Damien Wayne, the Robin raised by the League of Assassins, and a manipulative little snot even in the best of times. Not my favorite Robin by any stretch of the imagination. I prefer Dick or Tim, truth be told. But hey, he’s a trained assassin. He’d be pretty formidable if he wanted his father dead.
Why would he want that?
Issue: Batman vs Robin #1, September 2022
Writer: Mark Waid
Artist: Mahmud Asrar
The Plot: Two unexpected visitors come to Wayne Manor.
Commentary: The issue opens with something that I should have expected but honestly was a nice surprise: Alfred Pennyworth is alive again. Bruce is skeptical, but Alfred passes every test. Will Alfred stay that way? Is Bruce wrong? I have no idea. This first issue leaves a lot of questions open, and it does seem as if Damien might have had something to do with it. But as Bruce learns, Damien has some new tricks, showing up in the Batcave with JJ Thunder and Tim Hunter in tow, the two other boys seemingly under Damien’s control because not only does Damien want his father dead, but he knows magic now.
The duel between Damien and Bruce works well. Bruce knows how to get around both Tim and JJ because, well, he’s Batman. Damien is a whole different story. Damien knows all his father’s secrets and has a bunch of new powers he didn’t have before.
Oh, and whatever is going on is targeting all magic users, especially the benevolent ones. That means a decidedly nonmagical Batman (with Alfred) may have to save the day somehow, and yeah, it looks like the real villain behind it all comes from Waid’s similarly well-done Batman/Superman: World’s Finest, but the issue left a lot of questions that I am curious about. What did Damien do? How is Alfred alive? My best guess is Damien did something with magic to bring Alfred back and ended up corrupting himself in the process. And for all Batman is known for his plans and such, a magical Damien turning on him is probably not something he had a plan for.
I think I am gonna like this.
Titans “Dick & Carol & Ted & Kory”
Noteworthy Issues: Avengers #1 (May, 2023)
The X-Files “Quagmire”