Damian Wayne Enters New Era, Time To Win Over Haters

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Bruce Wayne’s son, Damian, is a character that has divided fans for eleven years. The character we’ve come to know as Robin was created by Grant Morrison in 2006 (Batman #657). You either love him or hate him as the boy wonder. With DC Rebirth, Damian Wayne enters a new era, it’s time to win over the haters.

On the surface, Damian is a cold and calculated murder machine keeping his killer instincts at bay. A robotic little boy torn between the world of his mother (Talia Al Ghul) and his father (Batman). That tough exterior hides the innocent young man inside, eager to make his dad proud and eventually carry on his legacy.

Damian Wayne Nightwing cvr

More recently, Damian has been slowly been exposing his desire to just be a kid his age. Every scenario involving another super-powered person around his age is an opportunity for him to be a human being. Damian Wayne does not waste his opportunities. He’s secretly desperate to fit in and understand what being a kid is; and a human for that matter.

In Nightwing, Damian is currently partnering up with Dick Grayson, reliving their Batman & Robin days. His insistence to tag along on Nightwing’s very personal mission is like that of a nagging little brother. A highly relatable scene for most readers. He’s also obsessed with the notion that Dick wants to, once again, become Batman. He can’t stand for that, to him that’s the ultimate endgame. There’s no better way for anyone to earn Batman’s approval, which is his Damian’s top priority.

Nightwing brings out the sidekick dynamic and banter that made Morrison’s run a classic. Damian has his guard up constantly, Dick has the ability to get him to drop it. Their time together is always fun. Damian looks up to Grayson as his older brother, although he won’t admit it. His constant judgment and criticism masks his love and Dick knows it.

Damian Teen Titans pg

Teen Titans shows Damian emerging as a selfless leader of the young hero team. His teammates are quite skeptical, even hostile, towards him at first. He’s desperate to win them over, and to fit in with his peers. Super-powered kids are his only shot at having anything close to a friend. Damian mocks his fellow Titans but inside he wants nothing more than to have their social life.

Not only is Damian making an effort to gain friends, but also a significant effort to solidify a “best” friend. Super Sons chronicles the adventures of Robin and Superboy, Jon Kent. Their rivalry is blossoming into a beautiful friendship. The series exposes his innocence in the most intimate ways. His approach to Jon is like that of a young girl teasing her crush that she secretly admires.

Damian Wayne Super Sons

The two boys are learning what it is to be a true hero, and how to live up to their fathers’ names. They also embark on superhero adventures that we regular folk used to pretend we were on. Damian and Jon’s development together has been heartwarming and entertaining. Hopefully the goodwill and appeal of Jon Kent can translate into Damian haters finally opening their hearts to him.

All these titles are making significant progress in developing Damian as a character. Surrounding him with characters away from his father that he strides to impress. Placing him in scenarios that expose the child underneath that cold exterior. These series’ have all delivered a story that readers can relate to in some way. Humanizing the character in a new way, without compromising his already established attributes.

It may still be too early to tell, but DC Rebirth may be what wins over the skeptics. Damian Wayne may never be the “best” Robin (Tim Drake), or most popular (Dick Grayson), but he might be forging his way into the top three.


How do you feel about Damian? If you’ve read these comics, do you think he’s been more digestible? Is DC Rebirth a step in the right direction for Damian haters? Which of these books do you enjoy the most? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Brandon J. Griffinhttps://twitter.com/griffunk
New Jersey scum who worships comic books like religious literature. Yell at me on Twitter @griffunk

3 COMMENTS

  1. Wow so many hater’s. Damian is the best Robin, he is the only reason i started reading DC comics, and when i abandon Marvel, Robin:son of Batman was the only comic i was pulling out of the big two, now with rebirth im reading tons of DC, i wouldn’t have with out the blood son Robin. I thoroughly enjoy every book he is in, tough i agree on the criticism of having an adult follow a prepubescent child is kind of stupid, especially sense this Robin is so socially awkward(tough he has gotten much better, i wouldn’t really want him to change that much tough, part of his charm is being like that) i much rather see him win the mantle of leader after a successful run, kind like Drake in young justice, except better because it’s Damian, and later on win the Cowl, it’s his birthright.

  2. The little brat should’ve stayed dead.

    There is nothing to like about Damian Wayne. Nothing. He’s a homicidal little monster who I don’t believe ever shows any remorse for all the murders he’s committed — or even thinks that killing is wrong, beyond “Father and Grayson don’t like it”. If that weren’t enough, he’s an irritating arrogant snot who constantly treats everyone like dirt, never showing any humility or gratitude. If THAT weren’t enough, he’s also been handed the mantle of Robin despite being the complete opposite of what Robin is supposed to be, do and represent. And if THAT weren’t enough, he’s constantly being pushed in the Batman books so you can’t even try to ignore him and pretend the character doesn’t exist, and he has a legion of apologists on the internet who keep insisting that everyone has to love him. (“Read Morrison’s run! Oh, you did, and you still hate him? Well, read Tomasi’s run, that’s sure to make you like him! That didn’t work either? Well, read the next thing, and the next thing, and the next thing — sooner or later you’re sure to love him, honest!”)

  3. I…. think you are reading into it too much. I have been reading Batman, Nightwing, Teen Titans and Super Sons and all I am seeing is a kid who is rude, disrespectful and incredibly arrogant.

    Of all his Rebirth appearances, I have actually enjoyed his brief involvement with Deathstroke the most. His personality seemed to work there. His time with Jon Kent is tolerable, but still far from likeable and his pairing with Dick is similarly ok, but not great.

    Damian is just flat-out annoying and seems analogous to Wesley Crusher, Data and Seven of Nine in Star Trek in that they are all just overly competent to the point of rendering other characters less consequential. The worst, to me, is his leadership role in the Teen Titans. I know it’s because Robin (in whichever iteration) is traditionally the leader, but if he HAS to lead, Starfire needs to leave. Having an adult follow the orders of a pre-pubescent boy doesn’t make him look competent as much as it makes her look stupid.

    I’d love to see Damian become a likeable, good character, but I’m not holding out much hope other than Rebirth somehow completely rewriting his personality.

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