam Liu (Superman: Red Son, The Death of Superman) and written by J.M. DeMatteis (Batman: Bad Blood). In the story, Vincent, an artist with unresolved inner demons, meets a mysterious girl who helps him come to terms with his creative legacy…and eventual death. Leonard Nam (Westworld) provides the voice of Vincent, and Jamie Chung (The Gifted, Big Hero 6) is the voice of Death. The cast includes Darin De Paul, Keith Szarabajka and Kari Wahlgren. Death was originally included with Wonder Woman: Bloodlines.

Attached as a bonus feature on the release of Superman: Red Son, The Phantom Stranger has Bruce Timm (Batman: The Killing Joke) at the helm as executive producer and director, and the short is written by Ernie Altbacker (Justice League Dark: Apokolips War, Batman: Hush). Set in the 1970s, the short find the enigmatic DC mystery man simultaneously playing both omniscient narrator and active character in a story of supernatural comeuppance for evil doers. Peter Serafinowicz (The Tick) gives voice to the Phantom Stranger, and Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville, Impastor) provides the voice of Seth. The Phantom Stranger also features the voices of Natalie Lander, Grey Griffin and Roger Craig Smith.

Adam Strange is produced and directed by Butch Lukic (Superman: Man of Tomorrow), who also conceived the original story, which is written by J.M. DeMatteis (Deathstroke: Knights & Dragons, Constantine: City of Demons). The short was initially attached to Justice League Dark: Apokolips War. On a rugged asteroid mining colony, few of the toiling workers are aware that their town drunk was ever anything but an interplanetary derelict. But when the miners open a fissure into the home of a horde of deadly alien insects, his true identity is exposed. He is space adventurer Adam Strange, whose heroic backstory is played out in flashbacks as he struggles to save the very people who have scorned him for so long. Charlie Weber (How To Get Away with Murder) provides the voice of Adam Strange, alongside with Roger R. Cross, Kimberly Brooks, Ray Chase and Fred Tatasciore.


Darkness, No Parents

🦇  Batman Ninja

🦇  Batman: The Killing Joke

🦇  The LEGO Batman Movie