Monday, September 17, 2012

Batman and Robin #0

Hey guys, JT here with my last post until NCD when a plethora of comics will be released and some will be subsequently reviewed by the best duo since Kenan and Kel, JT and X. So, let's get through this month's Batman and Robin, focusing on the past of Damian Wayne.

Batman and Robin #0

Summary: This issue is about Damian's past, so we start things off a year and a half ago, seeing Damian falling from the sky wielding swords and and fighting a Manbat. Damian says "No more secrets, Mother." or something to the gist of that, as we flashback even further into the past. We see Damian being born in some kind of advanced test tube child scenario, when his mother Talia takes him and lowers him into a pool of water, to show he's strong enough to survive. A woman tells Talia that's not the best idea, ya know, cause it's not... and apparently neither is doubting Talia because she kills the woman with quickness that would surprise Wally West. The woman's corpse and blood fall into the water with Damian, seemingly symbolizing that even out of the womb, he's surrounded by death. From there we jump forward a few years to see Damian and Talia sparring with swords when Damian asks about his father. Talia says he can meet his father when he proves himself worthy, by beating her in a duel on his birthday and earning the opportunity to meet him. Over the next few years we see Damian aging and doing things most people would never dream like, like beheading a Tiger with a scythe (wtf?), Sniping people, killing sharks, and playing classical music, cause he may be a demon spawn, but he knows how to appreciate the fine arts! Each year on his birthday, Damian's mom gives him a gift, the gift of an ass whooping, and the bow she wraps it with is "Happy birthday Damian. You lose." We fast forward to a year and a half ago again, as we see Damian taking out a bunch of his mother's men and a Manbat, before having a brutal fight with Talia where he finally brings the receipt of that ass whooping and exchanges it for his father's name. Talia finally tells Damian about Batman and the issue comes to a close with the exact scene of Damian and Batman meeting that we've all seen before.

Thoughts: Well... Happy Birthday, Damian. You lose. That was my favorite part of this. I can't say I cared for this, but I will explain why. To me, the concept of the Zero issues were either to explain what did and didn't happen, or to show us something completely new. My problem is, we already KNEW all of this. We knew Damian was a test tube baby, we knew he was raised among murderers and criminals, and we know what terms he met Batman under. We didn't really learn anything. This wasn't a bad story, but it seemed like a waste of the Zero issue storytelling. Now if we'd had this issue chronicling a bit about each of the Robin's past, instead of doing that in Batman, then we could get maybe, five or six pages per Robin's past, then the rest could be delved into in other books like Nightwing, Red Hood, and Teen Titans. Or even doing like five pages for those guys and seven or eight dedicated to Damian. That aside, once again, this issue wasn't bad, but I felt it could've explored some different things for Damian's past.

Score: 6/10 

Talia: Happy Birthday, Damian. You lose. (I like mixing it with "YOU LOSE, GOOD DAY SIR!" from Willy Wonka.)


  1. Shit...... It's been too long since I came back to comics after like a 6 month hiatus. And there have been so many changes since I left. In the blog that is. Anyways I came back coz of the zero issues and have now decided to not abandon you two again. Agree with you on this issue Todd. We already knew this but it didn't explain why Damian had 10 birthdays! When the dcnu started 5 yrs ago. I mean there was a scene when Damian was a toddler for gods sake! Once again in my opinionthe dcnu fails to answer questions and raises new ones.

  2. Hm... my ONLY explanation, while covering DC's ass, is probably the fact that when Damian and Bruce meet, it was a year and a half ago. One COULD argue that Damian is ten now, so on that birthday he would've been 9 or so, and five years ago he'd be four... so maybe he was four when the story starts? Either way, DCnU is confusing and they seem to not give a shit, which annoys me immensely. And thanks for the comment dude.

  3. Ugh. My only real question is why Talia would have slept with Bruce Wayne ten years ago when, according to the timeframe we've been given, he JUST left Gotham for his four-year world tour. He would've just become Batman when Damian pulls that costume from Talia's trunk, so, what, did he become Batman and then immediately sleep with Talia again? The good news is that it's a lot more plausible than Dick's history. I was pretty much ready to call it quits after "Batman" #0 just because of the continuity shenanigans. I mean, at this point, Dick is anywhere between 17 and 25 years old, by my reckoning. WTF, DC?

    1. Guh... I've sadly given up all hope of figuring out the ages of the various Bat-characters in the New 52 DCU, JW... It doesn't seem like the writers/editors could care less anymore. In the pre-reboot DCU? The various Robins ages weren't that difficult to decipher. But now? What a mess... And the weirdest thing is the fact that it's completely possible that Jason is OLDER than Dick! Bizarre!!

  4. Exactly! I mean, you could always say she just got Bruce's DNA and made Damian, hence his test tube-ness but still, why?! He was barely Batman at that point.

    And yeah, the stuff with Dick was... how old is he?! He HAD to be like 16 when his parents died according to Batman because Jason had to be AT LEAST 14 when they robbed that store right? He didn't look like a child. Also, X and I was saying, isn't it weird how Jason was the only one that was written to be likable? Tim was kind of a smart ass, Dick was a show off and seemed to be rather nonchalant about the whole show thing. "Come see me, I'm the reason the Flying Graysons rule." Basically, then Jason is being nice, calming people down, dispensing justice with his fists... so.. yeah.

  5. Jason definitely looked older in the flashback, JT. But, Dick definitely looks older now. Is it because he didn't age while he was dead? That would be an excuse, but I'm sure it's not anywhere near as coordinated as that.

    Excellent call, JT, about Jason being the only likable one. I thought Tynion and Clarke actually did the best job with him. That panel where he was walking down the street, with his friend's blood on his shirt, really got across the message. Dick's in a famous circus family and Tim's a middle-school genius...and Jason's walking alone done a deserted street after having tried to rob a convenience store and watching his friend kill someone. Tell me THAT story, DC. Stop with putting the guy in space and just tell me THAT story, of how he became Robin and how it didn't work.

  6. Sadly, I could see DC stealing that answer and saying Jason didn't age while dead, but how long could he really have BEEN dead, you know?

    Agreed, that was where he was likable, he still had the Jason snark to him, but he was hardened and still had emotions, like Jason should. I couldn't agree more JW, THAT'S the story we want, not Jason in space, not all caste stuff, not Jason banging an alien chick, just give us Jason the way he should be. Nightwing but a little further, Batman but a little further, The Kaine/Venom of the group of Spideys, The Anti-Hero of the Bats.