Wednesday, October 30, 2013

SPOILERS: Damian - Son of Batman #1

It's your typical night in Gotham, pile of dead corpses and fish, you know, the usual. Bruce and Damian are on the scene, looking for clues, which are hard to find in a literal pile of bodies. Bruce eventually finds something, a fish with the Joker's face on it, but as he soon comes to find, it was a bomb, and that bomb goes off. Damian wakes up shortly after, and digging through the mess, he eventually finds his father, dead.

After burying his father, a grief stricken Damian seeks help in the most unlikely of places... from his mother and grandfather. Knowing full well what they're answer will be when he asks them to help find out who killed his father, Damian isn't surprised by Talia and Ra's' answer of "no." But what does surprise Damian, is his grandfather telling him it is his time to become Batman, which Damian hardly acknowledges.

Back in Gotham, every major villain is claiming that they killed Batman, and Damian, one to seek revenge, decides to hunt each one of them down, in his own brand of violent justice (remember what happened to the spook? Yeeeeeah). Mr. Freeze, Killer Croc, Jackanapes, all fall to Damian's hand.

Some time later after his bloody crusade has begun, Damian seeks guidance in a church confessional. The priest, who Bruce had seemingly sought guidance from (under the guise of Batman), tells Damian that his father would be disappointed in him. This angers Damian, and he storms off, defending his more permanent methods, claiming the priest doesn't know him. As the priest watches him leave, he says to himself "But I do, Damian. I do..."

Back in the manor, Alfred is reading of mysterious murders befalling villains, all but tells Damian he knows its him, once again reminding him how his father would disapprove. Damian lashes out at Alfred, blaming himself for his father's death, and claiming he's handling it in his own way. As Damian suits up to go out for the night, a stern voice yells at him to stop, and holy shit, look who it is... fucking Bruce Wayne.



The Good:

First off, more Damian is always a good thing in my book. I love the Damian becomes Batman setting, and it'd be hard for me not to take any enjoyment in this story. Andy Kubert's art shines, especially with some fantastic coloring from Brad Anderson. Yeah, a couple mouths here and there look a bit odd, but I can't remember liking an Andy Kubert drawn issue more than this. The church scene really stands out, with the shadows and Anderson's coloring. Finally... can't say I expected that twist at the end.

The Bad:

The dialogue in the beginning of the issue is really bad, Damian just doesn't sound right at times. Luckily, it settles down, but there are some super ham-fisted lines through out the issue. Also, there's just some stuff that's sort of dumb, like the villains having knock of Facebook pages where they're basically saying "I killed Batman, gimme some likes, lol!" I mean... really? I thought the scene with Ra's was a bit weird... One guy as Batman isn't exactly a "lineage" and Damian suggesting it's a stupid idea is pretty out of character, given that seemed to be the ONE thing on his mind when he came into the picture. 

The Bottom Line:

I won't lie to you, the preview of this issue really got me worried about the writing. Some of that dialogue just made me cringe, and I started to accept that might be the standard for the series. Luckily, a few bad lines here and there aside, the writing really settled down, that bad first impression sort of got swept under the rug for me and I ended up enjoying this issue more than I thought I would. While the writing may be a bit shaky, the concept and Andy Kubert's art really shine through, and while not perfect, this was a pretty good start to this story.



  1. I'll agree that the dialogue seemed a tad corny. But I looked around and to the best of my knowledge, this is Kubert's writing debut. I might be wrong, but I can't find anything to the contrary. So I'll give him a pass, especially since the art is awesome and he's giving us a story we've been asking for for 7 years!

    1. He's written some stuff here and there, I believe he did something for Wednesday comics?

    2. Or not... hmm... I feel there was something other than the Joker issue in September.

  2. Anyone else notice something weird about the paper stock on this issue? I can't find anything about it online and it didn't seem to be part of a special imprint. Is it supposed to "feel" different because it's a kind of Elseworlds?

  3. Ya, I noticed it too; I sort of liked it. It reminded me of the paper from the before they switched it to the high glossy stuff in the early 90s.

    As for the book itself I thought the writing in general was terrible; do we really need another run down of how Damian came to be? Did Andy just want to draw Batman's bum?

    That said, I thought the idea - Batman is dead and Damian has to take over - in an interesting one and the art was magnificent.

  4. Anyone else wondering where everyone else is during this story? Dick? Tim? Jason? Barbara?

  5. The priest was Jim Gordon, right?