It’s easy to dismiss Bruce Wayne’s son as an annoying brat, but I think that’s a shallow criticism. There’s a struggle within Damian that is fascinating, and his killer instinct has always been dangerously close to the surface. (Remember last year’s memorable moment, when he bashed the Joker’s head in with a crowbar?) Illustrator Patrick Gleason shows Damian’s dark side in a series of wordless, powerful panels in the relaunched Batman and Robin # 2. A single bat lands on the boy’s hand and, unaware that Alfred is watching from a distance, he crushes it without blinking. He’s, what, 11?
This act reminded readers that Damian isn’t just a quick-witted twerp but a deeply disturbed child who may be beyond rehabilitation. Gleason and writer Peter Tomasi have painted an compelling, chilling portrait of a character at the crossroads. Wherever Damian goes from here, the journey is sure to be memorable.