No matter how you look at it, Damian: Son of Batman #1 is an odd comic. Written and drawn by Andy Kubert, the first issue of the four-issue mini-series is set in a parallel world that seems to have more in common with the pre-New 52 version of the DCU than the current state of things. In this reality it’s Batman, not Damian, who is killed in action, forcing his partner to go on without him.
Kubert makes several interesting choices including choosing to clad Damian in his original Robin costume from Grant Morrison’s run that introduced the character rather than the version he wore as Dick Grayson‘s, and later Bruce Wayne’s, partner. Kubert also takes the opportunity to chip away a bit at Morrison’s clone origin (and embracing Mike Barr’s original story) by suggesting Damian was more of a test-tube baby than a true scientific experiment.
With Batman vanquished, and Ra’s al Ghul and Talia washing their hands of Batman’s son, and no other member of the Bat-Family in sight, Damian is left to his own devices which leads the young man to brutally work his way through his father’s rogues gallery (mostly off-panel).
I was against DC placating Morrison to kill off the popular character he never intending to keep around more than a handful of issues. Although set in the future, Kubert’s choice to clad Damian in his original costume rather than something closer to what he died is a bit perplexing as is the absences of Grayson or any other member of the Bat-Family willing to step in and help pick up the slack following the Dark Knight’s death.
I’m not sure that I’l stick with the mini-series until the end (especially as the final couple of panels suggest the story taking a bizarre left-turn as soon as the beginning of issue #2), but for fans of the character the first-quarter of Kubert’s story is an interesting read. Worth a look.