Morrison’s Batman- run begins here! Artwork by Andy Kubert. After The Infinite Crisis (a DC-wide cross-over event), one year has passed. Two-Face is back, Penguin and Riddler have turned good, and Batman has returned after a one- year- break. Several months after his return (that is my guess, as it wouldn’t fit in the “continuity” in my opinion), he learns a shocking news: He has a son! For more details about that, you should read “Son of the Demon” from 1989, the “origin-story” of Damian.
The comic begins with a disturbing image: The Joker killing the Batman with a crowbar!
The near-dead Batman pulls out a gun and shoots the Joker in the face! Quite a beginning, isn’t it? ^^ But no, it’s not the real Batman, but a copycat, an ex-cop that went crazy (more on that later). The real Batman arrives and saves both the Joker and the fake Batman. The Joker then gets thrown into a waste container (noticed the “Zur en Arrh”- graffiti? )
Batman’s crusade was successful, and he goes on a vacation to learn how to be Bruce Wayne again. A trip to a donation gala in England, where he meets beautyful model and head of African state Jezebel “Jez” Jet, gets interrupted by an intruding army of ninja Man-Bats, lead by Talia al Ghul, daughter of “the demon”, Ra’s al Ghul. Batman gets captured and Talia, his former lover, has a surprise for him: Damian, his 9-year old son.
Batman shall raise him, but Damian is a little brat, an a pain in the neck. He is spoiled, moody, and – wait! For a more specific characterisation I recommend these German blog-entries:
So, what is to say, Damian, raised by the people of the League of Assassins, curses and kills people, who stand in his way, though he wants to do the “right” thing. He loathes Time Wayne / Drake, the real Robin, and endangers him. He is like Hit Girl from Kick Ass.
Batman takes his son with him in his giant rocket (seriously, nobody in Gotham noticed that thing flying away?! ) when he is about to confront Talia in Gibraltar. Batman defeats some of her Ninja Man-Bats and then Talia’ s submarine explodes, Talia and Damian have disappeared, leaving the Caped Crusader behind…
Well, this was quite an opening. The images by Andy Kubert look great and remind of an early Jim Lee. The highlight is definitely the beginning with Joker and the Batmen (oh, there is so much to interpret there I can assure you) and the fight against the Man-Bats in London, in front of a comic-art-gallery, where the pictures “narrate” the action. I have to admit, in the first part, there is much more storytelling then in the second part, but overall it’s a good story. Even though Damian is a brat, there is much conflict potential about to happen.
Next Issue: The Clown at Midnight