It's been a long time coming and it's finally happening.
DAMIAN WAYNE IS COMING BACK. There is a small part of me, however, that keeps crushing every seed of hope that would persist to grow from my broken heart. I still don't want to believe that his resurrection is a guaranteed thing even if this is the point of Tomasi's issues as of now. I should be happier about this. I don't think anyone loves Damian Wayne as much as I do, and losing him last year was so devastating and so real that I never thought I'd recover.
So yes, it's been a long time coming.
But is it really happening? Maybe I just don't want to dare myself to hope. Maybe I'm still in denial that things can and should get better for Batman and the Bat-family, but if any fictional group of characters deserve some sort of happy consolation for all the tragedies they faced alone or together, it's the Bat-family.
We are now at the third part of the continuing Robin Rises saga and this issue entitled Hellbound brings us to Apokolips where Batman, donned in a specialized Hellbat suit (a combat armor designed by the collaborative efforts of the Justice League), confronts Godfrey to claim back his son's cadaver as well as the crystal. Back on Earth, his surrogate children Tim, Barbara and Jason finally made up their minds to aid Bruce in his mission . They go to Batwoman to tell her that she's going to have to take care of Gotham by herself for a while because they need to help Batsy. She agrees with this arrangement readily. The kids return to the cave and they are then assisted by Alfred so they can go to Apokolips using a device called a Boom tube. It's something akin to space-dimension travel, and Leaguer Cyborg is the only one who the means to create one. The Bat-family then decides to lure him to the cave and use any means necessary to subdue him and get the equipment necessary inside his circuits to make the Boom tube work. Lots of technical mumbo-jumbo that you don't really need to understand to be able to enjoy what is happening. Artist Gleason and colorist Kalisz turned this issue into a vibrant explosion of colors, with the majority of the panels dominated by red, yellow and black. It's a flattering combination, I daresay.
Once the kids got the Boom tube working, they immediately jump into it to get transported to Apokolips but not after Cyborg wakes up and follows after them. Titus, Damian's pet dog, latches onto him though so he's going to make the trip. They were greeted by a group of, er, hell aliens who are carnivorous and ready to fight them. Meanwhile, Batman is getting closer to Damian's corpse but there are still complications. The issue ends with a cliffhanger and I have to wait for next month to know what happens to the Bat-family and if that issue would mark the return of the Boy Wonder. The mixture of dread and anticipation may just become the death of me so I try not to think about Damian these days. It's a good thing I'm solely reading Batman Eternal this week because I am not ready to continue reading Grant Morrison's Batman and Robin run because Damian's there and I can't allow myself to start feeling things for him again. I just...DON'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT DAMIAN, OKAY--
No, Alfred. SHUT UP! I'm not ready. I'm just not ready to unearth my precious feelings for this character! Seriously, when I saw that image above, I felt my nose flare and my eyes sting. I could feel the tears coming and it's so confounding because I don't understand why I even want to cry. I can't deal right now. Give me some Eternal for now. I need the distraction!