This Character Needs a Comic: Robin (Damian Wayne)
Y'ever have a favorite comic book character that you feel is always getting overlooked, no matter how awesome they are? So does Steven Romano! And he thinks the especially rad ones deserve their own ongoing series. Each week, Steven will profile a different underrated character and attempt to prove why they are in This Character Needs a Comic!
When DC Comics first announced their “New 52” initiative, many fans were left frantically wondering which of the publisher’s beloved franchises would get the axe for the sake of new readership. While gems like Doom Patrol and Booster Gold sadly fell by the wayside in the company-wide reboot, a lot of us were disheartened to discover the lack of a solo series focusing on Batman’s sidekick Robin, which, at this point, is the Caped Crusader’s own son Damian Wayne. Despite the fact that he currently appears within the pages of Batman and Robin, his background story and overall character is so multi-faceted that it’s a crying shame there isn’t one!
Who is Robin/Damian Wayne?
Damian Wayne made his first unnamed appearance in 1987 in Batman: Son of the Demon. The story centered on Batman having to reluctantly form an alliance with one of his most dreaded adversaries, Ra’s al Ghul and his daughter Talia, in order to combat a mad terrorist. And as the title implies, readers were shocked to discover that Talia was pregnant with Batman’s son. Initially, Son of the Demon was meant to be divorced from the mainstream continuity of the DC Universe since its entry would have been too obscure and derail events that had been already established in the Batman mythos.
That all changed in 2006 when the always daring and brilliant writer Grant Morrison pushed the proverbial envelope and managed to squeeze Batman’s son—now officially called Damian—into the DCU proper in 2006’s “Batman & Son” story arc that appeared in Batman (Vol. 1) #655-658. Practically dropped into his lap by Talia, Batman, and the Robin at that time, Tim Drake, learned just how ruthless and callous Damian could be in the war on crime and his aspirations to become the next Robin—and true heir to the Batman legacy.
Why He Deserves His Own Series
The sweeping continuity changes brought about by the “New 52” may have wiped some of Damian’s pre-reboot story from the DCU, but that doesn’t mean that his overall character hasn’t remained the same. He’s still the unrelenting and troubled young man Morrison had established, but current Batman and Robin scribe Peter J. Tomasi is showing a different side of him, too. Despite his harsh and disciplined upbringing in the League of Assassins, Damian is doing his best to follow in his father’s footsteps by keeping his inner demons from guiding his actions, as well as upholding Batman’s creed that justice can be administered through non-lethal means.
Recently in Batman and Robin #9 we saw Robin in action on his own against one of the Talons in the “Night of the Owls” event running across the various Batman titles—and did he more than ever to prove that he can hold his own ongoing series! He’s a brilliant tactician and fighter, and his sarcastic and precocious nature makes for a character that readers will want to keep up with month after month (he’s essentially the hero we hate, but we’re still going to root for him).
It’s true that his quest for his father’s approval and personal penance can be seen in Batman and Robin, but it would be far more interesting to see Damian strike out on his own and take it upon himself to not let his past define his future. In sum, a solo series featuring Damian would be darker, grittier and extremely entertaining!
Would you read a Robin/Damian Wayne ongoing?