WHY KILL Damian Wayne?
That is the nagging question upon seeing that DC Comics is killing the 10-year-old son of Batman, who also happens to be the current Robin the Boy Wonder.
It doesn’t make sense. Especially given the success of Scott Snyder’s recent two storylines (Night of the Owls and the Joker-fueled Death of the Family), Batman doesn’t need a gimmick death for attention. So why is writer Grant Morrison taking Robin down in the issue of Batman Incorporated (#8) that hit stands today?
Maybe this was his plan all along, from the moment Morrison introduced Damian as the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul in the “Batman and Son” storyline back in 2006. Morrison has even touted the fact that Robin would die a “heroic” death.
It took a long time for Damian to grow on me as Robin. But I admit that one of the most intriguing aspects of him as a Boy Wonder (in addition to him being so young) was the elephant in the room — namely, how dangerous of a man he could grow up to be because of his lineage and lethality.
Tim Drake, the previous Robin (now Red Robin) could sense that danger, and has always had a less than trusting relationship with Damian as a result.
It’s worth noting that all three previous Robins have reached adulthood in the DC universe. (The first Robin, Dick Grayson, was introduced in 1940; and Jason Todd was killed in 1988, but this Robin was resurrected seven years later.) The thought of Damian growing up in the future long seemed fascinating.
So why do it? Why kill him?
Two reasons come to mind.
1. For DC decision-makers to take such a popular, in-his-prime character out of the picture, they must have someone else who they feel is equally (if not more) intriguing than Damian they can introduce. Batman will almost always have a Robin, and rumors are rampant that a new (possibly female) Robin is on the horizon.
Will a new Robin have the same impact as Damian had a few years ago? Clearly, DC must think so.
2. Let’s not forget who Damian is: Although he’s half Wayne, he’s also half al Ghul. His mother, Talia, is the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, one of Batman’s greatest foes. A man who has stayed alive for centuries using Lazarus pits. Lazarus pits that have the power to bring someone back from the dead.
As unwise as it may seem for DC to kill Damian at all — let alone so soon — it’s even more unwise to think that we’ll never see him again.