WARNING! THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS ABOUT THE UPCOMING ‘BATMAN, INC’ #8!
It’s been said that only the good die young, and it looks like that’s a mantra that DC Comics plans to follow later this week when Batman’s son and boy wonder sidekick, Robin, will be meeting his fate in Batman Inc. #8. While keen-eyed fans have already been piecing together the clues and speculating for weeks that the current Robin, Batman’s illegitimate son Damian Wayne, would be biting the big one sometime in the near future, the news was finally confirmed through an announcement by DC Comics in the NY Post earlier this week.
“He saves the world. He does his job as Robin, he dies an absolute hero.” says Batman Inc. writer Grant Morrison, who also created the Damian Wayne character. Damian, the 10-year-old son of Batman and villainess Talia Al Ghul, first appeared on the scene back in 2006 during Morrison’s Batman & Son story arc, where he was introduced as an excessively violent, young and arrogant heir to the throne of the League of Assassins until he spent some time with his father and grew into the hero we know now. Damian was grown in an artificial womb by a super villain mother (who was, in turn, the daughter of Batman’s nemesis Ra’s Al Ghul), trained by assassins and raised with the mindset that he was destined for greatness; which only stood to give him an ego to go along with his skills. “What we did was turn this little monster into a superhero,” said Morrison. “He’s a little brat, but he’s a super-brat.”
While Damian is set to kick the proverbial bucket in Batman Inc. #8, the effects of his death will be felt throughout the entire DC Universe. Although he is the most recent, Damian is far from being the first to fill the role of Robin (and he is likely not going to be the last). Being the fifth character in canon to have donned the yellow cape (Stephanie Counts!), Damian isn’t even the first Robin to be killed off! That unfortunate title was taken by Jason Todd back in 1988 who was killed by The Joker when fans called in and voted on the heroes fate using a 1-900 number (although Todd was resurrected in 2005).
This time around, things are even more personal than ever for the Dark Knight. The key thing to look at here is that this character is Batman’s legitimate son. Being an orphan himself who is known for taking in ‘strays’ and raising them to be heroes, Batman is going to be losing the one and only living blood relative he has, let alone his own child. Only time will tell how this tragic loss will affect the Caped Crusader in the long run.
Damian Wayne is caught in the crossfire during a brutal war between his parents, a battle where no one can really walk away victorious. Morrison claims that Robin’s death is meant to signify how parents rarely think of how it may affect their children when they fight, citing his own parents divorce. “It’s all about the family and the family going to hell. The two adults in the story are both culpable. The kid’s the good guy.”
So will Damian stay dead? We are talking about a comic book character here. Jason Todd stayed dead for nearly twenty years, but eventually returned to blow the minds of an entirely new generation of readers! It’s hard to expect Damian to stay dead for too long, especially when his mother’s side of the family is well known for their use of Lazarus Pits. Either way, fans can probably expect to see someone filling the role of Robin again in the not too distant future. Morrison, who is leaving the Batman Inc. series himself after issue #12, left off with this-
“You can never say never in a comic book . . . Batman will ultimately always have a partner.”