I dont think i need spoilers tags since pretty much by now everybody knows what happen.
Damian Wayne, the 5th Robin was killed recently in Batman Incorporated #8 and i have already talk a lot about what i think of Death in comics in another blogpost but my thoughts on this matter are slightly different here.
I dont think this death was made because of shock value or something similar but this is a death that really leaves a very bad taste in my mouth. Not just because Im a fan of the character but because i feel that this is an step backwards in many ways.
THE NEW 52? What about the NEW Batman?
Before the New 52 was implemented I was actually really enthusiastic about it, I felt that it was an opportunity for DC to clean its continuity and open new possibilities while at the same time allowing the old things to work in different ways, Now I think very different about it specially when talking about Batman here.
I have read Batman since DC changed his universe forever in 2005 with the event of Infinite Crisis and with that evenet came Morrison's epic Batman run. Whatever you like it or not Morrison changed Batman and he changed the way people see Batman not only readers but writers too and the way he did that was by simply evolving the concept, taking it into its next logical step.
Many remember that Morrison's first arc was title Batman & Son, what not many seems to recall is the title of the first chp
Building a Better Batmovile
That right there is the core concept of Morrison's entire run, Building something better, and to do that he used all the parts that he could, this is why he tap into all those old stories of the silver age, he revived old concepts and all those things that preceded his run as base for his run and by doing so he created a new level by simply supporting himself into those old forgotten parts of Batman's own history.
Thats how he build a new Batmovile and therefore thats how he build a new Batman.
The replacement Batmen, The death and return of Bruce Wayne, The New Son, The New Red Robin, The New Batman and Robin, The New Batgirl and Oracle, The New Outsiders, The New Batmovile, The New Villains, a New Purpose.
Those things were genuinely NEW.
The idea of "new" implies that there was something old however it doesnt imply that it is something different.
Those things were the product of the evolution of Batman and that was suppose to be the new Status Quo and here is the thing about evolution, it goes up as in an spiral pattern.
However DC using the new 52 got rid of all that in the name of NEW, all got lost in the name of "progress" and we got back to the same old status quo.
The new Batman is just the same Old one in a new package, Dick Grayson no longer wears a cowl, the Batmovile cannot fly and from now on Batman no longer has a son so at the end of the day when the last page of Morrison's run had been turn and assuming Robin remains dead, if Dick is Nightwing and the Batmovile is still the same and if pretty much every is back as it was before Morrison's run and in certain cases like Oracle for example have regressed even further then...
What did we accomplished? where is that next level on top of all of this?
If the only accomplishment of this journey was the sole journey on its own then for future references you might as well completely ignore it cause it has nothing do to with this NEW Batman..
So go tell the future writers and readers to just be oblivious about it because there is nothing NEW coming from this, that there is no next stage, it doesnt exists and Batman wont move up that spiral anymore and will keep going in an never ending cycle.
The Morrison run has officially become old and obsolete and the "NEW" in my respect is just something even older and even more obsolete.
The Problems with Damian
JUST 5 YEARS?
Suffocating, There is no other word to describe what the 5 year timeline means to Batman.
Its constraining, Its limiting, its cutting his oxygen and stealing his life out of it and the reason is simple to understand.
Morrison made Batman progress not despite of his continuity but because of it, all those experiences, all those years cant be compress into 5 years, its taking away what made it advance.
Its basically like removing the engine of a car with the idea that it will go faster cause the car is lighter.
This has been a huge problem with Damian Wayne simply because he is 10 years old and even the most moderated calculus put only 7 years in the continuity of Batman, but thats just a general timeline since In Batman & Robin 0 he had a total of 5 birthdays 1 year and a half before Batman and son which indicates that he grew in real time and wasnt artificially aged, of course it doesnt help that writers just deal with this problem by ignoring the issue entirely.
It almost seems like Damian just doesnt fit into this NEW 52 continuity
Robin is dead, All Hail the new Robin!
It just amazes me that the second that it was hinted of the possibility of Damian dieing a ton of people start speculating about who or when would a new Robin, i guess thats the fan mentality and even i would lie if i dont admit that I did contemplated the possibilities.
Some people say Its going to be Harper Row, becoming the 5 robin in continuity and the 3rd girl wonder
other say a big return to either Cass Cain or Stephanie Brown would be well received too.
But what people doesnt seem to think about is what does to have a new robin?
What does it mean to Batman and what does it mean to Damian.
does having a new robin so soon implies that Damian's return will be much later than sooner and if it is sooner what happens if he returns and finds himself replaced already.
would he take on a different name then or would we have 2 robins?
What does this means to the fans who still want to read about Damian?
What exactly is this "Death" you talk about?
There is a huge difference between the death of Jason Todd and the death of Damian and that is that Jason just wasnt popular when he died so not many people missed him and the impact of his dead was actually bigger than the impact that he made in life. still Jason returned to life and his return brought a lot of other interesting elements.
But with Damian and in the current state of comics, its practically impossible to thing that he will stay dead for 15 years much less a full year
Even though Morrison thought on killing him on his first appearance, he didnt, he survived and he became popular
There is the Lazarus Pit, thats how Jason return officially
Maybe he will get revived by the white lantern
Or some supernatural
Some people even say he will sell his soul to the devil to return like it was hinted in Batman 666
And some even say that he will be back before the end of Batman Inc.
So at the end of the day, What is this death about?
because even if you consider that the death of Robin is bad because of the absence he provokes on batman as well as the inconcequense which leaves Morrison's run in, on the other hand the death of Damian is still part of Morrison's run.
Therefore the inevitable return of Damian becomes nothing more than a complete disconnection of Morrison entirely, this of course assuming that Robin stays dead by the end of Morrison's run.
His return marks the end of everything Morrison created because a resurrected Damian would just be something else entirely or just a pale copy of Morrison.
THE MAIN PROBLEM
There are 2 possibilities and only 2
- Either Damian comes back to life soon
- or he doesnt come back soon
And even though this will be my humble opinion, BOTH CHOICES SUCK
You may notice that I dont include "he wont come back ever" because its just not a realistic choice, because if it isnt soon maybe in 10 or 20 or 50 years someone somewhere will try this character again.
so the manner in question is simply When will he be back and he can come back sooner or later
Either way, he is just not going to be here for some time, writers wont be able to write his stories anymore and for a long time and that is exactly why this is such a terrible thing.
Whatever if it is a year or 20 years it is still a huge step backwards, it simply ending that world that Morrison created..
Im not discrediting writers like Snyder, Layman, Tomasi or Hurwitz by thinking they cant create a new world for batman like Morrison did, and in some cases Snyder has created some genuinely new interesting concepts too as well as utilizing the own history of batman and respecting his continuity.
What Im questioning is the sole idea of making Batman new utilizing new parts and forget about what made Batman good in the first place.
I read comics because i want to see what happens next, what will be the next step, the next adventure and how will the story progress and thanks to the new 52 and the lost of Morrison's concepts i feel that we are not progressing and its because we are not, we are not moving forward anymore
I dont want an story where Batman deals with the dead of a robin cause we already had that or where he gets a new robin who is a girl or not because robin left/died, already cover.
We are moving Backwards. and DC thinks that is something New just because we are seeing the same scenery from another point of view.
End of Blog Post
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