Damian Son of Batman Review
By: Rob Neil Gruszecki
Amongst a sea of corpses laying strewn about the Gotham docks a bomb is ticking away with the face of a clown, smiling with a sick, twisted grin. After an eruption that murders the Batman, his son, Damian goes on a rampage that takes the lives of the recidivist criminal sect of his city with him. What follows is the story of a strange future world where Damian still lives but his father doesn’t, the Joker is missing and the rage of an orphaned son explodes in a curious mystery.
Exploring the story of the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul, Damian, and taking place many years from now but before the events of Batman #666 and Batman Inc #5 where Damian is seen to have taken the mantle of the Batman, we follow Damian as Robin in an attempt to rid Gotham of its villains whose incarceration never solves the problem and their death is the only solution. Written and drawn by Andy Kubert (Flashpoint, Marvel 1602), we see a very dark side to a troubled character and an interesting chapter in his life beyond the grave.
Seeing Andy Kubert return to the character he co-created alongside Grant Morrison is an exciting concept and one that produces a decent issue with a clever enough hook that will most likely keep you on board for the whole 4-issue mini-series. The premise is interesting enough with the supposed murder of the Batman leading Damian down a path that will ultimately end with him doneing the cowl for himself, but unfortunately plays with the stale and recycled trope of capital punishment being a device utilized by Damian as a way to effectively rid the streets of its filth. This is simply a stance I have read countless times before and seen argued in word balloons of Batman books and hundreds of other superhero comics over and over again. I would say that it is effective in the first issue of Damian Son of Batman but it doesn’t make it any less tired a concept. Anyone who has ever picked up a Batman book knows that murder is the one line that will never be crossed for the Batman and Damian’s aversion to this philosophy is one that has been played with before and I guess I’m a little numb to it now. So where it’s development in the story makes complete sense for Damian and is even a necessary element of the rest of the series I think I’m just bored with constantly having this same scenario played out again and again. I understand entirely that it is an important aspect of the hero archetype and makes for debate, I just don’t find this particular one interesting anymore.
All that aside, it really was enjoyable getting to see Andy Kubert return to pencilling Damian and playing with the futuristic Batman universe. His artwork is always amazing and he manages to jam pack every panel with environment, world building and content that consistently add to the treasure trove of great illustrations in comics contributed by the Kubert family. His writing is solid dialogue and narrative wise and the overall mystery of the plot is definitely captivating leaving you wondering desperately what happens next in anticipation of next month’s issue.
Andy Kubert is an outstanding creator and wonderful illustrator and his first issue of Damian Son of Batman is a fun ride into a world that may never be and in spite of my complaints in regards to the repetitive moral quandaries of the caped crusader I think that this series will be worth following while it develops.
Rob Neil Gruszecki is a writer, musician, podcaster and Wednesday Warrior
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