BATMAN & ROBIN ANNUAL#1
Damian Wayne, the initially irritating and somewhat douchey son of Bruce Wayne has rapidly become my favorite of the Robins. Batman and Robin Annual #1 dropped this week and i will not lie, it was an issue i have been eagerly anticipating. I got back into comic books around the time of Grant Morrison’s run on Batman and Robin and oh my geezus! was i surprised at how much i really liked Damian as Robin.
This issue further cements the obvious growth and bond between Bruce and Damian. It harkens back to issue one of the New52 where Batman assures Damian of his mistrust towards him and “will let him know” when he has begun to trust him. It was great to see Bruce actually willing to be more open and caring. The plot is basically this: Damian has arranged a worldwide scavenger hunt for Bruce to go on in order to prove to Bruce that the Wayne legacy is not lost on him. Personal events and memories of the Wayne’s are touched upon including many i personally never knew about or perhaps they are new to canon. Damian promises to be one step ahead of Bruce leaving clues at the sites to point him in the right direction of the next location. I found myself enjoying an issue with more dialogue than usual and little action, something my teenage self may have not appreciated. Damian chats with Bruce via Facetime style video chats to give him clues on every new location he is to travel. The whole thing is set up by Damian so that he may get a few nights to himself in Gotham as he believes himself to have tricked Bruce into thinking he himself was at the areas he green screened himself into. Donning a kid sized Batman costume (reminiscent of the 666 costume) Damian sets out to crimefight by himself in Gotham for a few nights. Bruce first journey’s to a hotel where he is presented with a painting done by his mother. He is told the painting was with he hotel for many years and bears the names of Martha (his mother) and himself at a young and tender age, the second location was Barcelona where Bruce was to arrive at his parent’s honeymoon location spot and find the exact spot where a photo of them was taken. The last stop for Bruce was Greece where a stone tablet bearing his father’s proposal to his mother was located in some ruins. Bruce was seemingly touched by the trip and the enormous amount of detail put into it by his son.
Back in Gotham, while Bruce takes his tour around the world young Damian begins his alone time in crime fighting. Damian seems to enjoy having gotham to himself the way a normal child has fun when he has the house to himself. Donning a new Batman costume, his father’s robe and dog Titus in toe he wander’s the manor impatient for sunset to arrive. He investigates a missing fuel case as it seems a strange creature has taken residence in Gotham and has been chewing up fuel hoses and stealing gas. His search ultimately concludes in finding the culprit(s) a half canine half human hybrid and man who develops weapons. The dialogue between the man and Damian was great especially given that this was the father of a criminal taken down by Bruce in the beginning of the book. Both father and son recite the same style lines to these crooks, a detail i really enjoyed. eventually Damian joins his Father and Bruce reveals he knew the truth all along but thanked his son for the thoughtful trip. They share a great moment where Bruce admits to finally trusting Damian. It is great to see such a huge evolution in the characters as both have been growing into the relationship they share today. As i said before back in issue #1 trust was an issue and it was nice to see confirmation of what has been obviously building up the past issues.
I feel Peter Tomasi understands the Damian wayne character in the same level Grant Morrison does. Morrison has held the title for best writer for Damian in my eyes but Peter Tomasi has blown me away in the past year with such great writing. I must say i did miss Patrick Gleason’s artwork as there is something about his style i really get a kick out of though i did really enjoy this art as well by Mr Ardian Syaf. The art really popped out of the pages and the emotions of the character’s were illustrated well. I enjoyed the heck out of this issue and really hope any Batman fan checks it out. It is a heart warming story amid the very heavy Death of The Family storyline and certainly one i will treasure for years to come.
Final Grade 9.5/10