Batman Incorporated 8

batman inc 8

Today, Mikyzptlk and Drew are discussing the Batman Incorporated 8, originally released February 27th, 2013.

Mikyzptlk: Spoiler Alert. Hahaha, just kidding. Fuck you very much, internet. Alright, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system–Seriously, couldn’t you have just kept your mouth shut for a few more days?!? Okay, it’s okay, I’m all better now. As I write this, I’ve just finished reading issue 8 of Grant Morrison’s Batman, Inc. and I’m still not quite sure what to make of things. We all know by now that Damian “The Boy Wonder” is dead. And though I have some wild theories that say he’s not actually dead, the issue leaves us with that conclusion. Grant Morrison has stated (a bit earlier than he should have mind you) what the death of Damian means in the greater sense of the themes he was presenting us with, but I’d like to focus on the character of young Damian and what his death means in the context of the world in which these characters live. I’ll leave the heavy lifting to Drew. 

First things first, we begin with Robin flying into the war zone that is Midtown Gotham as Batman struggles to free himself from his would be watery grave. Red Robin literally just walks into the Leviathan infested Wayne Enterprises building, saves a girl named Ellie, and takes out some of Talia’s trash until he’s crushed by a plane. Don’t worry, he’s not the Robin that dies tonight. Immediately after, Damian zooms in through the window (now that’s an entrance!) and takes out a few more goons before getting his neck saved by Nightwing. Then the best thing ever happens as Nightwing and Robin discuss how they were essentially the BEST BATMAN AND ROBIN TEAM OF ALL TIME. The duo continue to take out more thugs until they are confronted by Uber-Damian (who is carrying the World-Bomb trigger). Nightwing is immediately tossed out of frame leaving Robin to fend for himself. They trade a few blows as Damian pleads for his mother to stop all of the madness. Uber-Damian temporaily stops his assault on Robin to reclaim the trigger from Ellie who has bravely decided to protect it. Robin attempts to kill the evil version of himself, but is harder to kill than he thought. And, as Batman escapes just a little bit too late, Damian Wayne becomes the second Robin to lose his life in the line of duty as he is stabbed in the chest by his own twisted self.

Batman minus RobinWell this is a downer, but before I get to his absurdly untimely death, let’s take a look at what Damian was able to do in this issue. First of all, and I refuse to say this any other way, he explodes into this issue like a bat out of hell. It was great seeing Robin tear through Gotham City in his flight suit. It was even greater watching him make a very Batman-like entrance into the Wayne building. Let’s face it, this kid is practically Batman already. Just take a look.

Robin The Dark KnightThat Leviathan thug was about to compare him to a “giant, screeching bat” which is probably the best compliment you could ever give to Damian. He starts knocking the crap out of everyone in usual Damian fashion before getting a hand from Nightwing. They regroup for a moment which allows the two to have a heart to heart which isn’t exactly Damian’s strong suit. The following scene is probably the most touching scene out of Morrison’s entire run.

Batman & Robin Together Again

Oh, and then it’s AWESOME. I literally stopped and stared at this panel for a moment as Batman and Robin reentered the fray. This brought me back to a time when I actually preferred Bruce Wayne’s replacement. A time when the concept of Batman and Robin was flipped on its head. A time when a happy-go-lucky Batman fought side by side with a surly, unsmiling Robin. A time when the Dynamic Duo became brothers that only grew stronger as each issue passed. These 5 panels are so full of joy, love, and determination that I didn’t want it to end. Additionally, I absolutely love the way that Chris Burnham incorporates (no pun intended) the “Boom” and “Ssssss” sound effects into the artwork.  It’s clever and fun, and just a small example of why Burnham is perfect for this series.

Unfortunately, the fun eventually had to stop. As Damian is killed, Talia tells Batman that Damian was “a flawed creation” and “a failed experiment.” She continues to say that “you lost the world that might have been yours. You lost me. You lost everything.” She’s telling Batman that if he only had looked at the birth of Damian as a sign that they were meant to be together, that she wouldn’t have decided to kill Damian and that she wouldn’t be attempting to wreak havoc on the world as Leviathan. In the end, Damian is treated like nothing more than a pawn. With that, I’m left with the feeling that Talia has just one-upped anything that the Joker could ever come up with. I mean, killing your own kid just because you didn’t get your way? That’s fucked.

