During Batman Day 2021, an online celebration of DC's Caped Crusader, a webcomic was released on the online platform, Webtoons. The comic, titled Batman: Wayne Family Adventures is a humorous, slice-of-life take on the Bay-Mythos that sees Bruce Wayne as a stressed-out dad of the entire extended Bat Family of characters, including Damien Wayne, Barbara Gordon, and Nightwing.
The comic has proven to be quite popular, breaking Webtoon's readership numbers. So it came as no surprise that indie fan filmmakers, Ismahawk were developing a live-action web series based on the comics. The cast was announced and behind-the-scenes photos were shown. A teaser trailer was even released. It even seemingly had the backing of both DC Comics and Webtoons. But all may not be as it seems...
Holy Potential Copyright Infringement, Batman!
Shortly after being posted, the teaser trailer for the web series of the same name, Batman: Wayne Family Adventures, was pulled from YouTube and all other platforms with no explanation given. Then, the promised full trailer, slated for Monday, October 11, never arrived online.
According to a report from Collider the Ismahawk live-action shorts were, in fact, not officially sanctioned by DC or Webtoons:
“Not an official live-action adaptation of the Batman: Wayne Family Adventures webcomic, and was not announced by DC or WEBTOON. The video was intended to be a short-form series created by Ismahawk, inspired by the webcomic.”
Switching on Detective Mode
Something doesn't quite add up with this development. Or rather, several things don't add up.
First off, the webcomic on which this series was based was first published on September 8, 2021. It's almost unfathomable that a three-episode series of short films could be mapped out, written, cast, filmed, and edited in the span of a little over a month. If one looks at Ismahak's past films, there's clearly a lot that goes into these productions, from special effects to complex stunt work.
How would Ismahawk have had the ability to produce the series if no one knew it was happening until it was announced and published?
What's more is that the teaser trailer, which has since been deleted and scrubbed from the internet, had the DC and Webtoons logos on full display. Surely a production house with as much experience creating fan films as Ismahawk does would know that they're not allowed to use logos associated with intellectual property that they don't own.
Fan films, by and large, fall under the principle of "fair use" which means that they're allowed to be made in good faith as long as no monetary gain is accumulated from their release. This still does not explain the use of both the DC and Webtoons logos in the teaser trailer. It's almost as though Ismahawk were trying to pass their Batman series off as a legitimate DC production.
It's a strange situation all around and one that doesn't have a satisfying answer. It also remains to be seen if the episodes will even be released online. Judging by the production photos released previously by IGN, the episodes had a certain sheen of quality to them, so it would be disappointing, to say the least, if the episodes were to go unreleased.