Damian Wayne on the cover of Batman and Robin #1 (August 2009); art by Frank Quitely.
|First appearance||As a baby (unnamed):
Batman: Son of the Demon (1987)
As Damian Wayne:
Batman #655 (September 2006)
Batman and Robin #1 (August 2009)
|Created by||Original:[clarification needed]
Mike W. Barr
|Full name||Damian Wayne|
|Place of origin||Gotham City|
|Team affiliations||Batman Family
League of Assassins
|Partnerships||Batman, Nightwing, Red Hood, Red Robin, Oracle, Huntress|
|Notable aliases||Robin, Redbird|
Damian Wayne is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly in association with Batman. He is the son of Batman and Talia al Ghul, and thus the grandson of Batman villain Ra's al Ghul. The character originally appeared as an unnamed infant in the 1987 story Batman: Son of the Demon, which was at that time not considered canon. Following this, various alternate universe stories dealt with the character's life, giving him various names. In 2006, the character was reinterpreted as Damian Wayne by Grant Morrison, and introduced into the main continuity in Batman #655, the first issue of the "Batman and Son" story arc. Damian Wayne is the fifth character to assume the role of Robin, Batman's vigilante partner.
Having grown up in a laboratory, Damian Wayne as a pre-adolescent is left by his mother in the care of his father, who had been not aware of his son's existence. He is violent and self-important and was trained by the League of Assassins, learning to kill at a young age, which troubles the relationship with his father, who refuses to kill. However, the Dark Knight does care for his lost progeny. After the events of Batman R.I.P. and Batman: Battle for the Cowl, he takes the role of Robin at ten years of age, becoming the fifth person to use the Robin persona. He first worked with Dick Grayson before going to work alongside his father, upon the original's return to the role of Batman. He continued to serve as Robin until 2013's Batman, Inc. #8, in which he is killed by the Heretic, an agent of his mother and his own artificially-aged clone. In 2014's Batman and Robin vol. 2, #37, Batman resurrects Damian Wayne.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 2.1 Batman: Son of the Demon
- 2.2 Batman and Son
- 2.3 The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul
- 2.4 Batman R.I.P.
- 2.5 Battle for the Cowl
- 2.6 Batman: Reborn
- 2.7 Red Robin
- 2.8 Blackest Night
- 2.9 Return of Bruce Wayne
- 2.10 Teen Titans
- 2.11 The New 52
- 2.12 DC Rebirth
- 3 Skills and abilities
- 4 Appearance
- 5 Other versions
- 6 In other media
- 7 References
Damian Wayne is ranked No 1 in IGN's Top Ten Best Robins and No 6 in Newsarama's 10 Most Popular Comic Book Characters Introduced in the Last 25 Years.
The child from Son of the Demon was used as a backup character in various stories before appearing as Damian Wayne.
In the Elseworlds story, The Brotherhood of the Bat (1995), a version named Tallant Wayne appears, who crusades against his grandfather Ra's al Ghul. Brotherhood of the Bat features a future in which Ra's al Ghul discovers the Batcave following Bruce Wayne's death, and outfits the League of Assassins in variant Batman costumes based on Wayne's rejected designs. Talia and Bruce's son join the Brotherhood in his father's costume, to destroy it from within.
In Kingdom Come (1996) by Mark Waid and Alex Ross, which functioned as a possible future to the canon of the time, the child of Batman and Talia is named Ibn al Xu'ffasch, literally "Son of the Bat", and a member of Lex Luthor's inner circle. He falls in love with Nightstar, the daughter of Dick Grayson and Starfire. He works as a double agent for Batman in Luthor's organization. In the Elliot S! Maggin novelization of Kingdom Come, al Xu'ffasch tells Bruce that his mother Talia is still alive and working as a Mother Superior in India, one of Mother Teresa's successors. al Xu'ffasch reappears in Waid's 1999 sequel The Kingdom.
The Kingdom: Son of the Bat shows flashbacks that shed new insights into Damian Wayne's history: that he was reared by Ra's al Ghul to be the heir to his empire, that he eventually murdered his grandfather (cutting off his head to prevent yet another regeneration), and that he sought therapy from psychiatrist Dr. Gibson. He was eventually recruited by Rip Hunter to try to stop a madman named Gog from altering his history. He works with several other heroes of his generation – Kid Flash, the daughter of the Flash (Wally West); Nightstar (Nightwing and Starfire's child) and Offspring, the son of Plastic Man.
In League of Batmen (2001), the sequel to Brotherhood of the Bat, Tallant leads his own team of variant Batmen to combat the plague that was al Ghul's legacy. During the battle, Tallant discovers that his grandfather is the one who murdered his father and then cloned him. Ra's even sent the clone to murder his own daughter. Because the deaths of his parents at Ra's's hands, Tallant has completed following his father's tragic path as Batman. The new Dark Knight desires justice for his parents along with trying to stop his grandfather, while having to battle his father's murderous double.
Grant Morrison's story titled Batman and Son (2006) expands upon the Son of the Demon storyline as part of a remodeling of Batman's personality after the events of Infinite Crisis. In Morrison's version, the child Damian Wayne is the result of a tryst between Batman and Talia, during which the Dark Knight claims he was drugged when they were at the Tropic of Cancer, though Morrison later admitted the claim of drugging was a canonical error on his part. Since then however in issues of the Morrison penned Batman Incorporated, the drugging is reaffirmed and is once again part of Damian's origin. However In the Robin Rises Omega story arc, Tomasi retconns the drugging issue. Bruce when recounting the story of Damian's conception implies that it was consensual [no drugging] by stating that he fell in love and followed his heart "I gave into my heart and followed my heart"
The final issue of 52 (2008) designates the Kingdom Come alternate universe as Earth-22, thus making the Ibn al Xu'ffasch version part of the DC multiverse. Justice Society of America vol. 3 #22 (2009) reveals that he would eventually marry Nightstar with whom he would have a daughter and son.
