September 18, 2022 15 min read
Damian Wayne is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by Grant Morrison and Andy Kubert and first appeared as Damian Wayne in Batman #655(2006) and as Robin in Batman and Robin #1(2009).
Damian Wayne is the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Ghul and is the fifth character to take up the mantle of Robin. Having grown up in a laboratory, Damian Wayne as a pre-adolescent is left by his mother in the care of his father, who had been not aware of his son's existence. He is violent and self-important and was trained by the League of Assassins, learning to kill at a young age, which troubles the relationship with his father, who refuses to kill. However, the Dark Knight does care for his lost progeny. After the events of Batman R.I.P. and Batman: Battle for the Cowl, he takes up the identity of Robin at ten years of age. He first worked with Dick Grayson before going to work alongside his father, upon the original's return to the role of Batman. He continued to serve as Robin until 2013's Batman, Inc. #8, in which he is killed by the Heretic, an agent of his mother and his own artificially-aged clone. In 2014's Batman and Robin (vol. 2) #37, Batman resurrects Damian Wayne.
The child from Son of the Demon was used as a backup character in various stories before appearing as Damian Wayne.
In the Elseworlds story, The Brotherhood of the Bat (1995), a version named Tallant Wayne appears, who crusades against his grandfather Ra's al Ghul. Brotherhood of the Bat features a future in which Ra's al Ghul discovers the Batcave following Bruce Wayne's death, and outfits the League of Assassins in variant Batman costumes based on Wayne's rejected designs. Talia and Bruce's son join the Brotherhood in his father's costume, to destroy it from within.
In Kingdom Come (1996) by Mark Waid and Alex Ross, which functioned as a possible future to the canon of the time, the child of Batman and Talia is named Ibn al Xu'ffasch, literally "Son of the Bat", and a member of Lex Luthor's inner circle. He falls in love with Nightstar, the daughter of Dick Grayson and Starfire. He works as a double agent for Batman in Luthor's organization. In the Elliot S! Maggin novelization of Kingdom Come, al Xu'ffasch tells Bruce that his mother Talia is still alive and working as a Mother Superior in India, one of Mother Teresa's successors. al Xu'ffasch reappears in Waid's 1999 sequel The Kingdom. In The Kingdom: Son of the Bat, flashbacks shed new insights into his history: that he was reared by Ra's al Ghul to be the heir to his empire, that he eventually murdered his grandfather (cutting off his head to prevent yet another regeneration), and that he sought therapy from psychiatrist Dr. Gibson. He was eventually recruited by Rip Hunter to try to stop a madman named Gog from altering his history. He works with several other heroes of his generation – Kid Flash, the daughter of the Flash (Wally West); Nightstar (Nightwing and Starfire's child) and Offspring, the son of Plastic Man.
In League of Batmen (2001), the sequel to Brotherhood of the Bat, Tallant leads his own team of variant Batmen to combat the plague that was al Ghul's legacy. During the battle, Tallant discovers that his grandfather is the one who murdered his father and then cloned him. Ra's even sent the clone to murder his own daughter. Because the deaths of his parents at Ra's's hands, Tallant has completed following his father's tragic path as Batman. The new Dark Knight desires justice for his parents along with trying to stop his grandfather, while having to battle his father's murderous double.
Grant Morrison's story titled Batman and Son (2006) expands upon the Son of the Demon storyline as part of a remodeling of Batman's personality after the events of Infinite Crisis. In Morrison's version, the child Damian Wayne is the result of a tryst between Batman and Talia, during which the Dark Knight claims he was drugged when they were at the Tropic of Cancer, though Morrison later admitted the claim of drugging was a canonical error on his part. Since then however in issues of the Morrison penned Batman Incorporated, the drugging is reaffirmed and is once again part of Damian's origin.
The final issue of 52 (2008) designates the Kingdom Come alternate universe as Earth-22, thus making the Ibn al Xu'ffasch version part of the DC multiverse. Justice Society of Americavol. 3 #22 (2009) reveals that he would eventually marry Nightstar with whom he would have a daughter and son.
Damian's existence was initially unknown to Batman. Genetically perfected and grown in an artificial womb, Damian was intended to be a formidable warrior. Raised by Talia and the League of Assassins, Damian became a talented martial artist by the time he was a pre-teen.
Damian is seen years later when Talia has him spy on Bruce with her. Talia reveals Damian's existence to Bruce Wayne at ten years old and leaves him in his father's custody in an effort to disrupt Batman's work. Precocious, spoiled, selfish and violent, Damian battles Robin (Tim Drake), whom Damian wants to replace as Batman's sidekick, and sucker punches him off the T. Rex model in the Batcave. Grounded by Batman, Damian escapes, dons a variant Robin costume made of Jason Todd's old tunic and assorted League of Assassin gear, and gets into a fight with the villainous Spook, whom he decapitates. Although misguided and malicious, Damian seems to genuinely want to aid Batman's war on crime as Damian sees himself as Wayne's true son though this remains unconfirmed.