I’m left with so many questions. How is Bruce ever going to get over this? It was hard enough for him when Jason died, but this is his own son! And what about all of Damian’s pets? Bat-Cow, Titus, and Alfred the Cat! I seriously started thinking about how sad they are all going to be and got a bit emotional. They may be fictional pets, but they are pets nonetheless and someone better be looking out for them. Lastly, what does this mean for the future of Robin? Will Batman ever let anyone in that role again? In the New 52, Tim Drake didn’t take on the role of Robin directly out of respect for Jason, now that the previous Robin was Batman’s son can anyone in good conscience (or taste) ever take on the role?

Well Drew, you’re up. Did you have the issue spoiled for you? I managed to be unspoiled for all of Monday but then CBR totally spoil-bombed me with one of their Facebook posts. Stupid timeline. Anyway, what were your feelings about this issue? Did you think that Morrison would actually go through with it and do you think that this death will actually stick? I’ve got some theories about that myself, but I’ll save it for the comments section. Have at it, good sir!

Drew: Let’s not forget, Morrison’s run also featured an issue with the cover copy of Batman R.I.P. where Bruce didn’t actually die. Plus, we’ve seen Damian recover from extremely grievous bodily harm. Granted, that was with Talia’s help, but her “moment of weakness” here suggests that she might just regret this whole killing her son thing, after all. Okay, I know I’m grasping at straws here, but I think we all know the feeling of desparate bargaining when we’re not quite ready to let something go.

Point is, while I’m not entirely sure whether Morrison intends for this death to stick, he’s left DC some outs if they ever want to renege.

It’s interesting, I can see things going either way. Morrison makes a compelling case for Damian’s death, but I can’t help but notice the way he mentions that Batman “never dies,” which reminds me rather strikingly of Damian’s assertion earlier in Morrison’s epic that “Batman and Robin will NEVER DIE!” (Emphasis NOT mine.) Could this whole thing be a ruse perpetuated by Morrison and DC to goose sales (or, less cynically, to keep us guessing)? I actually wouldn’t put it past them. They made a point of soliciting a different cover for this issue, and even most of the Batman group for next month. That is to say, they’re capable of being pretty crafty, even if it seems like they totally botched the endgame on this particular reveal. Part of me wants to believe that the ham-handed way DC handled this surprise was just a distraction from a bigger surprise they’re hoping to pull (all while driving up demand for this issue). That’s likely wishful thinking on my part, but like I said, at this point, I’m willing to settle for a dirty, slimy, airborne pig.

So enough talk about how Damian might not be dead after all (at least, until we get to the comments) — let’s take the death at face value. Mik rightly points out what a heroic end it is, giving Damian a chance to save the world (successfully keeping the World-Bomb trigger out of Bizarro Damian’s hands), as well as reminisce about the good times he had with Dick. It’s also a surprisingly poetic end, with Damian’s entrance mirroring the hell out of the very origin of Batman.

"It's a Bat, man!"

I can see a couple interpretations for that parallel, and since this is Morrison we’re talking about, I might suggest that they’re all true. For Bruce, this could serve as a very potent reminder of his mission — a bat crashing though a Wayne building window accompanies the death of yet another Wayne. It reemphasizes everything that motivates him to become Batman in the first place.

For Damian, I can’t help but see this as Bruce’s story, played in reverse. Where Bruce was a boy shaken by tragedy into a world of discipline and responsibility, Damian was born into that discipline and responsibility. The tragedy here is his own death — and what next? Why, exactly what Bruce’s life was before his parents were murdered: peaceful and carefree. Whether that’s the afterlife, or simply a witness protection program in Tahiti, it’s a fitting rest for a character I’ve really come to care about over the years. He’s earned it.

Still, it’s hard to let him go. I’m sad (like, actually, legitimately sad), and I happen to be privy to the information that Damian is a fictional character. We only start to see Bruce’s reaction, but he’s clearly devastated. I was moved by the complete wreck that was Beryl last issue, following Cyril’s death, so I don’t know if a month is going to be enough time to prepare me for Bruce dealing with the loss of his own son. I suppose Damian’s hulking clone is going to force Bruce to pull himself together sooner rather than later, but I really don’t know what this will do to him. Spoilers aside, this issue somehow manages the emotional gut-punch of an actual death. No amount of spoilers could have prepared me for that.

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94 comments on “Batman Incorporated 8

  1. I actually had a less flattering interpretation of Talia’s “small weakness.” I assumed she was referring to her tears as the weakness, in that there is still a human mother in there somewhere, and that humanity is her weakness she is trying to suppress.

    Honestly, as a villlain, this almost seems too terrible an act. Sure, the Joker killed dozens of people in Death of the Family, but he’s a raving psychopath. Talia is an intelligent, sane woman, or I thought she was, anyway.