Fictional character biography
Batman: Son of the Demon
When asked by Wizard about the canonicity of Son of the Demon, Morrison responded:
"For a long time, [DC] said [Son of the Demon] was out of continuity. Now it's just kind of out of continuity. I didn't actually read it before I started writing this. I messed up a lot of details, like Batman wasn't drugged when he was having sex with Talia and it didn't take place in the desert. I was relying on shaky memories. But now we have this new "Superboy punch" continuity [after Superboy Prime attacked the fabric of the universe during Infinite Crisis]. People still don't realize how important that single punch was to cover everyone's ass."
Batman and Son
Damian's origin is unknown to Batman. Genetically perfected and grown in an artificial womb, Damian was intended to be a formidable warrior. He is raised by Talia and the League of Assassins. He becomes a talented martial artist before his teenage years, at which time Talia reveals Damian's existence to Bruce Wayne and leaves him in Batman's custody in an effort to disrupt Batman's work.
Precocious, spoiled, and violent, Damian battles Tim Drake, whom he wants to replace as Robin, and sucker punches Drake off the stuffed Tyrannosaurus in the Batcave when Tim stops fighting to help him. Damian then escapes, dons a variant Robin costume made of Jason Todd's old tunic and mask and assorted League of Assassin gear, and gets into a fight with and decapitates the villainous Spook. Although misguided and malicious, Damian seems to genuinely want to aid Wayne's war on crime as he sees himself as Wayne's son and wants Wayne's approval. Unfortunately, because of how he was raised, Damian lacks any sort of common sense in regards to social behavior, and believes that in order to be accepted by Batman, he must kill any rivals, which included Tim Drake.
Eventually, Batman confronts Talia to confirm Damian's true identity, but both Talia and Damian are soon caught in an explosion. They survive the explosion. But Damian's badly injured body requires transplants of harvested organs, which his mother orders her physicians to carry out. Damian makes a full recovery.
The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul
Beginning in Batman Annual #26 ("Head of the Demon"), Talia takes Damian to the Australian Outback, where he is tutored in the secret history of his grandfather Ra's al Ghul. Talia is unaware that a former servant of Ra's, named White Ghost, plans to use Damian as a shell for the soul of Ra's to return to Earth. This process would, of course, kill Damian. Talia is able to save her son from his fate at the last minute.
Ra's is still able to return, but as a rotting, shambling undead corpse, still needing Damian to stabilize his form. Damian flees to alert Batman, but is pursued by his evil grandfather. Upon entering Wayne Manor, Damian attempts to relay to Robin the fact that Ra's has returned. Robin, suspicious of Damian's intentions, does not believe his story and begins a fist fight. Damian flees and encounters Alfred. Before he can effectively relay his news, he is attacked by Robin, who perceives Damian's attempt to help a tripping Alfred as an attack, and renews their battle. As they fight, members of the League of Assassins approach the manor with the intention of killing all others within and bringing Damian back to Ra's alive. Damian and Robin (Tim Drake) fight side-by-side against Ra's and his minions. Their collaboration is hindered by their very different philosophies of battle. Damian is willing to betray Tim at any moment for his own safety. Ra's captures the two and tells Batman that he will use one of them for his own body. Batman offers his own body instead.
Ra's refuses the offer, feeling that he needs someone of a younger age. The choices are Robin or Damian. Batman offers a third alternative: "Fountain of Essence" which contains the qualities of a Lazarus Pit. Batman and Ra's go in search of the fountain, leaving Tim, Damian, Nightwing, Alfred Pennyworth and Talia to battle the Sensei. Damian leaves his mother and Tim to an unknown fate, while he goes off to be with his father. He ends up captured by Ra's and nearly loses his life. Batman and the others manage to save him, and Talia takes her son and escapes.
A subsequent conversation between Robin and Alfred implies that Batman has carried out a DNA test on Damian. Alfred says Bruce intended to tell him the results when the time was right. At this, Tim realizes that Damian is indeed Bruce's son, and exclaims "The son of Satan is my brother?"
Prior to the start of Grant Morrison's "Batman R.I.P." story arc in Batman #675, Damian has sensed that someone is out to get Batman. In response to this, Talia begins to formulate a plan. That plan seems to involve getting the help of Commissioner James Gordon, whom Talia and Damian rescue from a booby-trapped Wayne Manor while in search of Batman, who has gone insane and missing.
Damian and Alfred race to aid Batman against the Black Glove in a commandeered Batmobile. Damian, who is driving, knocks an ambulance off a bridge without any sign of remorse or even concern. When Alfred reprimands him, Damian retorts with a backhanded threat. The only occupant of the ambulance was the Joker.
Battle for the Cowl
Upon the start of Batman: Battle for the Cowl, it appears that Damian is now residing in Gotham, and living under the command of Nightwing (to an extent). Where before Damian portrayed an arrogant and vicious personality, it appears the "death" of his father has regressed him to a more childlike mindset, as demonstrated when he takes the Batmobile joy-riding with an older girl. This is discovered by Oracle, who ejects the girl and takes control of the Batmobile, intent on taking Damian home. The car is blindsided by Killer Croc and Poison Ivy, who prepare to kill Damian. The older girl (Damian's companion) is later eaten by Killer Croc. Damian is saved by Nightwing who ends up being cornered by Black Mask's men, until a murderous figure appears stating that he is Batman (later revealed to be Jason Todd). Although shot by Todd, Damian recovers and saves Tim Drake from falling to death inside Jason's Batcave. When Grayson hangs up his Nightwing mantle to become the newest Batman, he chooses Damian to assume the mantle of Robin by his side.
