Despite his surly surface, Damian Wayne feels extremely deeply, and this moment of grief for someone truly dark shows just why he’s Batman’s son.
Warning: SPOILERS for Batman vs. Robin #4Even though Robin Damian Wayne’s dark future has been foretold time and time again, Batman’s son has explained just how he’ll escape his demonic fate: by embracing all of his feelings, even the difficult ones. Damian’s future as an “evil” Batman seemed unavoidable, but he’s Batman’s child for a reason, and this solution makes them closer than ever.
Damian Wayne’s dark future stems from his dark origins. The son of Batman and Talia al Ghul, Damian is heir to League of Assassins and trained with the League until he joined his father (and Damian’s many siblings) at the age of ten. Since then, Damian has taken on the Robin mantle and grown to love his new family and their mission. Despite that love, Damian continues to battle the darkness: Dr. Multiverse, who has the power to see a person’s many possible fates across timelines and universes, foresaw only one demonic future for Damian when they met during the events of Dark Crisis. That fate seems to have come to be in the Batman vs. Robin event, where Damian was easily possessed by the Devil Nezha and pitted against Batman.
But Damian Wayne breaks free of Nezha’s influence (with the help of both his parents) in Batman vs. Robin #4 by Mark Waid, Scott Godlewski, Mahmud Asrar, Jordie Bellaire, and Steve Wands. As Batman continues to battle Nezha, Robin and Talia pursue Mother Soul—Nezha’s ally and Damian’s great-grandmother—as she attempts to escape. Talia pushes Mother Soul into a chasm, but Damian grabs her at the last second. But, for reasons still mysterious, Mother Soul allows herself to fall from Damian’s grip, seemingly falling to her death. Talia, knowing the pain Mother Soul caused her son, tells Damian: “I forbid you to mourn her in the least.” Damian replies: “I’m not a monster. I’ll feel how I feel.”
Robin’s Capacity for Empathy Will Save Him From Darkness
Dr. Multiverse’s prediction isn’t the first time it’s been predicted that Damian would fall prey to some demonic fate, but time and time again he has chosen a brighter, kinder path—never without losing his trademark surliness, of course. This moment with his mother, Talia—another character with a complicated relationship to the good/bad binary—shows readers just how Damian continues to dodge these dark prophecies. It might be a little bit corny, but by embracing his feelings—by embracing empathy, like his father—Damian will always triumph over his own darkness.
Despite the surface of his character, Robin Damian Wayne feels extremely deeply, and this moment of grief for someone who tried to hurt and use him shows just why he’s Batman’s son and will never fully succumb to darkness. The conclusion to Batman vs. Robin—which will continue after the Lazarus Planet event—promises to give closure to the tensions between father and son. Only more time will tell if Robin has truly triumphed over his own darkness.
Next: Batman Admits the One Fact That Terrifies Him
Check out Batman vs. Robin #4, available now from DC Comics!
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