Damian: Son of Batman #2 (Comics Review)

Damian Wayne, the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul. One of the most annoying young characters I’ve read in comics to date. I came across him for the first time in Scott Snyder’s Batman #1 and since then I’ve seen him around in various books, especially Peter J. Tomasi’s Batman and Robin Volume 1, where he was extremely irritating and angsty like hell. Grant Morrison killed off the character earlier this year, ending a long arc that began when he first introduced him a few years back and in the wake of that… tragedy, DC first announced and then began publishing this “what if?” mini-series that takes a look at what and who Damian could have been if he had survived.

I read the first issue last month and I was extremely disappointed with it. The story was quite weak and the art followed suit. I’ve read some of Andy Kubert’s writing before, and he’s quite an unimpressive writer, fairly mediocre from my experience. This issue, and the previous one, both show that Kubert’s strengths are definitely not in telling a story with words, or even basic plotting, because both issues are seriously out of whack with what’s happening in the New 52, and even in terms of internal consistency.

Note: This contains some major spoilers about the issue.

Damian - Son of Batman 02The previous issue had a lot of things. Batman died. Damian was all bro ken up about it. He went for help to his mother and the League of Assassins. Then he went on a killing spree, taking out some B-list, even C-list Batman villains as revenge. And all the while, he still suffered from the depression at watching his father die right in front of his eyes. But, and here’s the big question: was it really Bruce Wayne who died? That’s the question that this issue answers and it makes a full mess of things.

To begin, it was Dick Grayson who died in the previous issue, not Bruce Wayne. The original Batman is still around, although now he is old as in Commissioner Gordon was old in Batman: The Animated Series. With all the murders going on, Bruce has returned to teach Damian a lesson because the kid violated the one big rule of the Bat-family: never kill. After the last issue, I wasn’t really of a mind to read this new one, but I couldn’t hold back my curiosity and wanted to read it myself. I so wish that I hadn’t, because this was just as terrible an issue as its predecessor, if not more so, and I find myself pretty disgusted with how Kubert has handled the story.

What I find problematic is that Kubert seems to be making things as he goes along, rather than having an actual long-term plan where he’s worked out all the kinks. If it was Dick who died in the previous issue, then why was there no allusion to that in it besides some overly formal, cliched dialogue which does not fit in with Dick’s personality at all? At “Batman’s” funeral, why was the absence of as prominent a member as Bruce himself not noted? Is the priest that Damian visits regularly Gordon or not? Since when did Damian find god? Was that really Joker in drag that we see around the half-way mark or is Harley Quinn (this was also the weirdest sequence in the entire issue, a total “WTF?”)? Where does Damian get his Bat-suit? Did he design it? Was it already made and ready for him? Why is no one else in the Bat-family even stepping in? What are Jason, Tim, Barbara, Selina, and the others doing? What is Harper Row doing?

There are so many damn questions here and none of them are answered. Kubert is on his merry way and it seems that there’s no editorial control over this mini-series at all.

Kubert’s art, which is generally decent, was sub-par as well. His faces were largely a mess this time around because he has that annoying tendency to fill them with too many lines and what not. He can do some great covers, but internal artwork not so much. And considering how high-profile this supposedly Elseworlds but somehow New 52 mini-series is supposed to be, it doesn’t make sense for DC to put someone like Kubert on both writing and art duties.

Brad Anderson does a fairly good job with the colours, but there isn’t much that he can do on his own when the artwork isn’t all that good. And Nick Napolitano’s letters, in and of themselves were fine, but the box-outs that are used for them are horrible. Not to mention that I still have no idea what kind of a dating system is being used for the style. Is it a diary entry of some kind? Or something else?

Frankly, this was a very, very disappointing issue. From one freshman slump to a sophomore slump.

Rating: 2/10

More Damian: #1.

Posted on December 3, 2013, in Comics Reviews, Review Central and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

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