Despite becoming Robin to Grayson's Batman, Damian reveals that he cares little for his older brother and has no respect for him as Batman and that the latter would have to earn it. In an act of defiance, Damian decides to make the Robin mantle independent from that of Batman and decides to stop Dr. Phosphorus from breaking in to Project Cadmus, but fails miserably and is saved by Dick. Dick then begins to train Damian as to how to properly become the new Robin and the two develop their own unique crime fighting style. Damian then begins to mock Tim Drake for not being chosen as Robin, causing Tim to severely beat Damian, only to be stopped by Dick.
After Tim leaves, Damian starts engaging in chess games with Hush, visiting him secretly against Dick's orders. When Elliot asked why Damian is visiting him behind the Bat-family's back, Damian shrugs it off as a desire to keep Elliot company. Elliot surmises that Damian is rather using the resemblance to Bruce to "spend time with [his] old man". Dick and Damian then encounter a villain called Professor Pyg, who has created an army called Dollotrons. Dick and Damian take the entire army down and begin to form a brotherly relationship. Damian blames himself for being unable to save a single Dollotron, a girl named Sasha, but unbeknownst to him, the girl is taken in by Jason Todd, who had shot Damian. thereby becoming the new Robin's opposite number in Red Hood's no-holds-barred war against crime (Red Hood's maxim is "let the punishment fit the crime").
Damian and Dick then attack Firefly, who is attempting to kill Black Mask. Victor Zsasz defeats Robin and rescues the Black Mask while Dick takes down the Firefly. These events cause Hush to escape, causing Damian to grow a further hatred for the criminal. Damian is present when Dick is inducted into the JLA, upon hearing, Damian demands to be inducted along with Dick, but his demands are promptly ignored. Damian is once again saved by Dick, with the assistance of Azrael, after a man named Amon tries to sacrifice him. Sasha, now dubbed Scarlet by Todd, returns and attacks Robin, as Jason attacks Dick, the two duos battle it out until the arrival of the Flamingo, who temporarily paralyzes Damian. Talia fixes Damian's spine, but puts in a monitor connected to his brain allowing her to control his every movement.
As Dick and Damian go through various events together, such as against the Black Mask, the Blackest Night and a rogue Batman clone-corpse, the two bond even more, prompting Talia to give over control of the monitor to Deathstroke who tries to use it to kill Dick. Working together, Dick and Damian manage to stop Deathstroke. As Dick cares little for the financial problems of Wayne Enterprises, despite inheriting it from Bruce along with Tim, Damian decides to involve himself and manages to impress the board of directors. While he does not file a lawsuit against Dick, due to Grayson not being named the heir of Wayne Enterprises, but rather a high-ranking member, he does against Tim, who was named the heir to Wayne Enterprises.
Damian's second year as Robin begins with a bang, as he chooses this time to pick a fight against his predecessor Red Robin. Tim, who has been keeping a list of criminals and tasks he calls the Hit List, attracts Damian's fury when he hacks the Hit List and discovers a hidden layer of allies to the Bat-Family considered potential threats by Tim. Damian finds himself on this list. During a stakeout mission, Damian slices off Tim's line, causing him to fall from a great height. He survives, and Tim pulls Damian into an all-out brawl that begins with their quarry escaping, and ending in front of the theater where Bruce Wayne's parents were killed. The two are stopped by Batman, who chastises them both for fighting in front of the theater where Batman was born. The two then enter into a grudging truce for the remainder of Damian's appearances in the series. Dick suggests changing the Hit List password to Cousin Oliver, as Damian has little to no interest in pop culture references and would never guess it. Dick noted that his name is not on the list and Tim asserts it's because Dick is the only one who Tim trusts implicitly.
After Bruce's skull was taken from his grave, Damian and Dick decide to bring the rest of his skeleton, along with those of Damian's paternal grandparents, to their base beneath Wayne Tower. Damian is quite shaken by the sight of the bones of his family. On the way to the cave, Dick's body is possessed by Deadman, at whom Damian lashes out in confusion. Deadman then possesses and leaves Damian's body, subsequently passing his knowledge of the attack of the Black Lanterns onto him. The two heroes then prepare for the Black Lanterns' assault on Gotham. After raiding the Army Reserve National Guard Armory, Dick, Damian, and the arriving Tim Drake, are able to save Commissioner Gordon, Oracle, and the surviving police officers at Gotham Central from the reanimated versions of the original Dark Knight's deceased rogue gallery members. However, they then find themselves in a horrific encounter with the parents of Dick Grayson and Tim Drake reanimated as Black Lanterns. Dick and Tim send Damian with the Gordons to their underground base while they battle the Black Lanterns. Dick eventually orders Damian through their comm-links to send one of his Wingers with Mr. Freeze's gun. Grayson uses the weapon to cryogenically suspend himself and Tim, forcing the Black Lanterns to retreat as they are unable to read any sign of life of them. Deadman later revives the former Boy Wonders.
Return of Bruce Wayne
Talia begins to clone Damian as she realizes that her son has completely sided with Dick Grayson and the Bat-Family. Damian finally stands up for his Robin mantle, telling Talia that being Robin was the best thing that he had ever done, and Talia does not need to save him from something he chooses to be. Talia then shows Damian a cloned version of himself, whom she sees as Damian's younger brother. Talia admits to Damian, that even though she loves him, she is too much of a perfectionist to admire him for choosing a path that defies her this blatantly, and he is therefore no longer welcome, and will be considered an enemy of the House of al Ghul. Damian defiantly replies that he hopes to be a worthy one. Damian (as Robin) is then seen teaming up with Dick and Alfred to begin their own search for Bruce Wayne.
