In Memoriam: Damian Wayne

This week has a central theme: Mourning Damian Wayne. Or does it? I glanced through Batgirl in my comic shop, because we’ve all seen the sad cover:

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See? Babs is crying big, sad, boo-hoo tears over a character who, to my knowledge, she had no direct interaction with in the reboot. I mean, they were in the same place during Death of the Family, but did they talk? Don’t think so. The actual issue involves James Jr., a character I really do find interesting! But not right now. There is a single scene consisting of two pages that deal with Damian, and they’re a complete write-off. Babs isn’t sad about Damian, she’s sad for Bruce.

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Lovely. In any case, we’ve got two more Requiem issues, the main Batman title, and Batman and Robin. I’m girding my loins for feels.

Harper Row is back! Remember her? Awesome hair, nose ring, adorable brother, idolizes Batman? I feel like I’m going to be less sad, and more pumped! This issue of Batman deals mostly with her following Batman around, trying to figure out why he’s sad. Damian isn’t mentioned at all. This seems familiar to me. A Robin dies. Some smart teenager starts following Batman around to help him when he needs it. Batman refuses to throw the teenager a bone, and continues lashing out at everyone around him. Eventually allows the teenager to train with him and…oh my god, Harper Row is being set up to be the new Robin. We’re being Tim Drake’d! Still, think about what this means. We’ve been denied Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain, in order to bring in a new female member of the Batfamily. That’s…wow, no? I mean, I’d love to see Harper as the new Robin. I’d love to have a canon female Robin in the main universe that makes up the majority of the DCnU (sorry, Helena Wayne). But that’s exactly like when James Robinson made Alan Scott gay in Earth-2. Making that character gay caused his gay son, Todd Rice, and his son’s boyfriend, Damon Matthews, to essentially be erased from existence. So, we got one and lost two, the same thing that’s happening with Harper Row now. Still, it’s not an unusual practice, as far as DC is concerned. We can have four Green Lanterns from Earth (now five, with Simon Baz)…so long as they’re all men. Sorry, Jade. But we can only have one Atom, and that one is going to be Ray Palmer, goddamnit. We can have three white, male Flashes, no problem. But throw a female Robin or an Asian Batgirl in the mix? Nope! Not possible! This sort of thing just annoys me, and I know I’m not alone.

Did someone say ‘set phasers to feels’? In this special, completely silent issue of Batman and Robin, well…I can’t say anything. I’m not trying to make a joke at all, I literally cannot say anything about this issue. The panels all speak for themselves. From Alfred’s grief, to Titus’ confusion and sadness that only a dog can have, to Bruce’s despair-fueled rage, everything is painted perfectly.

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That was this week in comics. Come back next week for absolutely nothing depressing in Batwoman, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, DC Universe Presents featuring Starfire, and possibly the first issue of Constantine!

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