Thursday, December 18, 2014

[New 52] Batman Incorporated by Grant Morrison issue #8

DAMIAN: "Are you with me, Nightwing? The odds are completely against us."

DICK: "When did we ever let something like that get in the way, Robin, the Boy Wonder, Damian?"

DAMIAN: "So far, I think you were my favorite partner. We were the best, Richard, no matter what everyone thinks."

For a short time a while back, I was never entirely sure where my love for Damian Wayne even came from. I believe it was during the time I was reading and reviewing Peter J. Tomasi's Batman and Robin run for New 52 when I first realized that I was falling in love with him in a steady rate issue after issue. But even before that happened I was already excited about the idea that Bruce Wayne has a son, illegitimate-born as he may be and mothered by the vicious Talia al Ghul, because I want Bruce to have a family of his own blood. I was invested in seeing the character development of Bruce Wayne struggling through unplanned parenthood, and Tomasi gave me just that.

But if I will be truly honest with myself, I think what got me so interested in Damian Wayne BEFORE I EVEN MET HIM was the fact that HE DIED SO SOON, and with that prior knowledge I wanted TO LOVE HIM once I did get around to reading about him in a chronological and consistent way in comics. Soon, I was genuinely enjoying him; my feelings did start to take a life of their own especially when I had to go through the motions of Bruce's grief and the remembrance of every other character who cared about Damian. The Requiem and other Damian-tribute issues truly made me feel as if I myself lost a dear friend and brother, so before I could even help myself, I get misty-eyed every time I read something about Damian Wayne.

Now after reading both of Grant Morrison and Peter J. Tomasi's respective runs for Batman and Robin, I can say wholeheartedly that I was a fan of both for different reasons. I was getting my sweet dose of father-son moments between Bruce and Damian for Tomasi's run, and for a time it seemed enough for me, and after I read and reviewed issue #37 of Robin Rises last night, my world was once again made whole because Damian Wayne was successfully and poignantly resurrected and reunited with his father. However, I was also able to read and review the twelve issues of Grant Morrison's run where Dick Grayson took the responsibilities of the presumed-dead Bruce and became the new Batman with Damian as his Robin, and they were such a fantastic pair. Like most partnerships, it had been a rocky start but they slowly and surely developed into a commanding force as the certified new Dynamic Duo. They were brothers-at-arms. They trusted each other and worked so in-sync together. That is why I chose to quote that lovely exchange between them at the beginning of this review because it definitely summarized the heartfelt relationship these two shared as they fought crime and evil side-by-side. Tomasi followed up on this in his second Batman and Robin Annual issue because Dick's relationship with Damian has a depth you never expected to have but very much thankful for happening anyway in the long run. Luckily enough for me, I still have ten issues of Morrison's Batman and Robin to get back to next year so I will experience some more Dick-Damian in action by then. JUST LOOK AT HOW ADORBS THEY ARE! :D

And this is why it broke my heart when Dick witnessed Damian get fucking harpooned in the chest and he was too late to do anything to stop it. I'm getting ahead of myself but I read the next issue as soon as I finished this, and seeing his reaction was so goddamn hurtful because he was so shocked that he couldn't even process Damian's death for the rest of the pages that followed. Before that, they had one last epic battle together as they fought of Leviathan goons before coming face-to-face with Heretic, Damian's twin and new successor of the al Ghul empire. Dick was sadly tossed away as Damian was left to fend off and fight Heretic himself, all the while pleading for his mother to stop the war. The next pages after that were gruelling, especially when I know what was about to happen, and it was all a matter of anticipating the blow. But even as it landed, I was still shaken to my core. Thank god I read Tomasi's #37 last night to cushion the blow of what I just witnessed at least. AND FUCKING TALIA EVEN SHED A TEAR BUT THEN SAYS THAT IT WAS 'A MOMENT OF WEAKNESS'. Fuck you, Talia! Your son just died! I AM SO INCONSOLABLY ANGRY AT YOU. EVEYRTHING ABOUT THIS ISSUE IS COSMICALLY UNFAIR. And I'm about to share the pain with you by displaying the scans below so forgive me in advance. Feel free to look at Damian's resurrection panels after this.

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