This is the best cover I’ve seen in 10 years,” the shop patron of Player’s Choice said to me as I laid my copy of Batman #18 on the counter. And he was right. Years from now the cover and the reason behind it would rightfully take its place in comic history. Much like the Batman INC #8 of a soaring Damian Wayne dressed in his Robin garbs (quite symbolic of death and transcending to the afterlife), Batman 18 is equally as somber.
Perched atop Damian’s iconic green, boots is a single robin bird. It is a simple image that speaks volumes hauntingly. A hero’s death is never easy to take even within the comic world where deaths are rarely permanent. DC lost one of their most captivating characters. Damian Wayne had one of the best developments of any comic character in recent years. It’s tough to think he is gone for good. I went from disliking him to absolutely adoring him in the span of a few years.
Batman and Robin #18 offers more up more emotion as it does not even use words to convey the pain
within. Considering Batman and Robin was truly were Damian grew up starting with Dick Grayson wearing the cowl and then, in the new 53, under the tutelage of his father, this issue seems appropriate to better remember the young Wayne heir.
Joey Esposito of IGN said it best why Damain was the best Robin and I wholeheartedly agree. Damian even considered himself entitled to the role in prior to ever meeting his father. Once he was even alone with the Robin at the time, Tim Drake, he battled him to prove himself that the title of Robin was rightfully his. Damian was born for the role, but he needed to grow into it. It was under Dick Grayson as Batman, in my opinion, that Damian truly began to come in his own. Being born to be a part of the Bat Family only goes so far and it was within the Black Mirror arc that Damian started to seem more human, more vulnerable, and capable of wearing the red and yellow.
As heart wrenching as it is to see my favorite comic book character meet a demise that I feel is all too premature, it is artfully poetic that he met his end at the hands of an adult sized Damian clone. Surely, no one else would be a match for the Son of the Bat.