    I had this spoiled for me Monday afternoon, and let me tell you, I was pissed about it.

    • I think our reads of the “weakness” are the same, but I guess I was impressed that there was any humanity left in Talia at all. To me, any evidence that she might regret killing her own son is more than I expected, and could mean that that side will win out in the end.

      Man, it’s really hard to talk about what I think will happen, when there’s so much I want to happen.

  2. Drew, I haven’t finished reading your contribution yet, but I’d just like to thank you for making one of the greatest references to anything that anyone has ever made in all of recorded and unrecorded history.

  3. What is up with Ellie? Does anyone else think it odd that she’s in a witness throughout a lot of this issue? She also starts doing some heroic stuff like protecting the trigger, then she is witness to Robin’s death and proclaims something like “He saved me.” Then she’s featured in the final page with Batman and Robin.

    We all know by that that EVERYTHING Morrison does in intentional so is he trying to hint that Ellie will be the new Robin? Or at the very least a candidate? But what about Harper Row? I truly hope that what we get out of Damian’s death (which I honestly do think is temporary) is simply to allow for the first intentionally permanent female Robin.

    Then, after the new Robin is firmly established, Damian can make his triumphant return! After all, you can’t keep an Al Ghul down for long! (I may have been using that last line all over the internet the past few days and I’m good with that.)

    • It is weird that Ellie plays such a big role in Damian’s final moments, while he’s otherwise surrounded by former Robins. It’s also weird that she looks so young here, since she seemed like a fully adult woman last month (and even when she’s interacting with Tim — isn’t she the receptionist for Wayne Tower). I don’t think she makes sense as a Robin — Damian left some BIG shoes to fill as far as preparedness goes — but Morrison does seem to be aligning her with Robin. I’m not really sure what to make of it.

      • Yeah, I kind of think we need a Robin-free zone for a while, both because it wouldn’t make sense for Bruce to leap into another sidekick relationship immediately and because I personally need some time, dammit!

        • Considering that Death in The Family covered Batman #426–429 and Tim Drake took on the roll of Robin in Batman #436 I don’t see DC leaving the Robin slot vacant for very long. However, I suspect that DC might use this as a way to redefine Robin’s relationship to Batman in the New 52 continuity. Another thing that occurs to me is that in killing Damian off it helps free up Batman Inc. to focus more on the other members of the Bat Family rather than simply being another iteration of Batman and Robin.

          As for Robin’s future…of all the rumours about potential successors it feels to me like Harper Row is the most likely candidate for the next Robin. I certainly hope that’s the case.

          • Two things:

            First is a question: do we think that Batman Incorporated will continue past Morrison’s intended ending for the Batman epic? It’s my understanding that he’s on for another like 4 or 5 issues and then he’s out. It might be neat to see Batman Incorporated (the organization, not necessarily the title) in the hands of another writer, but I’d actually guess that they’re going to phase it out. Batwing is getting a new set of writers (Jimmy Palmiotti and Justin Gray of All Star Western) and I think a new guy civilian identity, which makes me think Batman Inc. may soon be a thing of the past.

            Second is just my opinion: I know Harper is pretty well-poised to be New Robin, but I would really really really just like there to be a Robin-shaped hole in Batman’s life for a while. The Bat-family’s been hit with this loss at the psychological WORST time – immediately following the close of Death of the Family (only like two weeks ago – can you even believe it?). It should be EXTRA HARD for anyone to pick up the Robin mantle and run with it.

          • ALSO: Issues 19-23 are going to be “Batman and…” and each month will feature a different character that he’s teaming up with. It’s all Bat-family regulars; if memory serves me correctly, the order is 19. Red Robin, 20. Red Hood, 21. Batgirl, 22. Catwoman 23. Nightwing. Where’s Batwoman, huh?

            • I wonder what will happen after “Batman and…” I mean, the book has to keep going right? Tomasi seems pretty excited for his “uber-story” or whatever he’s calling it and I’d have to think that it extends beyond issue 23. Hmm…

              • That pattern could keep going for a while (as I mentioned, where’s Batwoman in that list?), but it wouldn’t even have to go on for THAT much longer for Tomasi to get in a pretty big story – we’re already talking about issues as far out as August. Maybe by that point, we’ll be ready to let the heeling begin.

                Or maybe Damian will return from the dead by then, who fucking knows? Oh Oh OH! New dumb theory: “Batman and The Heretic.”

