Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Peter Tomasi
Artist: Patrick Gleason
Inker: Mick Gray
Colorist: John Kalisz, Guy Major
Release Date: April 11th
Batman and Robin #8 is the wrap up to the issues before the Night of the Owls event takes place. Issue #8 is called Born to Kill: Black Dawn and the title hints at what to expect from this issue. Born to Kill refers to Damian’s personality as a stone cold fighter. Black Dawn references to dark smog in the air after an all night battle between opponents. The air is soot and thick with smoke as the sun rises, we see the spectacle of a worn battle. This refers to the aftermath of Issue #7, the brutal fight between Damian and Nobody left the audience in anxious mode to find out what Damian had done. In this review, the following will be discussed: the battle aftermath, the relationship between Bruce and Damian, and the artist’s style, and what is to come in Issue #9.
SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT!
“What have you done, Damian?” is all Bruce could ask of his son. What laid before Bruce is Nobody chained to an object with Damian hovering over him. Damian staggers out “I did
what I had to do.” His speech on the reason for killing Nobody was terrifying and yet quite noble. The fact that Damian killed Nobody without much hesitation or remorse shows his utilitarianism, which shows Damian’s belief in “The ends justifies the means.” A child stating this belief as well as showing the action to take life in order to protect what is his is terrifying. It shows Damian as he is cold, calculated, and respectfully noble. The noble side to his reason for killing Nobody is that Damian did this for his father, Bruce. Although, Bruce would NEVER stoop to such level of utilitarianism he knows that his son meant well in his actions. Bruce as a father carries his son away from the battle field to hurry Damian to the Batcave.
As Damian is being taken care by Alfred, Bruce comes to realize something about his son. As an utilitarian, his son is at risk in becoming a similar version of his former Robin…Jason Todd. Jason was very much like Damian, a utilitarian who believed in a the same statement. This is seen in Issue #8 as Bruce looks at the encased Robin costume. From this realization, Bruce final understands what he must do to stop this similarity. He must become more of a father and less of The Dark Knight towards his son. Damian is not just any ole Robin, he is blood and blood be must be taken care of.
The relationship between Damian and Bruce is still well guarded. The characters change
between being their normal selves (Damian and Bruce) and being their alter egos (Robin and Batman). This is shown through Patrick Gleason’s artistry in using of light and shadows. As Damian and Bruce talk about Damian’s reasons for killing Nobody, Gleason uses the sunset to cast over the two. Part of the sunset shines over their faces revealing their vulnerability and revelations to each other. The shining over their faces shows their humanity and how fragile the two characters are in the mist of has happened to them. The shadows cascading over them shows their alter egos expressing doubt and expectation. An example of the shadow interpretation is when Bruce reveals to Damian that he also shares the desire to kill his adversaries, but follows his principles to control his desire. Their alter egos are speaking to each other showing guarded responses to each other. An example of light interpretation is when Damian confides to Bruce that he wants to be like him, but has trouble finding his own identity as a Wayne (being Bruce’s son). Bruce assures Damian that he only wants his son to be himself, Damian Wayne. Even though, the two have a long way to go with their father-son relationship. It is a working progress for both of them.
By the end of this issue, the two characters are figuring out their relationship as father and son. It was a very powerful issue that establishes their bond as not only father and son, but as partners in crime. Damian has begun to establish his identity as a Wayne, more so as a morally compassed individual. He is slowly pulling away from how his mother, Talia, has taught him to be. Bruce is learning that he must entitle his role as a father separating from The Dark Knight persona to cater to his son’s needs in guidance. As they are establishing this, Issue #9 will test their strength against the Talon. The Court of the Owls claims to owning Gotham and it would be interesting to see how Damian takes to this. Since he is very well proud of the Wayne lineage, Damian might use this to fight the history and control of the Court. As Bruce’s offspring, Damian holds the future of the Wayne lineage in his blood. I believe that the Talon will go after him in full force to rid of Bruce’s heir crushing the Wayne dynasty. This should be exciting for Issue #9.
For more Issue # 8 pictures go to DKN Facebook Black Dawn to see more that was not shown in this post.
Leave your comments below or on DKN Facebook on how you felt about Black Dawn? What did you think of Gleason’s work? Did you enjoy the story? Is there a similarity between Jason Todd and Damian Wayne or are they just too different? Will Bruce continue to be the father he needs to be?
Source- DC Comics (pictures)