During a confrontation with a returned minor villain the Getaway Genius, Damian is initially angry that Grayson failed to capture the foe – as well as the implication that his father failed as well during the Genius' original run back when Grayson was Robin – but when Dick explains to him that Bruce let the Genius go because he discovered that the Genius' robberies were only him stealing medicines that he needed so that he could live long enough to see his daughter grow up, Damian realises that he never really knew his father as a person, and admits that there was more to him than Batman.
After Grayson's confidant Oberon Sexton is revealed to be the Joker in disguise, Damian tortures the villain by savagely beating him with a crowbar in order to get information, considering it to be self-defense since the Joker planned to attack him. However, the Clown Prince of Crime's apparent helplessness is revealed to be another ruse and he incapacitates Damian with his hidden Joker venom. The villain intends to use Damian and Dick in his fight against their common enemies: the Black Glove. Help arrives in the form of the original Batman. After Bruce Wayne helps Dick and Damian defeat the Black Glove and the Joker, Wayne accepts his son in addition to his role as Robin. Despite Bruce's parental responsibilities to Damian, he decides that he prefers Damian to continue working with Dick (who maintains the Batman mantle and whom Bruce sees as a positive role model for his son) rather than being with himself primarily, due to his plans with Batman Inc.
Damian joins the Teen Titans when Dick Grayson concludes that the team needs a Robin, while also feeling that Damian would benefit from the friendship of other heroes, having progressed to the point where he can be trusted not to kill if left 'unsupervised'. Although Wonder Girl objects to this decision, Grayson convinces her to let Damian stay on the team as he needs Damian to learn that he can trust others not to betray him, only for his temper to jeopardize his first mission with the team when he attacks an opponent just after Raven had convinced him to calm down, provoking their new foe into starting his wave of destruction again. Robin eventually begins to develop a friendship with Ravager, who initially reaches out to Damian due to their similar upbringings (Ravager's father being the notorious assassin, Deathstroke). Tim Drake eventually comes to the Titans for help after a robotic duplicate of the Calculator attempts to murder his close friend, Tam Fox, and decides to rejoin the team once the mission is completed. Damian chooses to leave the team upon Drake's return, reasoning that the Teen Titans do not need two Robins, and realizing that his teammates prefer to work with Tim. Upon returning to Gotham, Damian tells Dick that even though he had been brought to the Titans in order to find friends, he did not need to, as he already had one, Grayson himself.
When Blackbat, Stephanie Brown's predecessor, returns to Gotham, she and Damian are partnered together during a stake-out to catch the Architect, a new villain obsessed with destroying Gotham landmarks. Damian berates Blackbat and mocks her for being sent to Hong Kong by his father, but she ultimately saves his life by rescuing him from the exploding Iceberg Lounge. Afterwards, the two work together to stop the bomber from destroying a massive bridge, saving dozens of lives in the process.
Robin and a group of other ex-Titans later head to Titans Tower to help the team during a battle against Superboy-Prime and the Legion of Doom. During the battle, Robin destroys one of Prime's evil Superboy doppelgängers by using a Kryptonite blade.
The New 52
Following the "Flashpoint" story arc, Bruce Wayne was returned by writers as being the only Batman in 2011's the New 52 relaunch of DC Comics. Dick Grayson was returned to his previous role as Nightwing, and Damian still serves as his father's vigilante partner Robin. After reading the letter written by his father from an alternate timeline, the Dark Knight decides that it is time to take steps to put his past behind him. He tries to teach Damian the same values his parents have instilled within him as he finally assumes his role as a father. However, despite Bruce's attempts to build a relationship with his son, Damian remains distant from his father, which Alfred worries about. Although this relationship is further strained when Damian seemingly leaves Wayne Manor to join the villain Nobody, it turns out this was a ruse by Damian to bring down Nobody. Although Damian eventually kills Nobody in front of Bruce, they are able to work through the incident by beginning to actively understand and respect one another as father and son. Bruce goes so far as to conceal the event from Dick and Tim, leading Alfred to comment to Bruce that he has become "quite the overprotective parent."
In Batman-related issues of the New 52 taking place after Batman issue #14 (the Joker's return to comics), Damian was portrayed as being very interested in fighting his father's arch foe. He seemed to always be eager to take on the Joker, and repeatedly assumes that bad things happening in Gotham are related to the Joker in some way, in hopeful anticipation of an encounter with him. In Batman and Robin vol. 2, #15, Damian defies his father's orders to remain in the Batcave and investigates Alfred's kidnapping. The investigation leads to Gotham Zoo where Damian is captured by Joker. Joker accuses Damian and the other members of Batman's family of being a burden that prevents Batman from being the best foe for Joker. Joker tells Damian that his and Batman's greatest fear is being responsible for the other's death. Joker then presents Damian with Batman in Joker makeup, and states that Damian must kill Batman before Batman kills him. Unwilling to kill his father, Damian chooses death, but the Joker kills Batman before he can deal a fatal blow. Damian passes out from Joker venom and Batman is revealed to be a fake; as Damian recovers from the toxin, the Joker presents him with a cloche. The Joker is eventually defeated by Batman, but the trust between Batman and the Batman Family is shattered.
During the "Leviathan" story arc, when his mother Talia puts a price on his head and is targeted by the most dangerous and skilled assassins, Bruce faked Damian's death and secluded him in the Batcave in order to protect him while he goes undercover to confront Talia and her minions. But against his father's wishes he escapes, donning a new costume under the name of Redbird.
Along with the mysterious Wingman and most of the Bat-family, Damian manages to rescue his father and defeat most of the League of Shadows. However, Batman explains that the temporary defeat of the League will not stop a larger force to attack later and destroy the city, so he came to the extreme decision that the only solution possible is for Damian to return to his mother, a decision that caused an emotional reaction on Damian like never before.
