The death of Damian Wayne – who is both the current Robin and Bruce Wayne’s son – will be featured in the issue 8 of “Batman Incorporated,” released this Wednesday.
But Robin will go out fighting the good fight.
“He saves the world. He does his job as Robin,” writer Grant Morrison told the New York Post. “He dies an absolute hero.”
Major spoiler alert for those who don’t wish to read details on Robin the Boy Wonder’s demise.
Many fans of the various “Batman” comics have suspected Damian’s death was a strong possibility. As Newsarama notes, Morrison, who is credited developing the character of Damian Wayne since 2006, has hinted he would wrap up the character’s story arc as he ends his long run writing “Batman” stories.
Add to that the visual clue provided by the cover of the upcoming “Batman Incorporated” issue. It was leaked last week when Comic Crusaders, a Queens, N.Y. comic book retailer, tweeted a picture.
According the NY Post, the specifics are this: Robin will face off against an assassin who turns out to be a cloned version of himself. Batman will appear to late to prevent the death.
Damian is the fifth Robin – three other characters have played the character since Dick Grayson’s debut in 1940 – and the second to die. The Joker killed Jason Todd, the second Robin, in 1988’s “A Death in the Family.” (That character was later resurrected.)
Damian’s death will certainly have a long-reaching effect for the DC universe and Bruce Wayne. Morrison has created a story arc that is as much about families, about fathers and sons, as it is about battles between good and evil.
After all, Damian is not only Bruce Wayne’s son. He’s the son of Bruce and Talia, daughter of one of Batman’s enemies, Ra’s al Ghul. Grown in an artificial womb, Damian is raised by Talia and trained by the League of Assassins.
Talia later reveals Damian’s existence to Bruce. The boy eventually assumes the mantle of Robin, in many ways choosing to follow his father’s path rather than his mother’s. But Damian is forced for a time to abandon his Robin identity when his mother puts a bounty on his head.
According to Morrison, the boy’s death thematically presents the effects of parental conflict on children.
“It’s all about the family and the family going to hell,” Morrison told the NY Post. “The two adults in the story are both culpable. The kid’s the good guy.”
Morrison also talks about these dynamics in Monday’s blog for DC Comics. About his work with the “Batman” comics, the writer says:
“This master theme of damaged and ruined families was nowhere more in evidence than in the creation of Damian, the first ‘Son of Batman’ to be acknowledged in the canon. In many ways this has been Damian’s story as much as it has been the story of Bruce Wayne and it’s a story that had its end planned a long time ago – for what son could ever hope to replace a father like Batman, who never dies?
“And so, via ‘Batman,’ ‘Batman and Robin’ ‘Return of Bruce Wayne’ and ‘Batman Inc.’ this epic tale has finally reached its finale.”
While killing off Damian Wayne might help wrap up Morrison’s story arcs for his Batman and Robin, doing so doesn’t mean this is the definitive end for Robin.
“You can never say never in a comic book,” Morrison said to the NY Post. “Batman will ultimately always have a partner.”