This has been a series that I've been looking forward to for some time now as besides the fact that I've been a big fan of the Damian Wayne character, I was especially interested to see how he plays a part in the future of the DC Universe given the fact that he dies in Batman Incorporated #8. I have however been slightly sceptical following Andy Kubert's Joker issue during Villains Month, though I still have high hopes for this mini-series.
As Batman and Robin investigate a crime involving the Joker things don't end very well or Batman.
This was a decent start for the series, though it was still rather disappointing. Andy Kubert didn't do a terrible job with this issue, as it was much better than the Joker issue. I did however feel that there was a few problems with Kubert's writing, as besides the characteristics of Damian being off a bit the dialogue being rather awkward at times, also feeling very unnatural. Kubert would however do a good job of making this issue flow smoothly, as well as adding mystery and suspense to the story. Kubert did however do a fantastic job of the artwork on this issue, as although there were the odd awkward facial expressions, it was very intense and dramatic, having a brilliant tone throughout. The layout of Kubert's art was also outstanding helping to enhance the excitement of the fight sequences, as well as adding more depth to the story. Added to that the wonderful colours from Nick J. Napolitan and this would be a vibrant story with amazing tone.
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR THE REST OF THE REVIEW!
Now I usually dislike giving away spoilers, but there's a major development near the start that is hard to avoid spoiling, and comments about other developments could also mention this. Anyway now that you're warned Batman dies in the opening sequence. Now this isn't a shock as he must die for Damian to become Batman. The sequence itself was however very exciting, with some beautiful artwork, as although the dialogue was a bit poor, it would be very intense and overall very entertaining.
This issue would also see an appearance from both Ra's Al Ghul and his daughter and Damian's mother Talia Al Ghul. Now there is a lot of questions about how both Talia and Damian are alive, and whether this is the same universe as the regular DC series'. I did however enjoy the appearance from Ra's and Talia, as although I question why Damian would want help from the person that killed him, it wouldn't be right not to add them in some form or another. The best part of their appearance however would be the dialogue from Ra's which was one of the better pieces of dialogue in the issue.
The rest of the issue would see Damian hunting down anyone that has claimed to have been behind the killing of Batman, whilst looking for Joker at the same time. I really enjoyed seeing these villains added, as although it was a rather short appearance from them all, it would show just how big an affect Batman had over Damian's behaviour, and that now that he's no longer around he will let his anger rule over the lessons that Batman taught him. There would also be some questionable development points to this as well, and although I like the mysterious element of that, I also hope that there is some clarity over the continuity behind these developments.
This was a decent start to this four part mini-series as although it wasn't as amazing as I hoped it would be, it was still very interesting having a lot of mystery to it. I do however have faith that this will be a good series, and if Kubert improves the dialogue it could become even better. Due to all this I'd recommend this to anyone who's a die hard Damian Wayne fan, but otherwise I'd wait it out for another issue or two to see how good the story is overall.