    • I think that, after issue # 23, the new Robin will be revealed.
      Talking about Robins, only 2 DC titles starting in June still are yet to be announced: I think that one of them will be a Young Justice title (at present that section merely consists of Teen Titans and Legion of Superheroes), and I read that it could be a Red Robin solo title. I hope so, because Tim Drake’s Pre – New 52 solo series was awesome.

      • I think you are right that it’s going to be a YJ title since they’ve previously confirmed that the line would be getting a new book due to some of their cancellations. As for the other possible book, I’m hoping that we’ll see The Question get his own series. It would make sense considering that “Phantom Stranger” was just renamed “Trinity of Sin: Phantom Stranger” and they’ve just announced “Trinity of Sin: Pandora.” It would be odd to only have 2 out of 3 right?

        • Nice one, mikyzptlk, I hadn’t thought about it! Well, that would mean Renee Montoya’s debut in the New 52 universe, so I would be happy… but honestly I would be much happier if the other possible book were WildC.A.T.S., because I’m a big fan of Grifter. Thank you for your reply! : )

          • Ah, if only that were true! Remember, The Question we’ve seen in the N52 is Vic, not Rene. Although, I suppose they can find a way to tie Rene to Vic once again. Their friendship in the Pre 52 was one of my favorites, if not short-lived.

            • I remember that you are a big fan of the friendship between Blue Beetle and Booster Gold too – and I’m totally with you on that!
              Now that you make me think about it, in the New 52 universe friendships between superheroes are not a big thing anymore – on the contrary, events like “Death of the Family” are making DC characters more and more distant from each other.
              DC is about to launch a Superman/Batman series, so maybe they want to invert this trend… are you going to buy the Superman/Batman title?

              • In a word, YES. I’m very interested to see what the creative team can do with these characters. Plus, the fact that it goes back into that 5 year gap is very intriguing to me as well. As for the lack of closeness between heroes you mentioned, you are spot on. It’s one of the things I cherished the most about the Pre 52 which made it the hardest felt loss of the N52. It does make sense considering that our heroes are younger that they wouldn’t know each other as well so I did get on board with the concept. Then, when I realized that I would actually get the chance to see their friendships form and then grow to what I had known them to be, I became even more sold on the concept of the N52. Now, if we could only just get Wally back. ;)

                P.S. Blue and Gold forever!!!

    • DC Women Kicking Ass had a 1 through 5 Tears rating system that’s worth a look. However, the author didn’t like the Batgirl one as much as you did because she feels it should be Stephanie. I totally feel her as Steph and Damian’s relationship nearly rivaled Dick and Damian’s. She still admits the actual artwork is gorgeous though.

      I’ve got to give 5/5 Tears to Capullo’s cover. OH GOD THOSE EMPTY BOOTS.

      Lie down, try not to cry, cry a lot.

      • Yeah, but Steph doesn’t exist in the New 52. Regardless of all arguments about the wrongness of that, putting someone who is (to me, as an example) a stranger seems a little meaningless.

          • I don’t think that’s the point the author’s making although she is pretty dismissive towards Babs’ mourning. I take it that she’s saying that Steph was closer to Damian than Babs ever seemed to get both pre and post N52, so if it was Steph on the cover it would be even sadder.

            • Oof, that sounds like a different conversation entirely (y’know, the conversation from like 2 years ago). I know I’ve got more of a “hey, MOVE ON” attitude than most comic fans, but hey, move on.

              • Yeah, I don’t like it any more than anyone else but that was an editorial mandate that has no bearing on the current rebooted universe; if they introduced Steph at this point to be Batgirl they’d be doing an immense disservice to Babs (ANOTHER great character) who is knee-deep in perhaps the most triumphant stage of her life and growth as a person

              • The problem is, I’ve already seen her go through the most triumphant stage in her life when I watched her progress as Oracle. Oh but Oracle never existed never mind. That journey and the writers and artists who put their heart and soul into that character are unimportant now. The same thing goes for Wally and Jade and Donna and the REAL Tim Drake and on and on and on. I’m sorry but it’s difficult for me to “get over it” because I invested heavily both financially and emotionally into these characters. To see them simply get erased is not only a disservice to the characters but to the fans as well. At least Damian got an end, a tragic end, but an end nonetheless. If these characters are going to be benched forever, they deserved a proper end too.

