Damian: Son of Batman#1 begins at the Gotham City Tricorner Docks, “some years from now,” but from the looks of the art not too very far from the present day either. Andy Kubert handles both writing and art duties on this mini-series, and it’s always a pleasure when he’s on art, and from what I read not too shabby on the writing aspect either. We see Damian and Batman at the docks in can what only be described as the nastiest pile of dead bodies and dead fish one could dream up. Now if you’ve seen any of the online previews for the book then it’s no secret or spoiler that Batman dies at the hands - or actually fins - of a Joker fish. Not quite the dramatic death you would expect for Batman, but effective nonetheless.
Damian goes to his mother, Talia, and grandfather, Ra’s al Ghul, for help in avenging the death of Batman, and we get a nice recap of Damian’s conception, birth and ultimate betrayal of the al Ghul family name. Talia is crystal clear on her disappointment, but Ra’s al Ghul actually gives a bit of honor to the Batman legacy and something for Damian to strive toward. A little out of character, but it’s been established early on that things aren’t as clear as they seem.
If you love seeing Damian taking out villains with violent recklessness then the rest of this book is for you. This is pure Damian without Bruce in his ear about his methods of eradicating villains. Alfred attempts to fill that void but his words fall on deaf ears. Kubert draws a mean Damian and great action sequences. One interesting scene has Damian at a confessional with a priest who knows an awful lot about Bruce Wayne and Batman. Interesting to see if this plays out in a bigger plot line.
Damian: Son of Batman was about what I expected, but that didn’t make me enjoy it any less. It’s a pure action revenge tale, at least from the outset, and I had a lot of fun with what Kubert puts down on the page. There is a twist at the end that will change the trajectory of this story, and it will leave your head spinning and wanting issue #2 to get here even quicker.
Damian fans will love this book, and it’s a fitting tribute after what happened in Batman Inc. #8. Damian’s death is avenged here - and the gloves are pulled off! Enjoy this “future” story for what it is: a kick-ass Damian punching and killing villains story. Batman wouldn’t approve, but Damian fans will!