Breaking News: The news is broken. Earth-shattering events to follow.

You ever have one of those days where you feel like you should be happy, but you know you won’t be before the day is out? If you haven’t been reading the New York Times, watching the Yahoo trends, or visiting basically every comics website out there, spoiler alert: Damian Wayne is set to die today. So you know what? Consider this my version of going on strike. Flash and Young Avengers, both awesome books, also came out today, but so what? DC has decided to kill yet another prepubescent child.

Still, the show must go on. The Grodd story finally ends this week in Flash, and hoo boy, what a finale! It’s the ape in a cape versus Flash in the Speed Force! Okay, I’m gonna be honest, the dialogue was a little cheesy during their fight. It’s like Barry did a sudden 180 spin and decided to take his cues from JLU Wally. The result is…more than a little embarrassing. Still, he saves the day, gets the girl (gets two girls, actually, but shh, don’t tell Patty), and, hey! What’s that there?

…really? Okay? Okay. I’m not going to pick. But it looks like Metron left his chair and tried to cosplay as the Black Flash using a reference image that was shot through a mirror. But it’s not a bad costume. It just looks like a mish-mash of other costumes that weren’t currently in use.

So, while issue two of Young Avengers did kind of turn into The Billy and Teddy Show featuring Loki, it’s still essentially the best thing I’ve ever read. Mrs. Altman has remade the universe! Which makes me wonder if she was pulled into their universe, or if Billy accidentally transported them into hers. According to Loki, she’s a parasite that…yup, remakes universes. For some reason. Well, that’s vague. Still, it’s the dialogue that really makes this issue for me, especially the diner scene. Also, hey, if you’ve got the $10 to $20 comic shops are charging for the Stephanie Hans variant cover (I didn’t, and my shop wanted $15), go nuts. Because damn honey, is it pretty. I mean, look at it:

Holy wow, am I right? Young Avengers get all the good variant covers.

 

Long-time readers might remember a similar style of reviewing I did for the quiver of manure that was Rise of Arsenal. I call it, rant’n reaction reviewing. It’s not fun to write, mainly because you, the reader, are essentially watching my mental state degrade. It’s fun to read, though, after a draw off your bottle of what have you. So without further stalling, I’m currently completely unaware whether or not I’m proud to present to you, Batman Incorporated issue eight.

I’ll give them this: I like Chris Burnham’s Damian better than I like Patrick Gleason’s Damian. Gleason draws Damian’s head a bit too round for my taste, whereas Burnham’s Damian is reminiscent of the version by Frank Quitely, except here, he doesn’t look like a little old man in a Robin suit. None can match Marcus To’s Damian, though. I’m distracting myself. Hey look, Tim’s actually useful! There’s something you don’t see every day. Certainly not today, in Teen Titans. Don’t read that, by the way, it’s really bad.
You know what I’ve been missing for a year or so? Dick and Damian working together. It’s like DC forgot that they were partners for uh, over two years. Oh no, I’m crying. “So far, I’d say you’ve been my favorite partner. We were the best, Richard. No matter what anyone thinks.” Why the fuck would you do that, Grant? I know we’re not really on a first-name basis, but I think I’ve been following your work long enough to not have to call you Mr. Morrison. God, kill the kid if you must, but don’t remind us of the thing that was retconned by letting it slip that it wasn’t retconned. Oh no, here comes that which could have been Ibn al Xu’ffasch. Oh god no, you’re doing it again, Grant. That thing, where you’re reminding us how good Dick and Damian were for each other, to the point where Damian thought of him as something more than a friend. More than a brother. Dick was his partner, the person he trusted to keep him alive. Why would you do this? “Touch him again, I’ll kill you!”

I…I can’t do this. I can’t. I can’t do this again. I’ve done this twice now, I can’t do it again. They only kill the ones I love. They only kill the ones I love. My introduction to Robin was in Batman: The Animated Series and the Batman movies, but my introduction to comics Robin was Jason Todd. Jason was my Robin. And the comics I was reading, the ones I could get my hands on, didn’t go up as far as Death in the Family. So flash forward, from 1995 to 1997, my first time in a comics shop. There’s a Robin comic, but that’s not Jason. That isn’t Jason at all. So I go up to the guy behind the counter. He’s a pretty young guy, maybe in his early 20s. And I say to him, who is this? Where’s Jason? And I’m so lucky, I’m so damn lucky that the person I talked to that day wasn’t a dick, else I wouldn’t be here now. He explained that the Joker had killed him, and gave me this copy of Death in the Family that had seen many better days before it. The first time I went into a comics shop was the day I learned that superheroes could die, especially if they were just kids. Like me.
Then, in 2004, they did it again. I’d liked Stephanie Brown since I first decided to get over my anti-Tim Drake sentiments and start reading the Robin comics in 1998, when Young Justice started. I liked Tim there, maybe I’d like him in his own series? Y’know what? I did. But I liked Steph better. She was plucky. She never gave up. Being a hero meant a lot to her, and she made it work. And then she got to be Robin. She got to be Robin for such a short time…and then they killed her. They killed her. And now Damian? No. I can’t do this. I can’t.

Call me stupid, call me weak. Say I’m overreacting. But just like with Lian Harper, and Adam Grant, and Cerdian, and Arthur Jr, and Josh Mardon, and Robbie Long, and all the other children unfortunate enough to be born to parents who live in the DCU…I can’t do this anymore. I can’t watch kids die. They’re not realI know that. They’re not alive. But they’re given life on the page, given life in the hearts of the people who read about them. They have thoughts and feelings and personalities. That’s what comics are. Imaginary people that we, the fans, take home every week. Fall in love with. Share with the people we care about, to let them into our world. I cared about Damian Wayne. He was a little shit, but he was my little shit. In the end, he was just a kid, a very well-trained kid, who wanted his parents to stop fighting. Goodbye, Damian. I will remember you smiling, and fighting, and being a pain in the ass to everyone, until you wormed your way into their hearts. You were a good kid, Damian Wayne, don’t let anyone ever tell you different.

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And with that…I need to go cheer myself up. If anyone wants me, I’ll be watching Captain America with the boyfriend. Next week, we’ll have Animal Man, Swamp Thing, and me pregaming for my birthday on Thursday. See you there!

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