BATMAN INC. #8: Someone Has to Ask ... Will It Stick?

SPOILER WARNING

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The news of Damian Wayne's demise may, it turns out, be greatly exaggerated. Sure, the New York Post has reported the dramatic events of this week's Batman, Incorporated #8 ahead of time, but even within that story, writer Grant Morrison says that "Batman will ultimately always have a partner." Could that partner turn out to be Damian Wayne, even following his "death"?

We have, after all, already seen Batman attempt to fake Robin's death once in this run of Batman, Incorporated, hoping to save his son from the worst that Leviathan had to offer. What's to say that this latest death isn't just a grander version of the same idea? That we're seeing this level of mainstream media interest and press about the plot development doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to stick; this is, after all, the writer who famously killed off Batman, only to reveal that he was actually alive back in prehistory two issues later in the series, back in Final Crisis.

 

Even if we see Damian "definitively" die on panel, there are already built-in escape clauses in Batman, Incorporated to ensure that he doesn't stay dead for a long time. In the last issue of the series, Damian reminded Alfred (and the readers) that he is a clone, and that there are potentially other Damians out there - including, perhaps, one that could take his place as a new Robin or even - thanks to some magic solution that, admittedly, seems very un-Batman-esque - house the soul and personality of the Damian that we know and love.

If that doesn't work out, there's a far more direct way to resurrect Damian: Actually resurrect him, using the Lazarus Pits. Those pits are, we've been shown, under the control of Leviathan's head, and Damian's mother, Talia Al Ghul these days - So why wouldn't she use them to bring her son back to life as one last twist of the knife to demonstrate how "superior" a parent she is when compared with the father than Damian abandoned her for..?

As Morrison points out in the Post article, Damian isn't the first Robin to fall in the line of duty, but he has the potential to be the first one who stays dead; thanks to the deaths and returns of Spider-Man, the Human Torch, the Winter Soldier, Thor et al, the notion of superhero death as anything resembling a real setback has become ridiculous and near-unthinkable in recent years. Batman, Incorporated artist Chris Burnham says that "Damian Wayne is as dead as Thomas and Martha." Here's hoping that that ends up being the case. Although there are ways to ensure that Damian keeps fighting the good fight even after Wednesday, perhaps he'd better serve the greater good if he was allowed to rest in peace, and remind us that sometimes even good guys actually lose, once in a while.

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