The first eight issues of the hit DC COMICS – THE NEW 52 series is collected for the first time in trade paperback! Batman and Damian – the new Robin – are driven apart by the insidious Nobody!
Of all the DC heroes that I’ve read or watched since childhood, I’ve loved Batman the most. Yet, since I started this blog, I’ve only reviewed one Batman title, one that was released back when I was a kid in the ’90’s. Meanwhile, after 8 1/2 years of not reading any comics, I’ve come to enjoy numerous DC titles, from Wonder Woman New 52 to Superman Rebirth. As for the Dark Knight, well, as far as I’m concerned, Batman lost my interest in 2006, when Batman and Son became a thing.
Damian Wayne is the reason I don’t like the new Batman. For one, I never understood why Batman had a kid in the first place. Sure, he had wards in the form of Dick Grayson, but I didn’t think Batman would be so weak minded that he would think with his penis for a night… with the daughter of one of his most dangerous enemies.
Meanwhile, Damien Wayne just seems like the worst aspects of ’90’s anti-heroes trapped in a ten-year-old kid. He tries way to hard to be edgy, and it isn’t cool or fun to read; half the time, I’m thinking why Batman puts up with this. He didn’t put up with this from Jason Todd, and he never tolerates this from bad guys he interrogates. Having to remind a Robin that killing and excessive violence is wrong just seems like Todd all over again, and also comes across as a huge distraction from the main plots in the story he’s in. Rather than focus on catching the bad guy like he usually with, Batman also has to run after his crazy son, who has a bigger chance of joining – or killing – the bad guy, rather than helping the Dark Knight catch him.
All that applies to this graphic novel.
Batman is after a foe calling himself Nobody, who’s actually Morgan Ducard, son of Henri Ducard. Trained as a killer by his father, Morgan kills the Batman of Moscow (part of Batman Incorporated), and then tries to seduce Damian to the dark side, convinced that Batman’s methods are too ineffective.
Oh yeah, and Damian Wayne murders the bad guy.
Now, Peter J Tomasi, Patrick Gleason, and Mick Gray were the three musketeers who worked on Superman Rebirth, and they’ve demonstrated in my books that they can draw and tell amazing superhero stories. The Overall plot was actually decent to read; it shows that Batman has a vulnerable side, not wanting to make the same mistake he made with Todd (assuming the New 52 retcon kept that narrative in tact). We get to see what I saw in Superman rebirth, except it’s Batman trying to be a good father to his son, and yet, that’s where the story falls flat.
Batman did this already, and it didn’t work.
I can’t jump to conclusions at this point, but that’s not the problem. The problem is that I don’t want to.
Sure, the story is good, in terms of telling a good story and keeping readers interested, but it’s not quite what I’d want to see in a Batman story.