Is Damian Wayne Going to Die?
Is DC Comics going to kill Robin in an upcoming issue of Batman Incorporated?
There’s no official word yet. This is all just speculation. But if you read the signs, read between some lines and maybe jump to a few conclusions, it looks to me like DC plans to kill a 10-year-old boy!
Damian Wayne is the son of Bruce Wayne and his enemy Talia al Ghul. He was created by superstar writer Grant Morrison and introduced in Batman #655 in 2006. Talia raised the boy in secret and trained him in the ways of the League of Shadows. But when Damian finally met his father for the first time, he switched sides and became the new Robin. You know, of Batman and Robin fame? Damian had a lot of rough edges, but he made for a compelling protagonist. Here’s a kid who was raised to be a killer, but he wants so badly to do good and make his father proud as Robin.
But is he now doomed?
I’ve never been particularly happy with Damian as Robin. He stole the mantle from the previous Robin, Tim Drake, who is one of my favorite comic book characters. But Damian has grown on me. He’s had a lot of good stories and he’s definitely been coming into his own lately as the Boy Wonder. Still, the evidence is pretty strong. Join me after the jump to see for yourself.
We’ll start with the news that Batman Incorporated #8 is expected to get a lot of media attention. The issue is due to come out later this month. The writer, Grant Morrison, has been telling the ongoing story of Talia’s battle against Batman for Damian’s soul. She wants her son to return to her side (or just die), whereas Batman wishes for Damian to stay good. Issue #7 of the series had Damian rushing off to rescue his father from Talia’s clutches. The story in Batman Incorporated #8 is solicited as “Everything Grant Morrison has been planning since the start of Batman Incorporated leads to this stunning issue. You must not miss this one!”
So clearly, something big is going to happen in Batman Incorporated #8. But why do I think it’s going to be the death of Damian Wayne?
Well that has to do with the solicitations for Batman comics coming in March, April and May.
Starting with March, Batman Incorporated #9 promises a “shocking event” with Batman on the run for murder. Interesting. Batman and Robin #18, the series that arguably stars Damian, is billed as “the Batman and Robin story of the year!” DC also warns us not to miss that issue. And then there’s Batman #18, which says, “In the wake of unspeakable tragedy, Batman is in danger of losing his humanity!” Personally, I think that ‘unspeakable tragedy’ is going to be when Joker kills Alfred in the Death of the Family storyline. But is it possible that the blurb is referring to the death of Robin in Batman Incorporated? We’re also told that new character Harper Row is going to return to try and drag Batman back from the brink.
So a new, young teenage character shows up to help pull Batman out of the darkness? Hmmm, that sounds familiar.
We’ve now got something big happening in Batman Incorporated #8, big enough that the other Batman comics are responding. But there is even more evidence when we move on to April. There isn’t much to glean from the solicitations for Batman Incorporated #10 or Batman #19. Obviously both will still be dealing with the “shocking event”, but their solicitations don’t reveal much. However, Batman and Robin #19 drops a pretty big clue! The description reads, “On the darkest of nights, who is the one person Batman meets that could change his life forever?” That’s an interesting tidbit of information, but the real clue is on the cover.
For the month of April, DC is doing a gatefold cover gimmick, where the front cover is only half of the whole picture, and that there will be some kind of surprise on the other half, which is folded behind. And, sure enough, it appears that Robin is the hidden surprise on the cover of Batman and Robin #19.
Look closely at that cover and you’ll see the corner of a yellow cape under Batman’s arm. And yellow capes, of course, are Robin’s thing. So why is Robin hidden in the gatefold cover? What secret is DC trying to keep?
Could it be a new Robin? Is that the person Batman meets who could change his life forever?
Well let’s keep looking ahead. The May solicitations came out recently and they provide one of the strongest hints yet. It all comes down to Batman and Robin #20. The solicitation reads, “The massive fallout from the recent events in Batman Incorporated take Batman to the very limits of his sanity…will The Red Hood pull him back—or push him over the edge?”
There you have it. Something that happens in Batman Incorporated has pushed Batman to the very edge in Batman and Robin. Not the Joker. Not Death of the Family. Something from Batman Incorporated has pushed Batman to the “very limits of his sanity”. And who should come to visit him but former Robin Jason Todd. The Robin who was killed in the 80s (he got better). Why wouldn’t Damian help to pull Batman back from the edge? Why does Batman turn to Jason Todd, the other Robin who was killed?
Perhaps because a new Robin has been killed and the only one who might understand is Jason.
And with that, I rest my case. I think this is pretty compelling evidence that Damian Wayne is going to die in Batman Incorporated #8. Grant Morrison created Damian back in 2006, and now he’s ready to kill his own creation. Morrison is leaving DC Comics soon. What better way to go out than by taking his most lasting DC creation with him?
It’s pretty clear at this point that writer Scott Snyder is the new darling of Batman comics. He’s writing the main Batman series and has scored DC some big hits with the Court of Owls and the current Joker storyline Death of the Family. And it looks like Snyder is going to be around for a good long time. Snyder is also the writer who created Harper Row, a pretty, street-smart teen who has already had several run-ins with both Batman and Alfred. She’s also an orphan.
So here’s what I’m thinking: Grant Morrison always planned to kill Damian by the end of his great Batman epic. Perhaps he never intended for Damian to become so popular or appear in so many comics. So Morrison kills Damian, ending his years-long run on Batman. Then new superstar writer Scott Snyder gets to bring in his own pet character to be the new Robin. Makes perfect sense to me.
And I think the evidence speaks for itself.