Wednesday, August 21, 2013

SPOILERS: Batman and Nightwing #23

A familiar scene plays out, Leviathan's siege of Wayne Tower is in full force, Batman locked away in a deathtrap, and Damian facing his abomination of a clone/brother, the Heretic. Dick and Alfred watch on, as Bruce has placed himself in an Internet 3.0 simulation for the past few days, trying to replay the sequence, trying to prove to himself that he could have saved Damian, but ultimately, has failed every time.

Bruce takes off the glasses, sees Dick, and expects Alfred brought him in from Chicago to try and talk "sense" into him, despite all the other attempts of appeals to reason from his allies not working. Dick has a different plan though, and much to Alfred's surprise, joins Bruce in the simulation.

With both Dick and Bruce working together in the simulation, they are finally able to get it to play out with a result of beating the Heretic and saving Damian. As Damian fades away, and they both exit the simulation, Bruce says that Damian left a black hole with him, but Dick, ever the optimist, sees it a different way. Dick tells Bruce that Damian left behind a father who loved his son, and urges Bruce to use Damian's death like the way he used his parents, and turn it into something good. Bruce tells Dick that he still doesn't have to accept it, but Dick agrees, telling him he wouldn't expect a father who buried his son to accept anything like that, then leaves.

Later, Alfred is alone in the cave, and decides to enter the simulation on his own, as it plays out the moments before Damian left the cave that night. While Alfred still gave Damian his suit, and willingly allowed him to crack his way into the armory, this time around, Alfred pricks Damian with a sedative that causes Damian to instantly fall asleep, saving his life within the simulation.

Bruce enters the cave to find Alfred emerge from the simulation in tears, and apologizes to his old friend for not realizing that Damian's death hit them both as hard, as they both lost a son that night. Alfred suggests that they shut the machine of, to which Bruce agrees, and the two retire for the night.


The Good: 

This is the issue I'd been waiting for from this arc. Some genuine emotion that wasn't riddled with absurd notions of pulling a Frankenstein and reanimating Damian's corpse. You actually feel sympathetic towards Bruce this issue, which is something the first three issues were missing, in my mind. There was no yelling, no fighting, just genuine character moments, that played deeply into the title of "Acceptance." That final page with Bruce and Alfred? Already one of my favorite moments between the two.

The Bad:

Nothing to complain about here.

The Bottom Line:

I'm not going to say that this issue salvaged the entire arc for me, I still don't really like issues #19-21, but this issue (and the last) went a long way to make it all sting a little bit less. This was probably one of the saddest, yet touching issues of any Batman comic I've ever read, and needs to be read by any Damian fan out there.


1 comment :

  1. Does the issue mention how close Dick and Damian were at all? In my mind, it always seemed like Dick and Damian were closer...