Artist & Writer: Andy Kubert
Colors: Brad Anderson
Published by: DC Comics
While ridiculously excited for this mini-series, I had absolutely no idea what it was to be about. Even as pages and previews began to be released, I thought I figured it out, but upon reading found myself to be completely wrong. Or, at least, I think?
This seems to be an alternate reality in every sense of the phrase. By the facts given I can only assume that Bruce never ‘died’ in the first place, therefore Damian was never put in Dick Grayson’s care. Instead, he stayed with his father, growing up under his means as opposed to what we all know in the main continuity. And you know what? That kind of made this issue really…fun.
It feels like some weird sort of time regression. This is definitely the Damian Wayne most of us know and hated when he was first introduced as a character, but a bit softer around the edges, almost. I mean, for one, he calls his predecessor ‘Tim’ which we all know would never have happened otherwise. We also see a bit of that worship he had for Bruce, especially after the explosion and ensuing funeral, mixed in with his snark and attitude.
Gotta say, I wasn’t expecting the ending. Huge ‘wait, what?!’ moment that made me more or less yearn for the next issue. Also the confession scene, I feel like I’m supposed to know whom that priest was, but I just can’t put my finger on it. But I feel like that scene was important for more than just that because it’s clear Damian isn’t rash and killing without reason like when first introduced. He is using the skills and morality of the Bat-family, just maybe not so much the ethics. And regardless of lineage and upbringing and mentors, it’s almost like Damian is still slated to become a ‘good person’ or a ‘hero’ in his own right.
And dude, Alfred, you’ve got to be pushing like eighty years old now, right? On that same line, seeing Damian older (I’m assuming late teens) is a mega-weird experience, mostly because we’ve only seen him as a child and an elder man, never in between. It really emphasizes the ‘what-if’ nature of this series, and in an awesome way. Because those glasses he was wearing were stylish.
I would like to know where the other members of the Bat-family are, though. He mentioned Tim, and Barbara was in the funeral scene. Where’s Dick or Jason or even Jim Gordon? What are Damian’s relationships with any of them in this universe? And then, that ending! Just when you think you have a grasp of what’s happening in the issue, it’s all turned around, another point to this being a ‘fun’ book.
I’ve never been the biggest fan of Kubert’s art, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t fantastic. I really enjoyed most of it, like 95%, just some issues with faces in a few panels. Brad Anderson did absolutely stellar on the colors, though. Didn’t see a color or hue I didn’t like in any of the panels. Combine the talent and I have an all new appreciation for Damian’s cape-and-hood combo.
Andy Kubert introduced us to Damian all those years ago, and has returned our little snot-nosed brat to us once more, in excellent fashion. A solid beginning to a story that already seems to be heading towards the same type of popularity as Batman 666.
4.5 out of 5 nerds