Written and Drawn by Andy Kubert
What an odd read. Of all the ways I expected them to handle this book, this isn’t one of them. Now, I haven’t read much press about it, so I’m not sure what they’re exactly trying to do here. But it’s not bringing Damian back to the mainstream DCU. This is a continuity all its own. Andy Kuberts art is astounding; I didn’t realize how long it’d been since I read anything by him. His X-Men stuff is what sticks in my head the most when I think of X-Men books from my childhood. The book starts off with Batman and Damian working a crime scene. Dozens of bodies and fish piled into a heap; dead. Batman instructs Damian to search for clues, and Damian, narrating, goes on and on about the stench, and how revolted he is by the rotting smell. Andy really drove that point home without making the art too disgusting. I’m grateful. That’s one scene I’d rather not immerse myself in, thanks.
As Batman is going over what villains might’ve caused this, he finds a fish with a Joker-face. He picks it up and – BOOM! Bombed in the face. It blast knocks Damian out, and when he comes to, he finds Batman’s dead body lying in the fish bits. Blown to smithereens. Now, they don’t say how long he was out, but why aren’t the police there at that point? You’d think they’d have been right behind Batman as he got to the scene. Oh, well, we quickly move on. Damian at the funeral. Then at Isle Murjeno; a home to the League of Assassins. He asks his mother and grandfather for help. They refuse with Ra’s explaining to him that he should take the mantle of Batman for himself. Damian refuses, calls him nuts and storms off. Interesting. I would’ve thought that the previous incarnation of Damian would’ve leapt at the chance to become Batman…
Instead, he stays Robin. He goes on a killing spree, eliminating villains that might’ve been behind his father’s death. He works through Mr. Freeze, Killer Crock, and Jackanapes (Andy wrote Joker#1, which featured the Joker’s gorilla-turned-killer). He visits a church, talks to a priest in the confessional (holy crap. is that Gordon?!) whom tells him he’s on the wrong path, his father would’ve approve, more of what Damian doesn’t want to hear. He gets the same thing from Alfred at home. Damian blows up and storms off to the Batcave, ready to search out and find the Joker, when in storms Bruce Wayne, yelling at Damian.
This is definitely one I’m going to be keeping an eye on. There were a few things that kept me from loving this, but it’s definitely got my interest. If you’re a Damian fan, pick it up. If you’re not, pass this one by. It doesn’t look to affect anything else at this point.
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