Villains use Facebook now!
Okay this was a major disappointment to me I love Damian and I loved reading his character development from the moment he first appeared in Batman with Grant Morrison to when he died in Batman Incorporated and he went from an arrogant, unlikable brat to a very complex likeable character and that feels severely lost in this issue, I mean severely. He’s written almost like Dick Grayson, but way more arrogant and violent. That’s not my only problem with the issue I have a lot and unfortunately I want to love this series, the art is totally gorgeous and some panels are beyond what you’d expect in any comic, but it’s so disappointing that with a series like this with, so much potential that it falls so short.
Let’s me start saying that this isn’t as bad as Kubert’s Joker issue although still pretty bad there are some scenes in here that are at least decent like the one in the church and there are some good ideas put in (spoilers from here on in, but this was inevitable) and when Batman is killed off I like how all the villains try to grab the glory for it. The Church scene probably reads the best and I did like how it transitioned and it’s a nice glimpse into Damian’s motives and how he works.
The first scene is probably worse which is the scene where Batman gets killed, but the dialogue! Since when did Damian say “Holy Crap!” sounds more like something Tim or Dick would say, Damian would be sarcastic about it like one of his famous “TTs”, but no it’s Holy Crap! I wouldn’t have knocked anything off for that, it’s one poor line of dialogue and I’ve read that in some comics, but it continues through the issue I mean he will joke about it almost like Dick or Tim, it doesn’t sound at all like him. Damain was sarcastic, arrogant and some of his lines of dialogue where just loveable, but not here. Maybe it’s because in this series he’s older he’s about 16 odd here I think, but I’d have preferred to have seen that transition and he seems just to drastically altered in this anyway. Minor point compared to the rest, but would Batman call Damian “Young man”? Sounds like something Alfred would say, but not Batman. The characterisation all over the issue is bad, he’s lost all of that sense of good that he inherited in Batman Inc and Batman and Robin, sure I know he has to kill it was written in Batman 666, but I think he lost some of the remorse and feeling of guilt and late on in the Batman Incorporated series he felt guilty about it and he would kill, but with some reason like protecting his father, but he’s killing randomly for revenge? I mean would Batman want him to do that? Surely in death he would want to make his own Batman, but respect his father. (Spoilers)Also did he just kill Jackn’apes is he not alive later on in this reality? Also the thing with him killing in the past was that it was a one off event once in a while for emotional impact, in this he kills loads of people with no remorse about it, I think you get the picture about it, but this just enraged me, so much since Damian was a favourite of mine. I think I’ll finally say that if this was admitted as an Elseworlds tale like in the beginning of the issue, I would have accepted the new version a bit more, I don’t like it, but if it was a different version it would have been more tolerable, even though I still would have hated his characterisation.
I think the scene with Talia and Ra’s al Ghul made sense, but how is she alive? If this is elseworlds that’s fine, but I still think it should have some explanation. Also I realise it’s trying to get new readers up to speed, but for Talia to suddenly jump to his origin retelling is both forced and cheesy; however, there is a fair amount of jumping around like one bit of dialogue that suddenly jumps to another scene with the villains. It doesn’t transition well at all. Also the villain’s putting up claims on Facebook?! That they killed Batman with the like option is just plain stupid, news headlines or graffiti carved out due to their powers or something like that, but Facebook?!
Right I think I’ve ranted too much, now onto the best part of the issue, the art. The art by Kubert is glorious in every way his attention to detail is amazing and I love how the first sequences is laid out, it’s amazingly detailed, but also is very dark in tone and shadows. His rendition of Damian is very good although it lacks the sort of charm that Burnham’s version had, although he is older, but I think this more aggressive version of Damian is well drawn even if I don’t like the fact it’s happening. Brad Anderson though is the real star his colours bring so much depth to the book and life as well and the scene in the church is particularly well done and the colours bring so much depth to the scene.
I think you get the message about why I hated this issue and how it ruined a character I adored and all character development went out the window, I mean I would understand more if it was said to be Elseworlds, but I still really hate this version of him, he has no depth and at points sounds like Dick Grayson, so technically you could say that he changes characterisation midway through the issue. I will stick with the series mainly, due to the hope that it will improve and the fact I love Damian so much, but I’m not too hopeful about it.