Peter J. Tomasi's Robin Rises arc has been building up to this moment and for a time I refused to believe it was going to take place. I didn't want to believe it because I was doubtful and paranoid that a happy event will ever be possible for Batman and his family. But it happened. IT HAS REALLY FUCKING HAPPENED and yet I still cannot believe my eyes. There was even a soundtrack playing in my earphones (Adele's Make You Feel My Love of all things) as soon as I reached the climactic page where Damian Wayne--MY Robin, the Boy Wonder whose death felt like a rush of a thousand heartbreaks--opened his eyes, and reached out to his father for an overdue reunion embrace.
Weirdly enough, I was decisively numb all over as I flipped through the pages. I was already just going through the motions at this point, unable to see anything clearly except for the colors of the panels which are all soaked in vibrant red; every action sequence dripping with restless energy. I could feel Batman grasping for dear life as he tries to defeat Darkseid, all the while his entire attention was on preventing his son's cadaver from falling to the abyss in the middle of battle. I felt his exhaustion and anxiety as he clasped at that chaos shard and absorbed the shock of Darkseid's power; the relief he felt upon jumping with the rest of the heroes into the boom box for teleportation just in time before he collapsed to the floor of the batcave with his hellbat-suit only minutes before explosion. Pushed to his limits, Batman carefully disarms himself from his armor with all the strength he had left and forces the chaos shard into his son's chest.
I could hear my own breathing at that point, and it was faint and shallow, almost as if I was deliberately trying to calm my nerves before I even start freaking out. I was in a daze as if I was floating weightlessly in a dream I've had several times but still unsure of how it ends. And then I reached the page where the panel below was featured (Bruce's shattered memories of his parents dying on one side and Damian on the other as he screams in agony "DON'T MAKE ME CHOOSE!") and I had to stop reading so I can cover my face with my hands. I still did not cry. I cannot process what was happening. It took me two minutes before I could take my hands off my face and proceed, as bravely as I could, to read what happens next. I think I shared Alfred and Barbara's shock, awe and desperation the entire time. There is nothing more for me to say. I got my Christmas wish. Bruce and Damian Wayne are finally reunited.
On Christmas Eve, I'm going to be reading Robin Rises: ALPHA next. Right now, I'm filled with euphoria that I can almost choke on it. Thank you, Mr. Tomasi and co. THANK YOU!~