There comes a time when each Robin should depart the nest. Dick Grayson left Wayne Manor in Batman #217 and commenced a sequence of solo adventures on his school campus. After getting back from the useless, Jason Todd selected to go his personal means as Purple Hood. Tim Drake started patrolling the streets on his personal when Batman’s alternative Jean Paul Valley kicked him out of the Batcave. Stephanie Brown—properly, she all the time marched to the beat of her personal drum. So the place does that depart Damian Wayne?
The present Boy Surprise is putting out on his personal in his ongoing self-titled sequence, which not too long ago launched its first commerce paperback assortment, Robin Vol. 1: The Lazarus Event. The storyline finds Robin attending a martial arts event run by a mysterious group often known as the League of Lazarus. The event pits Damian up towards a number of the best fighters on the planet, together with Connor Hawke and Rose Wilson. And in case you suppose Damian will simply make brief work of all of them, properly, know that the Boy Surprise graphically will get his coronary heart ripped out of his chest earlier than the tip of the primary challenge.
Teen Titans GO! this isn’t.
This additionally isn’t Damian’s first prolonged solo outing. The Boy Surprise beforehand starred in his personal ongoing Robin: Son of Batman and led the Teen Titans. But this feels completely different. Though Robin was putting out on his personal, you continue to bought the sense that he was coming house to Wayne Manor infrequently. Now Damian feels decided to carve out his personal identification. The place is that this want coming from? I feel it’s a mix of three issues.
The primary one is the only—he’s fourteen years previous. Each teenager rebels and strives for independence in some unspecified time in the future. It’s a pure a part of rising up. As a lot as Damian likes to faux he’s atypical, on the finish of the day he’s extra like a median child than he needs to confess. Some youngsters sneak out of the home or get a tattoo. Damian attends tournaments the place he fights a bunch of lethal assassins. Typical teenager stuff.
The second motive is Damian is struggling to make sense of his personal identification as he’s pulled between two households. He’s the grandson of Ra’s al Ghul and the son of Batman, which suggests he’s consistently being pulled in two completely different instructions. This can be a drawback not one of the different Robins ever had. The beliefs Dick Grayson discovered from his acrobatic dad and mom have been by no means challenged by Bruce Wayne’s parenting. Stephanie Brown might need had a prison father, however he was not an lively a part of her upbringing.
When he’s with the Bat-Household, Damian is consistently criticized for being too bloodthirsty. When he’s together with his mom Talia, he’s consistently criticized for not being bloodthirsty sufficient. Is it any marvel Robin is struggling to determine who he’s within the grand scheme of issues? Damian is hoping the Lazarus Event can show his value past his heritage.
The third and most tragic motive for Robin’s riot is the loss of life of Alfred. Think about how the loss of life of Thomas and Martha Wayne formed Bruce, then cease to remind your self that Damian by no means needed to expertise a tragedy like that. That each one modified when Alfred was murdered earlier than his eyes within the “Metropolis of Bane” storyline. Robin looks like Alfred’s loss of life is his duty, and he isn’t certain deal with that grief.
This is perhaps a sizzling take, however I’m calling the Bat-Household out for the way in which they dealt with Damian’s feelings after Alfred’s loss of life. In Batman: Pennyworth R.I.P. #1, Damian tells everybody that Alfred’s loss of life was his fault, he is aware of that they blame him, after which runs out of the wake in tears. Not one member of the Bat-Household follows him. After he leaves, they acknowledge it wasn’t his fault, however he was now not there to listen to it. He wanted to listen to that from them. He wanted consolation. Damian’s carrying round a variety of guilt, particularly for a kid.
I feel everyone seems to be underestimating how a lot Alfred’s loss of life has shaken Damian. The truth is, all through the Lazarus Event, Damian regularly has imaginary conversations with Alfred’s ghost. Pennyworth followers will likely be happy to see that the butler nonetheless has his traditional wit, even when he’s only a figment of Robin’s creativeness. At one other level within the story Damian alludes to Alfred’s loss of life, and the way he hopes the event will give him an opportunity to redeem himself.
In some ways, Damian has already modified the position of Robin. All through Dick Grayson’s tenure, Batman and Robin have been an inseparable Dynamic Duo. Though Tim Drake had his personal solo sequence, he was nonetheless often by Batman’s facet within the Darkish Knight’s personal titles. It’s been completely different with Damian. His early years as Robin have been full of team-ups alongside Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne, however that appears to have modified. Think about this, what number of Batman and Robin team-up tales are you able to recall from the previous six years?
Beneath Damian’s tenure, Robin is now not as tied to Batman as he as soon as was, and that’s not essentially a foul factor. Don’t get me mistaken, he’ll all the time be the son of Batman and an vital a part of the mythos, nevertheless it doesn’t imply they should be inseparable. The Lazarus Event won’t maintain the solutions Damian is in search of, nevertheless it’s an vital step in his journey. Robin has left the nest, and I’m wanting to see the place his flight will take him.
Robin Vol. 1: The Lazarus Event by Joshua Williamson, Gleb Melnikov and Jorge Corona is now obtainable in bookstores, comedian retailers, libraries and as a digital graphic novel. You may also learn Robin’s ongoing sequence on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE.
Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, films and comics for DCComics.com and writes our month-to-month Batman column, “Gotham Gazette.” Comply with him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.