              • I subscribe to the concept of hypertime (nevermind that it’s been retconned) so I don’t consider the pre-52 stories to have never happened, I just lament that a lot of those characters aren’t in publication in the universe we’re currently focused on. But I really do consider that for Babs to be walking again is a huge deal regardless of whether her history as Oracle is in tact or isn’t (though it seems clear that it isn’t in the DCnU). I would make the weird comparison of Babs and Harry Knowles – Harry created his site, wrote his book, and became world famous due to his immense efforts during the period of time during which he was bound to his wheelchair; but now that he’s had that miracle surgery and is basically walking again (although I know the PT will be long and difficult before his walking is effortless and permanent) I am completely happy for him and consider this to be a very big time for him

              • Hypertime! Oh how I legitimately loved it!!! It was such a fun concept that I think was extremely misunderstood from the get-go. Writers just really wanted an excuse to have a multiverse again which is all is was ultimately. I’m with you though, all of these stories still took place, I can look at my bookshelf and prove that they still happened somewhere, somewhen. No one will ever be able to retcon those books off of my shelf!

                I’m not trying to downplay the importance of regaining the ability to walk or anything. Gail Simone is doing an amazing job of telling that particular story and I’m happy that Barbara is able to kick ass again on a physical level (not that she couldn’t as Oracle). My problem is that Barbara grew as a character an incredible amount as Oracle and it’s disappointing to see that wiped away. I would have liked to see that character eventually walk again. The most frustrating bit though is that they easily could have just said that all of Oracles adventures took place in the 3 years that the N52 version of Barb was in the chair. That would have also allowed for Cass and Steph to retained their roles as Batgirl as well. If DC thought it was so important to keep all of the male Robins histories more or less intact then whey couldn’t they have done the same for our Batgirl’s?

              • Oh yes, you’re completely right in that it would have been the easiest things and appeased so many fans (as well as giving newcomers more great characters to learn about) to just leave that history in place. It’s much less difficult than the male Robins fiasco and Batman wasn’t even really being rebooted. I’m just saying that I can’t blame a really good-looking Batgirl #18 cover for just being what it is

              • Oh right…the cover. I may have lost track of that somewhere along the way. LOL. Seriously though, my feelings towards the past are one thing. I try to keep that separate from how I view the present and the future of these characters. The times I get upset is when we get inferior versions of beloved characters or when the changes just don’t make any sense. Like, did they really have to change Tim the way they did? Was he not a popular character before? Was he not the first Robin to support his own solo title for 20 years? Changes like that don’t make sense to me and while erasing characters is completely unsatisfactory to me, I won’t let that get in the way of me enjoying a good book like Simone’s Batgirl.

              • But years and years worth of Babs-as-Oracle stories still informs how the character is written and how the character is read. One of the things that makes me so happy about the Wrath of the First Lantern is the idea that retcons don’t mean that the stories that “no longer happened” don’t matter. In effect, you ARE seeing the Barbara Gordon that was Oracle for a decade walk again.

                The double standard for the male Bat-sidekicks IS strange – probably the weirdest being insisting on keeping Jason in the line-up (Tim seems necessary for the TTs, and if you’re going to have Babs and Batgirl, Dick has to be SOMETHING).

              • You’re right, but that’s only satisfying to me from a technical standpoint. There’s no doubt that Gail Simone’s authority over the character in the Pre 52 has help to inform her in the New 52, but that still doesn’t make me feel any better about the version of the character that I followed for 10+ years no longer existing in the current version of things.

                Take Booster Gold, the way he’s currently written is in line with the man the he eventually became in the Pre 52, but the only reason he developed that way was because of the loss of Ted Kord. It led him to become the savior of the multiverse and a time traveling bad ass. He became a hero worth following because of that and had a very successful book as a result. In the New 52, he never suffered that particular loss and he never became that hero because Ted never existed in this reality. The question becomes what has this new version of Booster done to deserve our adoration? He’s lead a League and was really Gung-ho about proving himself, but he no longer has the same motivation that he used to. So why does he do it? Simply knowing what his motivations were in the previous reality doesn’t make him as satisfying a character to follow now. Gail Simone has re-crafted the character of Batgirl into a hero worth following because of what she’s done in the New 52. The same thing needs to be done with Booster. Fortunately, since Johns is taking him over again, I’m sure we’ll get that soon in JLA.

            • If you miss Oracle, read Batman: Arkham Unhinged. In that series, Babs still is Oracle. And this is one of the innumerous reasons why that series is pure awesomeness.

      • Check out the comments in that DCWKA article, someone changed the colors on that Batgirl cover to show Stephanie and it’s immediately like twice as heartbreaking.

