SPOILERS! (Only if you’ve been living in your own Bat-cave that is…)
It was a bold move for writer Grant Morrison to introduce an illegitimate love-child to Bruce Wayne, but then again Grant Morrison is a bold man (is bold the word I’m looking for?). Even bolder still was Grant Morrison’s decision to cap off his eight year Bat-Epic with the death of Bruce Wayne’s only son.
When Damian Wayne, aka Robin, was first introduced to the pages of Batman by Morrison results were mixed. Damian was an apple that had fallen far from the tree, basically he was a smart ass with a dark side and perpetual stick up his butt. Yet over the years Damian grew to be so much more than that. His darker outlook and confrontational attitude turned out to be a breath of fresh air that the Bat-franchise sorely needed.
Damian was personal favourite of mine and his death weighs heavy on my shoulders. While comic book deaths may be taken with a grain of salt now-a-days, this temporary displacement of one of DC’s more unqiue character’s is a bit burdensome. To help pass the time till Damian’s potential resurrection I’ll be re-reading my favourite Damian related stories. If you’d care to join, please follow along below:
If the world wasn’t ready for Batman to be a daddy, then Batman definitely wasn’t. The story that introduced us to Damian is a great starting point for those who want to know just where Damian came from. Hint: If you can find Batman Inc. #5 (New 52) to bookend with Issue #666 you’re in for a special treat.
After the death of Bruce Wayne (it didn’t last long), Dick Grayson, the first Robin and current Nightwing, donned the cowl and Damian was right there by his side. Surprisingly humorous, Batman & Robin offered a lighter take on the dynamic duo with plenty of homages to the campy sixties. It also introduced the great odd couple that is Dick and Damian and was a series that didn’t last long enough.
It was certainly nice enough for DC to let Grant Morrison finish the story line he started eight years ago. What’s even nicer is how awesome Damian becomes. He proves to be not only a hero, but he gives his life to save his own father. It’s been a long run, and it’s almost over. How will Bruce take to the death of his son? We will find out soon enough. DC will be collecting this into a nice trade to be released this spring!
Batman & Robin (New 52): Issue #0
Writer: Peter J. Tomasi
Art: Pat Gleason
Though we’ve gotten to see a lot of Damian and Bruce over the last eight years, this issue shows us just how twisted Damian’s relationship with his Mother Talia Al Ghul truly is. A proper glimpse into just how hard training was for Damian, we also get some truly kick-ass moments and a psychotic parent gets some great birthday gift ideas. Also ninjas.
When the ‘Death of the Family’ arc in the current Batman book spilled over into the other Bat-family books on the shelves, the quality within the Bat-franchise certainly dipped; except of course Batman & Robin. Issue #15 finds Damian toe to toe with the Joker. The results are horrific and a great argument for a solo Damian book.
When series writer Peter J. Tomasi is hot, he’s hot and in this Annual he’s practically burning. I’d suggest the whole run, but it did take a while for him to find his footing. The Annual is a great one-shot story that shows just how much Damian cares for his father, and how much he longs to wear that cowl. By sending Bruce and Alfred off on a globe-trotting scavenger hunt, Damian is free to issue his own brand of justice in Gotham. Best part? Damian looking out the window in dusk, drinking milk from a wine glass and damning the sun for not setting fast enough. Classic Damian.
Have a personal favourite Damian story? Or hate Damian all together? Drop me a line! I never get to talk about comics enough! @OnOurSleeves