Eventually, Batman confronts Talia, but both Talia and Damian are soon caught in an explosion. They survive the explosion, but a badly injured Damian requires transplants of harvested organs, which his mother orders her physicians to carry out. Damian made a full recovery.
Talia, Head of the Demon, takes Damian to the Australian Outback where he is tutored in the secret history of his grandfather, Ra's al Ghul. Talia is unaware that a former servant of Ra's, named White Ghost, plans to use Damian as a shell for the soul of Ra's to return to Earth. This process would, of course, kill Damian. Talia is able to save her son from his fate at the last minute.
However, Ra's is still able to return, as a rotting, shambling undead corpse, still needing Damian to stabilize his form. Damian flees to alert Batman, but he's still pursued by his evil grandfather. Upon entering Wayne Manor, Damian attempts to relay to Robin the fact that Ra's has returned. However, Robin, suspicious of Damian's intentions, does not believe his story and begins a fist fight. Damian flees and encounters Alfred. Before he can effectively relay his news he is attacked by Robin, who perceives Damian's attempt to help a tripping Alfred as an attack, and renews their battle. As they fight, members of the League of Assassins approach the manor with the intention of killing all others within and bringing Damian back to Ra's alive. Damian and Robin (Tim) fight side-by-side against Ra's and his minions, with the help of Nightwing. However, their collaboration is hindered by their very different philosophies of battle, not to mention their strong dislike - even hatred - of each other. Damian is willing to betray Tim at any moment for his own safety. Ra's captures the two and tells Batman that he will use one of them for his own body. Batman offers his own body instead.
Ra's refuses the offer, feeling that he needs someone of a younger age. The choices are Robin or Damian. Batman offers a third alternative: "Fountain of Essence," which contains the qualities of a Lazarus Pit. Batman and Ra's go in search of the fountain, leaving Tim, Damian, Nightwing, Alfred, and Talia to battle the Sensei. Damian leaves his mother and Tim to an unknown fate, while he goes off to be with his father. Unfortunately, he ends up captured by Ra's and nearly loses his life. Batman and the others manage to save him, and Talia takes her son and escapes.
Sometime after surviving Ra's resurrection, Damian had sensed that someone is out to get Batman. In response to this, Talia began to formulate a plan. It was later revealed that Bruce Wayne had performed a DNA test on Damian to determine any blood connection between them. After learning of Batman's disappearance, Talia took Damian to Wayne Manor, where they deactivated a series of traps and saved Commissioner James Gordon in the process. Damian rescued Alfred from a burning batcave and the kid took the Batmobile, driving it to Arkham in order to aid Batman against the Black Glove. On the road, Damian knocks an ambulance off a bridge, much to Alfred's dismay.
After Batman's apparent death, Damian was left in the care of Alfred Pennyworth and trained by Dick Grayson.
While Gotham was drowning in chaos, crime and corruption, Damian was joy riding in the Batmobile with a friend when Oracle called him to send him on a mission to the Gotham Harbor. Oracle took control of the car, but Killer Croc and Poison Ivy attacked the Batmobile and Croc knocked the car off the road into a stream. Damian was terrified and tried to talk his way out of the situation, but Croc was about to eat Damian until he was saved by Nightwing, who used the Bat-Glider to take Damian out of danger. While they were flying, they were shot out of the air and upon landing they were quickly surrounded by Black Mask's goons. Suddenly an impostor Batman appeared and shot the criminals, killing them all. Dick fought the impostor, who was revealed to be Jason Todd. Jason shot Damian in the chest and Dick took Damian back to the Batcave, where Alfred healed Damian's wounds.
Damian recovered quick and wanted to help Dick, who was already fighting Jason Todd. Alfred allowed Damian to go, but he sent him along with Squire. Together, Damian and Squire rescued Tim from a certain death when Todd's makeshift Batcave collapsed. Todd was defeated and Dick Grayson became Batman, with Damian as Robin.
Despite working as Grayson's Robin, Damian expresses a strong willingness to take over the Batman identity himself if Dick is not "up to it." Damian has no respect for Grayson, and tells him that he needs to earn it if he wants his respect.
It is revealed that Damian has begun to visit his father's former friend and enemy Thomas Elliot, also known as Hush, in the prison at the top of Wayne Tower that Dick and Tim put him in, and engages him in chess games. Damian claims that these visits are out of his curiosity for why Hush would alter his appearance to that of Bruce Wayne's. But Hush suspects that the visits are rather Damian's form of grieving for Bruce and a way to "spend time with your old man."
