It’s all come to this in Batman & Robin #37 by Peter Tomasi, art by Patrick Gleason, inker Mick Gray, and John Kalisz, lettering by Carlos M. Mangual.
Batman and Darkseid face off for Damian’s body. It seems pretty skewed and not looking good for Bruce, but this is 100% superfluous “Bat-God” Bruce Wayne in action so it quickly becomes a display of Bruce’s perseverance . I really cannot describe it any other way.
Batman boom tubes Kalibak away from the place as Tim and Jason defend everyone from encroaching parademons and Apokolipsian hoards. Along with Babs, their Robin suits are probably some of the best looking costumes of the Nu52, it’s tragic they won’t be used or retconned into anything.
This is crazy, beautiful work from all involved. It’s not perfect, actually some of the dialogue here; “What?! The Omega beams should have destroyed you– instead they’re attracted to the chaos shard like a magnet” is embarrassingly comic-booky, which is surprising as Tomasi is usually good at delivering quality action without the cheese, but I almost don’t care, because with a plunge of an omega beam charged chaos shard (what is this Sonic?), Damian Wayne, in a white League shroud, is back in action.
I do think Damian had gotten a raw deal. I understand he was always meant to die and had meant to die much earlier than he had, but I can’t shake the feeling that Batman Incorporated ended in a way that was not 100% the way it was originally intended and Damian dying was the ultimate “putting the toys back in the box” reaction to the reboot from Morrison. He did, however, notably leave it all open for him to come back and I’m thankful and thankful for the fickle nature of comic books.
I could be wrong about Morrison really taking the entire narrative on a much more cynical bent, considering that title was preboot a launchpad for so many new things in the status quo of the Batfamily (alas poor Steph’s first Bruce team up as Batgirl) that have since been wiped. I’m probably wrong, but whatever, Damian got a raw deal and I’m so glad Tomasi is the one to bring him back. Tomasi has long been a great writer for the Batfamily, he understands a lot of them. He gets Tim, he gets Dick, he seems to understand Babs.
I was so glad to see Babs actually doing computer work on Cyborg. They’ve been so phobic about showing Babs’ competency with computers since the reboot, its her special “thing” as Batgirl (The brainy one!) and this nod that hey…she’s kind of a genius, was such a great sight to see because they just don’t really show it anywhere else. I would have liked to see her have more confidence, but it was still pretty awesome.
Anyway, Tomasi’s done an amazing job on Damian, and I’m so glad he’s the one in charge here. I’m not sure I’d want any other team.
This is pretty cheesy too in some ways, but it’s so cathartic. So honest. And quite frankly, I want to give Damian back to Bruce because it means less man-pain for this grown man in a bat-suit. So not really much to complain about. It’s ridiculous, it’s so comic book, but it got what people wanted done; a living Damian. And now he has powers to boot!
I can’t wait to see how this turns out, if this means Carrie Kelly will be returning shortly into the fold (she was Damian’s friend after all), what his powers mean, how long will they last, what the twist will be because I’m sure there’s a twist. I hope our joy at having the young Robin back doesn’t turn into tears in the Batman and Robin book anytime soon!