To say that below my following review will be full of spoilers is pretty redundant at this point seeing as we got the new from the New York post about the big moment in it. We will get to that a little bit later as there is a good amount of story that happened as well.
Batman Inc. has seemed like a slow beast getting to this point of the Leviathan Story line but we are soon getting to the end and here is one of the, if not the darkest chapter in it. Do not be fooled by the title of the series, this is a straight Damian story from start to finish. While the rest of the Batman Inc group is struggling to fight their way to get to Batman, currently trapped, it is Robin who comes flying in to suddenly even the odds, taking the fight straight to the tower. And while this is going on, it shows how far Damian Wayne has gone as a character in the books. He might have first shown up and pushed the idea he was ‘the proper’ person to become Batman and take control of his legacy, here it is more about wanting to save his father and call off his mother in her actions.
The best scene in the whole Book is when Nightwing and Robin get to work together again even for the briefest of moments. They lay down the feelings on how much they meant to one another. It is a wonderful written scene harking back to the period of time Nightwing was Batman. Times almost forgotten now save for Morrison who wrote it. It also has this wonder action quality to it all with them sitting and talking this out while hail of gunfire is upon them, before moving out with smoke bombs and classic 60’s style fight sound affects right out of Adam West show. But, with the knowledge we knew going into this, it was bitter sweet as we knew what would be coming very soon.
Everything this issue had leaded up to was Damian fighting against his much larger self, The Heretic. And it is a brutal one at that. It was more than really just a drawn out fight, this move was enough of a distraction for the group to grab what Heretic was holding and stop Talia if only for a brief moment. And Damian went down swinging and insulting his mother’s followers. And hopefully in this last effort try and convince her to stop this brutal fighting between this and his father, though that may have cost him his life in doing so.
The art work put forth by Chris Burnham in these last few pages is what sells this as not just some would be comic stunt, but a genuine moment in the history of Batman. Yet another tragedy in an already tragedy filled world of Bruce Wayne. And while the cynics of the world may have this off as another Robin dying, we soon forget this was a blood relative of Bruce, and the last time he lost one of these was when his parents died on that night in Crime Alley.
While the artwork though out by Burnham was all around wonderful, there is a credit to Jason Master who did a few pages as well. And while there is a moment where he tries to use the same style, it is slightly noticeable in the two change overs. It isn’t bad art work in any shape, but if you are flipping through it would be little jarring.
The whole series and death is very sad, Damian when introduced was an unlikeable character at first, but the more he was used and groomed under Alfred, Dick, and then later Bruce he was a fresh voice to the Batman Family, he was accepted as well by the fans slowly. So for him to be ‘gone’ is a sad one even it was planned for a while. Will he stay; well I don’t want to be one of the few who says it will only be a matter of time before his return happens. But, never can really say in the world of comics anymore. Though if this is the finale story of this Robin, then it would be a fitting one.
OVERALL 8.5 out of 10
Bryan "BAC" Clendening