Damian was killed battling a brutal enemy, the Heretic (an adult Damian clone) in issue number 8 of the second volume of the Batman, Inc. comic book, which went on sale February 27, 2013. According to the story's writer, Grant Morrison: "He saves the world. He does his job as Robin. He dies an absolute hero."
In the comic, Damian is fighting hordes of Leviathan henchmen in the lobby of Wayne Tower when Nightwing comes to rescue him. Behind cover, the two briefly reminisce about their time together as Batman and Robin before resuming the defense. When the Heretic arrives and knocks Nightwing out, Damian bravely fights him. However, the Heretic eventually gains the upper hand and impales Damian through the chest, the sword piercing Damian's heart and resulting in Damian dying almost instantly. Minutes after Damian's death, Batman arrives and sees Damian's dead body. Angered, he and a revived Nightwing battle the Heretic, but are eventually forced to retreat with Red Robin, and Damian's body. After holding a private funeral for the fallen Boy Wonder, Bruce vows to avenge his son's death.
The later storyline, Requiem, deals with the aftermath of Damian's death and Batman's thirst for revenge against Talia as well as his own increasingly unbalanced mental state resulted by this loss. He is buried next to Bruce Wayne's parents, Damian's paternal grandparents. Batman is also unwilling to accept his son's death, and begins seeking the means to resurrect Damian at the cost of his relationships with his friends and allies, and keeps his death a secret from public. Damian's absence has also been causing a conflict between his father and his acting instructor, Carrie Kelley, who is determined to find out what has happened to him, leading her to realize that the Waynes are harboring a secret.
When Batman and Nightwing finally re-confront Heretic, they overpower him, and the clone suffers a brutal beating from both in retaliation for Damian's death. Batman, despite desiring to kill his son's murderer more than anything and Nightwing made no attempts of stopping his mentor, spares the villain's life after seeing his resemblance to Damian, realizing the clone is what is left of his son. However, Talia later beheads the Heretic for his failure to kill Batman, and challenges Batman to a duel to the death in the Batcave. However, Talia is killed following the duel by Kathy Webb, and it is later revealed that Damian's body was stolen from the Manor cemetery by the League of Assassins along with Talia's for plans against Batman in addition revealed later their resurrections. It has also been shown that Ra's al Ghul has begun to engineer more clones of Damian.
Road to Resurrection
After being preoccupied with a series of cases in Gotham, Batman begins his attempt to reclaim Damian's body despite Ra's claim that he wishes to resurrect his daughter and grandson. Batman continues his pursuit out of his distrust towards Ra's. After defeating Damian's half-aquatic clones with Aquaman, Batman seeks Wonder Woman's help in chasing Ra's to Themyscira. Though Ra's attempted to resurrect Damian alongside Talia in what he thought was a Lazarus Pit in the island in addition to brainwash his grandson into joining him afterwards, instead Ra's discovered that it was a portal to a Netherworld in the Pit's former location, of which both Wonder Woman and Batman were already aware. Ra's flees with the bodies afterwards.
After Batman and Frankenstein locate Ra's and the bodies, they are too late as Ra's has successfully had them placed in a Lazarus Pit, leaving Batman in dread of Damian's fate. The resurrections fail, leaving Ra's to realize his arrogance for allowing the Heretic to kill his grandson, and regret of allowing Talia to clone Damian. After defeating Ra's in combat, Batman reclaims Damian's body and threatens his son's maternal grandfather that if he steals his son's body again, he will kill him in retaliation. They later encounter Darkseid's elite member Glorious Godfrey, setting in motion of the Robin Rises story arc.
Later, Godfrey's reason for coming to Earth is revealed; to retrieve the Chaos Shard, a powerful crystal that once belonged to Darkseid which Ra's revealed was hidden inside the sarcophagus he crafted for Damian. After detecting a trace signature of the shard coming from inside Damian's body, Godfrey escapes with Damian's corpse back to Apokolips, despite assistance from the Justice League. Angered, Batman once again vows to retrieve his son's corpse.
Batman enters and accesses the Justice League Watchtower to use his unstable exosuit known as the Hellbat armor designed by Batman himself and the Justice League members to engage with large scale threats. Batman then activates the Boom Tube to Darkseid's homeworld, Apokolips, to retrieve Damian's corpse. Batman successfully retrieves his son's corpse as he and his family team returns to Earth via the Boom Tube directly to the Batcave after defeating Darkseid and his Parademons. After this, Batman uses the Chaos Shard on his son's corpse, which has been infused with Darkseid’s Omega Sanction. With Batman facing two choices of whether to resurrect Damian or his parents, he chooses his son, granting Damian's true resurrection. As Damian and Batman embrace, Batman collapses from exhaustion.
However, before the team can celebrate, the Boom Tube used to return to Earth was not closed and Darkseid's son Kalibak arrives and attacks the team. During the fight, Kalibak beats the team nearly to death, when suddenly Damian knocks out Kalibak with a powerful uppercut; discovering that due to the Chaos Shard he has gained superhuman abilities. While Damian fights Kalibak, Batman remotely controls the Batwing and sends it crashing into Kalibak, sending him back through the Boom Tube and then closes the portal. Damian then reunites with his father and his family team. In the aftermath, Damian is then tested by Batman on how to control his new power abilities before Damian returns to the role as Robin again. With the help from the Justice League, Batman discovers that Damian's new powers do not last, and he eventually relies on his natural abilities once more.
