Growing as a family: A review of Batman and Robin #8

Damian has taken a life and it is unclear how Bruce will handle it.

Post contains spoilers

Damian has taken the life of Nobody, something that Bruce had hoped that would never happen has come to pass. But now is not the time to worry about this, the boat they are trapped in is on fire and slowly sinking. Damian soon passes out from his fight with Nobody and this leaves Bruce to get him home. Upon returning home Bruce refuses treatment for his injuries until Damian is taken care of. When Alfred reminds Bruce that he also needs to be checked out Bruce snaps. One panel you can see him looking over at the costume of Jason Todd, who died on the job, reminding Bruce that he has lost a Robin before.

Bruce calms down once he finds out that Damian doesn’t have any major damage. He also explains and tells Alfred what has happened between Damian and Nobody and takes his leave. As he wanders around the house Bruce finds himself torn. Damian and Nobody were only feet away from him, just like his parents. A few feet, that can mean the different between life and death. Bruce soon passes out and is later found by Alfred who demands that he take some rest for himself.

Bruce gives Damian the recording he made while looking for him. After listening to it he comforts Bruce about the events of the past few days. Damian realizes that his father wanted to kill Morgan just as much as he did, only Bruce wouldn’t. Bruce tries to explain to Damian that he has the urge to kill but fights it back, because a path of death and vengeance is a prefect way to get yourself killed. However when Bruce started his quest for justice, he made a promise to himself and his parents not to kill. No matter how hard it gets, he won’t. This is what confuses Damian, he still sees that killing as an option. It might be the last option, but it still on the table. Damian admits to not being sure if he can believe in that, but Bruce reminds him that he has to, or else the path of destruction he would leave behind would not only kill the bad guys but eventually him.

Now here is a Damian Wayne I have never seen or even heard of. A Damian who is scared and worried. He tells Bruce that he does not want to be like Morgan Ducard but wants to be like his father, that has always been what he wanted. And while chasing that dream, Damian forgets who and what he is. However Bruce reminds him of one simple fact, that he is his son. When Damian asks what he can do to make up for his crime, Bruce tells him he can’t take that back, but what he can do is remember what he has done for the rest of his life so it does not happen again.

The issue ends on a really light note for a Batman comic. Alfred, Damian, and Bruce playing fetch with the dog(Which Damian has named Titus). It is really nice to see Bruce and Damian enjoying themselves and not having to chase after the next bad guy. This doesn’t last long, just as they are about to head back inside, the Bat Signal is shining in the sky. And when duty calls, Bruce and Damian answer.

Now I realized something reading this issue and thinking back about the other Batman titles I have read and the past Batman and Robin issues. In Batman and Robin you see a lot more of a human and emotional Bruce. Not saying he is a robot in other titles, but it just not something you see on the page. Here you get to see him not only act as Batman, but as a father. It is really nice to see. It makes Batman seem human because despite the fact that he doesn’t have laser eyes, he seems more superhuman then most. It is refreshing to see him in Batman and Robin. I mean we have even seen a few cases about Bruce talking about his parents to Damian. Now if we could just figure out how he has the time to be in so many titles.

Also I was shocked to see how Bruce handled Damian killing Morgan. At first I thought that it would go on for a few issue more about not trusting his son. But then I remembered how close it is until Night of Owls. Still it seems a bit quick for Bruce to turn the other check, but maybe that goes back to my other point about Bruce seeming more human in Batman and Robin. You would think if Green Lantern kills someone in Justice League Batman would be all over that one. However here, Bruce is able to see the struggle his son has and understand it.

 

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