      • Stephanie as the new Robin is a very good idea. She has already worn that cowl (between Tim and Damian, who therefore was the 5th Robin), so she would be far more experienced than the other characters most people thought of.
        This would be a good question for a quiz show: “How many Robins did Batman have?” Even the most informed reader would answer 4, so it’s the classic trick question.

        • Of course there was the whole “Was she a real Robin?” debate before editorial finally relented and allowed depiction of her Robin costume on display in the batcave like Todd’s. I think we call all agree though that regardless of the fact that DC had only elected to make her Robin in order to hype her up leading into her immediate death from comics it is impossible to argue that she wore the Robin costume, and was called Robin, in then-canon comics published in the DCU. That, factually, made her a Robin. By that logic, though, do we also consider that Azrael was “a Batman”? It feels a little wrong but it has to be so. I know I DEFINITELY count Dick as having been a Batman which is the exact same thing as the Steph situation, really

          • Oh, and I gotta throw it out there re: Classic Trick Comic Questions. I was at a 5-movie Marvel Studios marathon leading into the midnight release of The Avengers (that was awesome, btw) and they were giving out lithographs by doing trivia. So,the question was “Name all of Magneto’s children” and I was called upon. I said “Quicksilver and The Scarlet Witch”… WRONG, epic fail. I was unaware that at some point in the 2000′s a Marvel comic confirmed that Polaris is officially Magneto’s daughter; during the 90′s this was only ever hinted at and was left ambiguous. Someone had picked up the story thread much later and given confirmation.

            • Sorry for replying you so late, Mogo! You know I always thank the people who spend some time to reply to my comments, but this time your reply had passed me by.
              The trick questions you provided are very interesting, clever and, most of all, informative. For example, I ignored that Magneto had had a third child, and, honestly, I did not even know who Polaris is.
              Another X – character whose existence I ignored until a few days ago is Stryfe: he looks very interesting, I’ll probably check some of the comics he appeared in. Thank you for your reply! : )

    • Oh wow, that’s Mikel Janin on the Batgirl cover? A really good choice – I had compared his stuff to recent Ryan Sook on Twitter but this makes me realize that Adam Hughes isn’t a far-off comparison either

  4. “They made a point of soliciting a different cover for this issue, and even most of the Batman group for next month.” –

    I really like some of those (now unused?) covers, especially Detective and Birds of Prey.

    • I was wondering about this this morning; why would DC go to the trouble of soliciting alternate covers and being super cagey about it if they were going to spoil it ahead of the issue release?

    • I think Birds of Prey isn’t changing, but you’re right about those covers. I wonder if they’ll be used down the line. Also, it looks like the Batman and Robin cover is the same, they just removed Damian from the image and darkened the colors. If that’s not touchingly symbolic, I don’t know what is.

    • What is up with the Teen Titans cover? It’s like Tim is looking at the Robin uniform and either saying “I’m glad you are finally dead” or “Now I can finally be Robin!” either of which is completely out of character for him. Granted, he is currently possessed by either Trigon or Raven.

      • Tim and Damian didn’t get along, so I think DC wants the cover to make people think Tim’s happy that Damian’s dead, when the problem is mainly that Tim is possessed currently (which is leading to make out sessions with every girl on the team. Best possession ever!)

        The problem seems to be that the strategy is working, and there are a LOT of angry Tim and or Damian fans on Tumblr now.

          • They’re angry that Damian’s dead, but they’re also angry that Tim seems so goddamned happy about it.

            Obviously, most of them aren’t actually reading Teen Titans and have no idea he’s possessed right now (not that I can blame them for not reading Teen Titans)

  5. I think Damian is really dead until, at the very least, Morrison is finished with his Multiversity commitment; I think the publisher is bending over backwards to keep him happy since he may have left monthly floppies but he’s totally still doing work for them (including, let’s hope, that rumored Wonder Woman: Year One with Yanick Pacquette). I say we’ll have Harper Row as a Robin within the next year and that she’ll grow to immense popularity pending several more years of Snyder on Batman. Damian will eventually be revived (as all comics characters are) but it will be a long time from now and will be completely unrelated to the original gameplan of killing him off

    • I know you’re probably right, but I think my desire for more Damian stories has me hoping against all reason that Morrison wouldn’t pull the trigger. He certainly has a history of killing off characters, but he also has a history of faking us out with that kind of thing. I’m going to enjoy it either way, but I’m going to keep hoping Damian’s alive until the end of issue 12.