Robin: Son of Batman
After the events of Batman: Endgame that resulted in Bruce Wayne's disappearance, Damian, as Robin, sets out on a globe-spanning journey to forge his own destiny and make amends for all of his wrongdoings in his own series, titled Robin: Son of Batman. Along his journey, he crosses paths with Ra's and Talia al Ghul, Deathstroke, and a new character named Maya Ducard, daughter of the late villain, NoBody. Damian plays a particular role in Batman and Robin Eternal when the Bat-Family is pitted against Mother, a ruthless woman who believes that she can make her 'children' stronger by putting them through intense trauma. Returning to assist his fellow Robins as the crisis reaches its conclusion, Damian helps Dick, Jason and Tim regain confidence in themselves after Mother decimates their initial efforts against her by recalling a conversation he had with Bruce where Bruce noted that he is proud of how all three of the other Robins have different strengths, Bruce wanting his partners to find their own paths rather than blindly follow his own example.
Damian is also a major player in the Robin War event, where he, Agent 37 (Dick Grayson), Red Hood, and Red Robin organize a street gang called "Robins" to defeat the Court of Owls with reluctant aid from Jim Gordon, who is now Batman. In the climax, the Court manipulates Damian into joining them so they can use him to recruit Agent 37. Dick does join in order to save Damian and end the war. In the aftermath, Robin forms an unlikely partnership with his mother Talia.
As part of the DC Rebirth, Damian will be featured in three titles: Teen Titans, where he becomes the team's leader in order to defeat Ra's Al Ghul and succeed Red Robin Tim Drake as leader. Super Sons, co-starring with Superboy the son of Superman, Jonathan Kent. And Nightwing, where he will have a supporting role. Damian also appears in Deathstroke Rebirth #4 and #5, Superman #10 and #11 where he confronts the new Superboy.
Skills and abilities
Having been trained by the League of Assassins since birth, Damian is already an expert martial artist and a master when wielding a great number of weaponry . One of the most skilled and lethal of the Batfamily. Despite his age Damian has taken on and bested trained fighters like, Talia Al Ghul, Red Hood Jason Todd, Red Robin Tim Drake, The Joker amongst others.He was also trained in the disciplines of forensics, acrobatics, criminology, disguise and escapology. Damian is skilled in mimicking voices and speech patterns of others accurately, as he was able to imitate his father's and Tim Drake's in order to bypass the Batcave's voice recognition security systems. Damian is demonstrated to have highly advanced engineering skills, as he was able to complete his father's plans of building a flying Batmobile, the construction of which Alfred described as "being an endless source of frustration to Damian's father". Damian is also a capable businessman despite his young age, and involved with Wayne Enterprises and its board members. He also has been trained in numerous weapons as shown in the Blackest Night event. Damian possessed super powers similar to that of Superman following his resurrection. Though this was short lived. However he is shown to possess healing abilities and powers in the future.
After stealing Jason Todd's Robin tunic and mask from his memorial case, Damian's unofficial appearance as Robin was wearing them over his black and white bodysuit with a grayish hood and cape. He carried a pair of brass knuckles, which he incorporated as part of this costume, and would also carry a sword.
After Dick Grayson officially sanctioned Damian's role as Robin, while a standard Robin tunic was retained, the bodysuit was replaced with a black survival suit, the grayish cape with a yellow "para-cape" which grants him a gliding capability, the black mask with a green one, a bulkier utility belt to carry more arsenal and gadgetry, a black hood, and flexible green gloves and boots.
References in current continuity have been made to the future of Bruce and Talia's son.
- In DC One Million (1999), written by Grant Morrison, a Batman from 853rd Century references a Dark Knight's battle with Two-Face-Two, which Batman #700 and #666 (2010) depicts with Damian Wayne.
- In Teen Titans vol. 3 #18 (2006), when the Teen Titans were transported 10 years into the future, a graveyard full of deceased Batman allies and villains is depicted. One tombstone reads "Ibn al Xu'ffasch" which means "son of the bat" in the Arabic language .
- Batman #666 (2007) features an adult incarnation of Damian Wayne as Batman. He takes on the mantle after he is unable to save Batman from being killed. Damian is a darker Batman than his father, more willing to injure and kill opponents if he judges it necessary to do so (although he mentions that he promised his father not to kill). He sets his base beneath Wayne Tower, suggesting that he inherits his paternal family's resources. He also has a pet cat he calls Alfred. He seems to have developed a rivalry with Commissioner Barbara Gordon (who strongly condemns his actions, claiming that he was responsible for the death of someone close to her) and possesses some form of supernatural ability; most visibly, the ability to heal catastrophic wounds in moments. It is implied that in this possible future, Damian made a literal deal with the Devil: his soul in exchange for the immortality he felt he needed to protect Gotham. Damian states he knew he could not match his predecessors Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson, but makes up for it by "cheating" as he calls it. By setting booby traps throughout the city (mostly prominent buildings), Damian turned Gotham itself into a weapon. Even further into this future in Batman #700 he is seen mentoring Terry McGinnis taking the mantle of Batman. This continuity is continued further in Batman Incorporated vol. 2 #5 (2012), involving him rescuing an infant from the Joker-plague. Batman and Robin vol. 2 Annual #1 (January 2013) continues the continuity introduced in Batman vol. 1 #666. The only New 52 canon story featuring this version of Batman's costume is Batman and Robin vol. 2 Annual #1. The cover of this issue shows the Damian Wayne version of Batman and the motif of Gotham City in flames; featured in prior stories with this version of Batman. The issue also features Titus, Damian's dog, given to him by his father in Batman and Robin vol. 2 #2 (November 2011). However, the annual story does not have a grown Damian, and instead, present-day Damian fights crime in a smaller version of his future Batman garb. Damian's co-creator Andy Kubert is both writer and penciller for a story revealing how he would have become Batman if the events of Flashpoint and the subsequent The New 52 had not occurred. This four-part limited series entitled Damian: Son of Batman by Kubert explains how the near future may have transpired had Damian never been killed. References to Batman #666 are made such as the new rogues' gallery. The first issue reveals that Damian has begun a quest to eliminate any and all of Gotham's criminals who have claimed responsibility for Batman's death, despite the actual reason being a trap apparently set by the Joker. At the end of the debut issue, it is revealed that Bruce Wayne is still alive. In the second issue, it is made known that the Batman who had died was, in actuality, Dick Grayson. Though this miniseries takes place in a continuity supposedly separate from The New 52, it has a stamp on the cover of each issue labelled "The New 52!" as do most comic books taking place in the New 52 canon.
