We Need To Talk About Damian
Hey there Evil Geeks, I’ve got a little bit of a dilemma on my hands here. Have you ever come across a character that you just know, deep down inside that you really should hate with all of your Evil, Geeky heart, but for some reason, you actually end up liking them? That’s where I’m at with Damian Wayne. There is seriously no reason at all to like him; he’s a bratty, annoying kid sidekick, but damn it… the little psychopath has grown on me.
I’ve talked about Robin before in our Guilty Pleasures feature. A lot of people complain that he’s a useless sidekick, but I’ve always been a fan of the character, with the only exception being when Jason Todd donned the uniform. Jason was a whiny, punk, yet for some reason Bruce decided bestow the honor of being Robin upon him. His only qualification for being Robin was that he once managed to swipe the wheels off the Batmobile. If automobile related petty theft is the cutoff line we’re using to judge who does or doesn’t get to be a superhero, then I know some dudes down the street who are ready to form their own Justice League. The little s.o.b. couldn’t open his mouth without saying something snotty and dickish. I’ve said this before, and I’ll defend this statement until the day I die, but we all know the true hero of “Death in the Family” is the crowbar. I really can’t opine as to what he’s like these days in his Red Hood incarnation because I haven’t read much of the Red Hood stuff, but when he was Robin he was a cocky asshole (Geez C-Mart, tell us what you really think about this teen child).
That brings me back to Damian. Much like Jason, he’s a mouthy, know-it-all, hothead (in the parlance of the Nolan-Verse), who seems ripe for the hatred of fanboys and fangirls the world over. He second guesses Bruce, he constantly gives him shit and the little maniac will probably end up butchering a busload of senior citizens or something one day when one of them gives him a dirty look, but you know what? I kind of love the character. The thing that I think separates him from Jason is the training each character had prior to becoming Robin. Damian spent his entire 10 years on this planet training; Jason had an impressive collection of purloined Honda “H” hood ornaments. Damian knows a multitude of fighting styles, both hand to hand and with various weapons; Jason knows a guy who pays decent prices for hub caps that “fell off a truck”. Damian can act like a cocky asshole because he has the skills to back it up, but Jason just came off like an entitled twerp whenerver he spoke. Nepotism issues aside, Damian’s fucked-up childhood tested him enough to be able to justifiably earn spot training and fighting alongside the most bad-ass man in the universe (but yeah, being his son also probably helped out a whole lot too). Granted, Jason had kind of a fucked-up childhood too, but he only earned the Robin spot because he got caught in the middle of a misdemeanor. You can forgive Damian when he’s being a douche, because he honestly doesn’t know how to be any other way. He was forced to be that way by his mother and his training, but you can see that just beneath the surface though is a 10-year-old kid. Jason on the other hand was such an unrelenting prick, that it seemed like he jumped at every available chance to engage in douche-baggery.
Damian’s life of training has ensured that he’s no normal 10-year-old. He doesn’t play around and he doesn’t really relate to people all that well (which actually adds a little bit of welcome comic relief every now and then, especially when you he’s comparing himself to the other Robins) and for that reason I really enjoy having him in the Batbooks. SPOILERS AHEAD!
If you’ve been keeping up on the “Death of the Family” storyline, but at the end of Batman #16 the Joker tells Penguin and Two-Face that he’s got a little something special for Batman inside a covered dinner tray he’s holding. When he uncovers the tray and shows it to them, the two hardened criminals react with horror. Chances are he’s got Alfred’s head on that tray, but if it’s a switcheroo and Damian’s head is on there instead, I think I’m going to be pretty upset. Although, come on…if the Joker gets so much as within a foot of Damian, if Batman doesn’t kick his ass first, then that little kid will wipe the floor with the Joker!
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