  6. I don’t know what to say that hasn’t been said already. I feel crushed that Damian is dead, I was really getting to like him, yet in a twisted way, I kind of wish DC would stop pussying out of killing their characters and just leave a few dead once in a while. Also, even though I’d had it spoiled for me, anyone who didn’t see it coming after that little heart to heart with Dick is WAY blind. Is Batman, Inc ending with issue 12? If so, I’ll be very curious to see how that all wraps up in just a few issues.

    • That would be great news, but I tend to just think that DC saw the Al Mega cover leak situation as a free pass to make a newspaper announcement that would drum up sales since the cat was already halfway out of the bag. I would argue, though, that most people would never have heard about the cover leak unless they were visiting comics news sites like every day

    • I think this was spoiled so severely because it’s going to effect literally every other Batman book. I’m sure there are a ton of people who picked up comics with the New 52 that are not reading Batman Incorporated (because it has CONFUSING ties to old continuity), and they’ll need to know what’s happening when Batman and Robin is SUPER SAD next month. Also, if you recall, the first issue of Batman Incorporated ended with basically the exact same panel (Batman cradling what appears to be Damian’s lifeless body) – we sorta need the confirmation; YES, DAMIAN IS DEAD.

      • This is a good point. I started reading Inc, but was so confused by some things I stopped because I felt like I came into a movie 2/3 of the way through. If I didn’t read stuff online, I’d have been HUGELY irritated that Robin died in a book that wasn’t named after him (since I really like Batman and Robin).

        Actually, considering my involvement in the Batman world has only been the New 52, and the only way I know Damian is Batman and Robin, him dying in a book that was mostly inscrutable to me (since I’m not an old timer) is pretty shitty. I’d never even heard of a Robin other than the original Robin before 17 issues ago.

        I realize (I guess only from you guys) that Damian was a Morrison creation that it makes sense that he wrote the story line to kill him, but seriously – I feel kind of gypped on the Greg the New Batman Reader/Robin relationship.

        • Kaif, Comixology is having a Morrison Batman and Robin and (pre-N52) Batman Incorporated sale right now. $.99 an issue. I snatched them all because I have that same feeling that I’m missing something in the new Batman Incorporated. Three-issues deep into B&R, and I’m really glad I did it.

  7. It seems that this will definitely not be a fake-out, Grant Morrison told Kevin Smith on his Fatman on Batman podcast (check those out if you’re un-familiar, kool stuff) that he’s been leading up to killing Damian basically since he created him. It’s at the beginning of the Geoff Johns episode since Kev edited it out of the GM episode so as to avoid spoiling it early (for all the good that did!)

  8. Abstrat theory for the future of Damian: Since bringing a Robin back from the dead using a Lazarus pit is pretty much the least original possible story-line going forward, I wonder if eventually evil Damian might turn not so evil and we’ll get to see an older version of Damian. Anyone?

    • Hahaha, I mentioned above that Batman and Robin 23 should be “Batman and The Heretic.”

      Burnham has said that he views Damian as “dead as Thomas and Martha.” But since this is comics, let’s play this game: what’s wrong with the Lazarus pit? I know it’s a common Batmanism, but who would be more appropriately resurrected by the pit than the air to Raj’s legacy?

      • I haven’t re-read The Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul, but I think there was something in there about the dwindling supply of Lazarus pits (oh, wait, it’s actually the Morrison Batman and Robin run, which I know you’re reading now, so I won’t spoil it) — point is, I think Morrison has effectively closed that door.

        • I won’t spoil the actual facts here for people catching up on Ra’s resurrection, but I think it would be possible for Damian brought back using a pit (let me know when I can spoil the why!), and it would be fitting being that he’s half Al Guhl, my biggest problem with that take is, as stated above, that it is well-tread ground and would be way unoriginal *coughJasonToddcough*. Also, much as I will miss Damian as a character, his death would lose much of its impact and significance if he was brought back, especially soon. Also, I’m eager to see what happens with B&R, I know there’s lots of speculation that Harper Row will don the mantle of Robin but I just can’t imagine Bruce taking on another Robin after the death of his son, possibly ever, but definitely not this soon. Time will tell!

          • It looks like Damian won’t be replaced any time soon. For a while, each issue of Batman and Robin will have it’s own title, so 19 will be Batman and Red Robin, 20 will be Batman and Red Hood, etc. (Bleeding Cool has the full list here: http://www.bleedingcool.com/2013/03/05/batman-and-robins-name-changes-requim-trade-dress-and-worlds-finest-sell-outs/). All told, there are plans through issue 23, and I could see that being enough time to debut a new robin in issue 24. That’s obviously less time than the 15-issue span between Jason’s death and Tim taking on the role Sean pointed out above, but it might be enough. Who knows? Maybe they’ll keep Batman and … as a cameo title for a lot longer.

