I don’t know what was in the water at WonderCon this year, but the animosity from the crowd during the Son of Batman presentation on Saturday was palpable. Had DC Animation’s latest offering been a bad film, perhaps it would have warranted the kinds of questions and challenges the audience were posing. But the movie, which premiered before the panel, was very well done, packing in plenty of humor and lots of surprisingly graphic action (full review coming soon). The audience received it well, but then the Q&A session started and all hell broke loose.
The gracious panel consisted of producer James Tucker, voice director Andrea Romano, character designer Phil Bourassa, and members of the cast including Jason O'Mara (Batman/Bruce Wayne), Stuart Allan (Damian Wayne), Xander Berkeley (Kirk Langstrom), and Sean Maher (Nightwing). There was a lot of love thrown Romano’s way, with every other person thanking her for “their childhood.” But that was always followed up with an unanswerable question/statement or a straight-up slam on DC Animation, their character design, and anything else you could nitpick.
Perhaps they got off on the wrong foot with the filmmakers making countless mentions of cleavage. Or maybe young Stuart Allan’s enthusiasm would have been more infectious had it not felt so unbearably coached and rehearsed — the kid was a walking, talking caricature of a child actor trying to act 10 years older than he is. There are some fun moments peppered throughout, but most of the panel just has to be seen to fully appreciate the awkwardness that took place that day.
Son of Batman will be released on Blu-ray and DVD on May 6th.