There has not been many things to make me happy when it comes to DC comics recently. Convergence, in my opinion, was a bust. Little more than a quick fix to let DC play with all of their characters. Many of the new titles haven’t filled me with much excitement either. Besides the new Secret Six, the only book that has me giddy with anticipation is Robin son of Batman.
I was worried that this new incarnation would not live up to my expectations. I was worried that the magic wand of change, that has been waved over DC, and Marvel too, would be waved over Damian. Changing him into a robot / cyborg / mutant / angel / or whatever they thought would make a splash.
In my opinion, Damian Wayne is the best new character to come out of DC in the past decade. I will say, I thought it silly to kill him, just to raise him from the dead again. An obvious sales gimmick, but I was willing to forgive and forget that. Damian is a refreshing counterbalance to the traditional ways of doing things in the Bat books.
Batman is who he is, and originally to counter that, you had Robin. Robin however, has over the years, and after many incarnations later, been taken out of that role. Something that I have been glad to see, not because I don’t like the character, but I like to see organic change in the books. The Robins growing up, and leaving the nest, is part of the Batman mythos that I feel, has been handled correctly. So instead of just bringing along another Robin, we get something totally different.
Damian is not just Batman’s son, he’s his counter balance in ways that the other Robins could never be. Damian has even been trained to be in some cases his polar opposite, and tests Batman in ways that none of the other Robins could. Damian is fine with killing, something that neither Batman or any of the Robins would do. And now Batman finds himself confronted with having to not only keep him under control, but also with trying to show him a different type of world than he had been raised in.
The character of Damian is also still a kid. Something that Grant Morrison, and now Patrick Gleason, have not forgotten. He has pets that he cares for, and likes having fun, just for the sake of it. The beauty of this is that even Damian, even while in the act of simply taking the Batmobile for a joy ride, wouldn’t admit. He’s just like a little boy, trying hard to pretend he’s all grown up, while at the same time having fun.
Patrick Gleason is a great artist, and bringing the action to life. None of his panel work seems forced, or awkward. Gleason also has the ability to render great backgrounds that make everything seem in place and natural. Not an easy thing for an artist to do. I hope he is able to keep up the top notch work. The only reason I say that is because being the writer and the artist is far more work than most people realize. He has been able to capture the fun, action, and excitement that I was hoping for. After seeing his work on the first issue I think the editors made the right choice of giving him this title.
If you haven’t experienced the breath of fresh air that Damian Wayne has brought to the world of Batman, I suggest that you pick up this book. Damian is everything you would expect Batman’s kid to be, and so much more.