            • Best news in that link is an issue of Batman and Catwoman, not so much because she’s more interesting than the other featured characters, but because it’ll be a rare non-shitty Catwoman appearance (the only since Batgirl’s annual, actually). Man, I hope Geoff Johns is going to right that ship in JLA.

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  10. Can Bruce get a dog now? -_- Not funny? Well, Batman isn’t funny… at least modern Batman isn’t. Reading interviews with Morrison… this dude really thinks he’s God’s gift to Bat-fans. Twit. I didn’t see anything in his run that hasn’t been explored before to some degree by Burton and Timm in their takes. Burton covered his full psychology, while Timm covered the broader range of his comic mythos, and even explored the whole Bruce has a genetic son angle. Another dead-but-not-really-dead Robin then. Oh, joy.

    • I agree that a lot of other people have also expressed interesting things about Batman – including his psychology and role in comics history – but it’s totally unfair to take a stance that no new ground can be covered. Further, it’s a pretty far cry to claim that Morrison hasn’t added anything to the Batman mythology. We’re all allowed to have our own favorite Batman creators, so I’d ask you to have a little bit more respect for Morrison that to off-handedly refer to him as a ‘twit.’

      Also, Bruce has a dog – he bought him for Damian. His name is Titus.

    • I’m sorry, I know that Burton’s “Batman” has a lot of supporters and it made Batman “cool” to mainstream audiences again, but I have very little respect for a guy who tries to make a comic book movie and yet says things like “Anybody who knows me knows I would never read a comic book.” I believe we’ve found our twit.

      • Again, I don’t just want to dismiss a creative person (probably one that’s made stuff you love) just because you don’t share the exact same values. TO BE FAIR – that “never read a comic book” quote is something Kevin Smith relayed right? And is in the context of this faux-fight they were having, so who knows if its accurate. For someone so interested in art and drawing, I sorta have a hard time believing that Burton’s never read a comic.

        • I guess he could be making that up, I didn’t consider that, but I don’t know why he would (or wouldn’t). It hasn’t been refuted as far as I can see either. My point was, were I to take Smith’s claims at face value, is that without an appreciation of the source material, I have little to no respect for anything Burton has to say about Batman.

          Nolan didn’t know much about Batman, so he decided to work with Goyer who has worked in comics and knows a lot about the character. You can see a lot of that influence in Nolan’s films. Burton’s movies gave me things like Batman killing people and women getting resurrected by kitty licks.

          • Your prejudice against Kitty Licks as a viable and alternative method for dealing with the health issue known as ‘death’ is a clear sign of your Western bias and a lack of appreciation for lesser known holistic practices.

          • And that’s great – I think we should be able to say that Burton does a piss-poor job of exploring Batman’s world / psychology / history / etc. But he did achieve something neat regarding the “mood” of Batman (aided in no small part by Danny Elfman) – and I don’t think that should be discounted.

            Also, my point was just that I don’t like slinging mud at creative people in such a generalized way. I mean, come on – the man made Beetlejuice.

            • You are right, and I don’t want to discount everything about those movies. But, while I am slinging mud, I’m trying to do it in a very specific way. One of my biggest pet peeves is an adaptation that doesn’t rely on the source material. Beetlejuice is a wonderful and original work. Burton can do whatever he likes with that character because it’s his. On the other hand, Batman isn’t his creation and so I find it disrespectful not to acknowledge where that character comes from.

              Of course, not all adaptations stick to the source material. The Shining or more recently Silver Linings Playbook are good examples of that, but I enjoy those films. I’m not saying they are better or worse than the source material, but they are good movies. So maybe my pet peeve is more accurately described as when adaptations don’t rely on the source material and (in my opinion) are worse off for it. I don’t know if that’s fair, but it’s how I feel anyway.

    • I’m really surprised to hear the suggestion that Burton adequately covered Batman’s psychology. Frankly, I’m surprised to hear the suggestion that Burton covered Batman’s psychology at all. The only thing I can think of is the scene where he places roses on the street where his parents died, which was decidedly NOT Burton’s invention. Moreover, his take on Batman was so largely influenced by Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns, I’d hesitate to attribute anything to Burton.

      Morrison’s take is much more nuanced (and much funnier) than anything we saw in either of Burton’s movies or the animated series. I don’t love everything about Morrison’s run, but to say that it isn’t distinct simply strikes me as way off base.

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