- Superman/Batman #75 shows Damian Wayne as he appears in Batman #666 and #700 with Conner Kent, who is now Superman. Unlike his father and the original Superman, Damian is apparently completely at odds with the new Man of Steel due to Damian's violent approaches as Batman. Issue #80 also shows Damian as Batman and another Superman: Superman Secundus of the future.
- Justice League: Generation Lost #14 shows another alternate future for Damian Wayne, this time taking place over 100 years in the future, where Maxwell Lord has plunged humanity into a massive Metahuman war. Here, Damian and his sidekick, the Red Hood (Thomas Grayson) serve on a new incarnation of the Justice League, dedicated to destroying Lord's army of OMACs. It is implied that Damian was able to survive and maintain his longevity by taking repeated baths in a Lazarus Pit.
- In the Worlds' Finest storyline, Damian Wayne became aware of the existence of the Huntress (Helena Wayne), the displaced daughter of Earth-2's Batman and Catwoman and the two came to regard each other as brother and sister, respectful of each other's tenacity, intelligence and combat prowess. Helena and her friend Power Girl visited Damian's graveside and his alternate-universe 'sister' became visibly upset at her 'brother's' death.[volume & issue needed]
- On Earth-16 of the DC Multiverse, Damian Wayne is now Batman, presumably after the death of his father, while Chris Kent has assumed the mantle of Superman. However, as Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman transformed this world into a virtual utopia, its second-generation metahuman "superheroes" have little to do apart from engaging in historical re-enactments of their glory day battles. This Damian is involved with Alexis Luthor, daughter of Lex Luthor, who ends up betraying him.
- Damian Wayne is also featured in the prequel comic to the game Injustice: Gods Among Us. In Year One, Damian, as Robin, praises Superman's recent actions, especially of killing the Joker. Feeling his father is too self-righteous and stubborn, he sides with Superman's more forceful way of obtaining world peace and warns him of Batman wanting to stop Superman's plans of imprisoning the inmates of Arkham Asylum. After Harley Quinn starts a riot within the Asylum, Robin is attacked by Solomon Grundy, but saved by Nightwing and Superman. As the riot continues, Robin inadvertently kills Dick Grayson when he throws one of his kali sticks into his head, causing Nightwing to fall and break his neck on a piece of rubble. For this act, Batman disowns Damian while Superman comforts him, understanding that Dick's death was an accident. Robin later becomes the first person to use Lex's new super-pill and goes to the Batcave to apologize to Batman, however the two end up arguing, and not knowing his own strength, Damian accidentally knocks Alfred into the Batcomputer in a fit of anger and causes the giant penny to almost crush Alfred. Hawkgirl arrives to take Damian back to the Watchtower, but Damian realizes that "Hawkgirl" is actually Martian Manhunter and lights the Batcave on fire in order to escape, stealing Nightwing's costume as he escapes. In Year Two, when the Green Lantern Corps battle against the Justice League, which has recently aligned with the Sinestro Corps, Robin is defeated and captured by Catwoman at the Hall of Justice and imprisoned. During Year Three his father tries to offer him a chance to join the Insurgency as a sign that they can move on, but Damian rebuffs him. At the end of Year Three he is released from his imprisonment and rejoins the Regime. Year Four sees Damian Wayne having physically grown and is eager for a chance to get revenge on his father. After the Greek Gods descend on the Hall of Justice to force Superman to vacate his self-made position as enforcer, Damian attacks Batman for his revenge. Bruce apologizes for the way things ended between the two, acknowledging his fear that Damian's blind loyalty to Superman may be the result of needing a father figure. Just as Bruce tries to reason with him so that they be together again as Batman and Robin, Damian rips the Robin logo off of his costume, rejecting his father's plea to be 'his Robin again' (presumably marking continuity to the game's main story, where he wears the mantle of Nightwing). He then attacks him but is quickly beaten by his father, and is angered when Superman briefly steps down as the pressure mounts by the appearance of Zeus. Eventually the Regime is able to take back control and by Year Five Damian has grown more, with his hair longer as well. He is confronted by the League of Assassins, who want him to take his grandfather's place as the Head, but he shortly rebuffs them, declaring they have no place in a world run by the Regime. This leads to a fierce fight where he slays the assassins, warning away others who still follow Ra's' ideals. Chapters 13 and 14 follow Damian as he goes through an identity crisis: he wants to be his own person but feels he has left Batman's shadow just to reside in Superman's. An encounter with Alfred in the Batcave leaves Damian considering whether Superman will lose the war because he, unlike Batman, is governed by fear; a later encounter with Catwoman and Harley Quinn also gives him insight, as the former pushes him to make his own identity. Damian later goes to Bludhaven to capture escaped criminals (Black Mask, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Scarecrow, Mad Hatter, Man-Bat, and Bronze Tiger) but is eventually overwhelmed. Unknown to him, he is saved by the deceased Dick Grayson, the new Deadman, who calls for help. After leaving Damian the Nightwing costume, Dick watches as Damian grows closer to Superman, realizing the influence the corrupt Man of Steel has on Damian. Later, Damian visits Alfred on his birthday, only to find that he has been murdered by Victor Zsasz. He hunts him down and he, Superman, Flash, Wonder Woman, and Yellow Lantern fight Batman when he attempts to bring him in without killing him, but the fight ends with Flash saving Batman at the last minute. Damian never realizes that Superman hired Zsasz to kill Alfred and he later murders the criminal in his cell. During the Year Five annual and sequel series Ground Zero Damian is left in charge of looking over the Batcave until it is ravaged of any useful materials and completely destroyed. Unknown to anyone, Damian had burned down some of Wayne Manor as a way to distance himself from his past.
