Is Damian: Son of Batman the Future of Gotham?

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Damian Son of Batman DC Comics Critical Blast Andy Kubert

During Grant Morrison's rather insane run through the BATMAN series a while back, there were two issues that seemed a little off: BATMAN #666 and BATMAN #700. These featured a rather violent Batman a generation into the future. We learned that this Batman was the grown Damian Wayne, and he seemed a little off in the head (he talks to a cat named Alfred) and he's got a bit of an invulnerability power not seen before. Morrison seemed to be messing with our heads with this, because some time after that, in current continuity, Damian was killed at the hands of his mother, Talia al Ghul.

With Damian's recent resurrection -- and with super powers, no less -- it seems almost a certainty that this Batman is an established future, much the way that Jason Todd's death became an established past with statements made in Frank Miller's BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS.

And so Andy Kubert, artist of the two aforementioned BATMAN issues, takes on the writing chores as well to bring us the tale of how Damian came to take on the mantle of the Dark Knight, with DAMIAN: SON OF BATMAN. We begin with what is the apparent death of Batman -- and it is the death of Batman, just not the death of the one we're familiar with. Damian is serving as a more adult Robin, and this tragedy puts him in line to take on the role. But he still is very much the untamed assassin, and the rage burning within him now has him taking down old foes with a deadly vengeance. But there's a whole new slew of villains out there in this future Rogue's Gallery, among them one who fancies himself a replacement for the Joker, who hasn't been seen in years.

As Robin, Damian wants to kill. But to become Batman, he learns he has to repress his primal urges to live up to a higher ideal set by his father. It's not an ideal he agrees with, and he struggles with it. Whether he will win or lose to that urge is the real battle of this story, as Damian cuts a swath through the Gotham underworld.

Collecting DAMIAN: SON OF BATMAN #1-4 and BATMAN #666 and #700, this softcover volume is the future seen through a glass darkly, and the structure provides the necessary context to make the BATMAN issues a little more understandable than they were in their standalone incarnations. The book also includes a nice appendix, showcasing some of the pencil sketches and script pages that went into making the final product.

4.0 / 5.0