In other media
- Damian Wayne makes his television debut in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "The Knights of Tomorrow!", with Robin voiced by Patrick Cavanaugh and Batman voiced by Diedrich Bader. This version is a stark departure from his original counterpart: his father remains Batman (Bruce Wayne) but his mother is Catwoman (Selina Kyle), bears no intent to kill at all and acts much more like his father and his costume is similar to Tim Drake's second Robin costume. Initially portrayed as being reluctant to follow in his father's footsteps, he tells his parents that he does not want them to plot out his own life for him. But after his parents are killed by Joker Jr., Damian takes up the Robin mantle and fights alongside Batman (Dick Grayson). Ultimately, the two bring Joker Jr. and the original Joker to justice and save Gotham from a poison gas attack. It shows that Damian goes on to fight the Club of Villains, Flamingo and Professor Pyg. The episode ends with Dick passing on the Batman mantle to Damian shown fighting crime with his own child (voiced by Sebastian Bader) as the new Robin. The pair are seen fighting the mutants from The Dark Knight Returns, a reference which is further established by the new Robin's resemblance to the Robin (Carrie Kelly) from The Dark Knight Returns. It ultimately turns out that the episode's events were part of Alfred Pennyworth's book 'The Knights of Tomorrow'. This episode was based on a comic book story from the Silver Age in which Batman was married to Kathy Kane with their son Bruce Jr.
- In the Teen Titans Go! episode, Yearbook Madness, Damian's name appears in Starfire's yearbook, telling her to call him if things with Robin don't work out.
- Damian Wayne is seen in the "New York Comic-Con 2015 " portion of "Late Night with Seth Meyers", acting sarcastically and stating that Bruce Wayne is Batman, much to Seth's dismay.
- Damian Wayne has a major role in the film Son of Batman, voiced by Stuart Allen.
- He also appears in Batman vs. Robin as a sequel to Son of Batman, with Stuart Allen reprising his role.
- Damian appears in Batman: Bad Blood, a sequel to Son of Batman and Batman vs. Robin featuring Batwoman, with Stuart Allen reprising his role. His altered clone, the Heretic (voiced by Travis Willingham), also appears as an antagonist.
- Damian appears in Justice League vs. Teen Titans, a sequel to Justice League: War and Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, with Stuart Allen reprising his role.
- Damian appears in Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League: Gotham City Breakout, voiced by Scott Menville.
- Damian will appear in Batman Unlimited: Mech vs. Mutants, voiced by Lucien Dodge.
- Damian Wayne (as Robin) is a playable character in Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, voiced by Charlie Schlatter. He was included in the Heroes pre-order pack exclusive to Amazon.com and EB Games.
- Damian Wayne appears as a playable character in Injustice: Gods Among Us, voiced by Neal McDonough. This older, more violent incarnation is the alternate dimension version of Nightwing. A member of Superman's Regime, he is first seen accompanying Hawkgirl and the Regime Soldiers into attacking the Joker Clan's hideout. Both of them are defeated by the Joker and retreat when the Batman of the Insurgency and the mainstream Justice League members with him arrive. When Nightwing and Catwoman fight Batman and Green Arrow, Green Arrow tries to reason with Nightwing, thinking he is Dick Grayson. Nightwing states that he is actually Batman's biological son. Batman states he "stopped being his son" when Damian killed Dick to which Damian retorts that Superman was a better father figure. After being defeated by Batman, Damian is told by his father that his son is "dead to him". After Alfred is killed however, Bruce tries to make amends. Apologising to Damian and requesting he come home. In Year 4 we find out that the real Dick Grayson has been watching over Damian as Deadman. After saving Damian from Gotham villains Grayson passes the Nightwing mantle to him and gives him the Nightwing suit.Damian then goes to avenge Alfred by killing Victor Zsasz after Batman refuses to kill Zsasz. Damian was later seen with the Regime taking part in the final battle against the Insurgents. After Superman defeated the Regime's Superman, Damian is among the Regime members that are arrested by the Justice League. In Damian's ending, Nightwing begins challenging anyone who crosses his path. Seeing his ability to inspire fear, Nightwing is chosen by a yellow power ring and recruited into the Sinestro Corps.
- In Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure, Maxwell can team up with the Damian Wayne version of Robin to defeat Harley Quinn and Doppelganger in the Joker's Fun House World.
- In Infinite Crisis, Damian Wayne is the Robin from the "Nightmare" universe appears as one of the available "champions", voiced by James Arnold Taylor.
- The regular continuity version of Damian Wayne appears in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold tie-in comic. In this story, the Phantom Stranger summons Robins from all time periods to save Batman's life. When Nightwing steps up to lead the Robins, Damian voices his support, referencing their partnership as Batman and Robin in the future. Later, when the group encounters the League of Shadows, Damian orders them to stand down. When they attack anyway, Damian realizes that they do not recognize him in the past. At one point, he also threatens Jason Todd saying that he knows Jason's fate and offering to make it happen sooner if he keeps causing trouble, referencing his death in the comics. Nightwing notes that Damian fights aggressively, but strikes with precision "like a surgeon."
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