It becomes apparent that Grayson had chosen Damian instead of Tim because he sees Tim as an equal and not a sidekick. He chose Damian as he feels his character needs developing or he could be like Jason.. Still, Damian mocks Drake and offers him the position of Batgirl, causing Tim to lash out and become the Red Robin and search the globe for Bruce Wayne, who Tim believes is still alive. After his first fight alongside Dick, Damian gets upset with Grayson and goes looking for the villain Professor Pyg himself. The Professor captures him, or rather, is led to believe so by Damian, who is in complete control of the situation, waiting for the right moment to make his move. Despite his good intentions, however, Damian is still overpowered by a large number of Dollotrons. Bent on catching Pyg, he is saved only by the timely intervention of Dick Grayson. While pursuing Pyg, he overlooks an earlier promise he had made to Sasha (a promise to save her and take her to safety), the only Dollotron who has an intact personality. As a result, the young girl's sanity is bent by her traumatic ordeal and disfigurement, ripe for the Red Hood to sway to his side, as her opposite number in the Red Hood battle against crime. The two are eventually defeated by Grayson and Damian.
It appears that under Dick's teachings, Damian has begun to grow a conscience and has even demonstrated signs of empathy, particularly towards children. This is demonstrated by his behavior during a mission with the new Azrael and more recently during a Christmas case, in which Damian and Dick find the bodies of several dismembered kids, causing Damian to vomit in horror.
Damian and Dick came to a blow with Stephanie Brown, the new Batgirl, and Barbara Gordon, who acts as her mentor. However, even though Stephanie and Damian initially do not get along, he is intrigued by the new Batgirl, watching her in an attempt to "figure out what makes 'Stephanie Brown' tick" (something said while drawing a stick-figure Batgirl in the snow).
Damian also becomes involved with the Wayne Enterprises' board members during one board meeting led by Lucius Fox. He manages to track down financial irregularities within the Wayne Enterprises accounts, intimidating the board of members along the way. The board becomes impressed that the young Wayne has such impressive business capabilities despite his young age, apparently inherited from his father.
After Tim Drake is revealed to have named as Bruce Wayne's heir in accordance of his will made prior of his disappearance, Damian has filed an injunction with the boards to against Drake since he is Wayne's son.
After Bruce's skull was taken from his grave, Damian and Dick decide to bring the rest of his skeleton, along with those of Damian's paternal grandparents, to their base beneath Wayne Tower. Damian is quite shaken by the sight of the bones of his family. On the way to the cave, Dick's body is possessed by Deadman, whom Damian lashes out at in confusion. Deadman then possesses and leaves Damian's body, subsequently passing his knowledge of the attack of the Black Lanterns onto him. The two heroes then prepare for the Black Lantern's assault on Gotham. After raiding the Army Reserve National Guard Armory, Dick, Damian, and the arriving Tim Drake, are able to save Commissioner Gordon, Oracle, and the surviving police officers at Gotham Central from the reanimated versions of the original Dark Knight's deceased rogue gallery members. However, they then find themselves having a horrific encounter with Batman and the Red Robin's parents - the Flying Graysons and Jack and Janet Drake - reanimated as Black Lanterns.. Dick and Tim send Damian with the Gordons to their underground base while they battle the Black Lanterns. Dick eventually orders Damian through their comm-links to send one of his Wingers with Mr. Freeze's gun. Grayson uses the weapon to cryogenically suspend himself and Tim, forcing the Black Lanterns to retreat as they are unable to read any sign of life of them. Deadman later revives the former Boy Wonders.
Talia begun to clone Damian as she has realized that her son has completely sided with Dick Grayson and the Bat-Family. Damian finally stands up for his Robin mantle, telling Talia that being Robin was the best thing that he had ever done, and Talia does not need to save him from something he chooses to be. Talia then shows Damian the cloned version of himself, whom she sees as Damian's younger brother. Talia admits to Damian, that even though she loves him, he is no longer welcome and is now considered an enemy of the House of al Ghul. Damian defiantly replied that he hoped that he would be a worthy one. Damian (as Robin) is then seen teaming up with Batman and Alfred to begin the search for Bruce Wayne.
Batman and Robin got into a confrontation with a villain known as the Getaway Genius, which caused Damian to actually want to know more about his father after learning that Bruce had also encuntered a villain by the same name.
After Grayson's confidant Oberon Sexton was revealed to be the Joker in disguise, Damian tortured the villain by savagely beating him with a crowbar in order to get information along self-defense as Joker had planned to attack him. However, the Clown Prince of Crime's appeared helplessness reveals to be another ruse and incapacitates Damian with his hidden Joker venom. The villain intends to use him and Dick of his fight against their common enemies: the Black Glove. Help arrives in the form of the original Batman. After Bruce Wayne helps Dick and Damian defeat the Black Glove and the Joker, Wayne accepts his son in additions of his role of Robin. Despite Bruce's parental responsibilities to Damian, he decides that he prefers Damian to continue working with Dick (who maintains the Batman mantle and whom Bruce sees as a positive role model for his son) rather than being with himself primarily, due to his plans with Batman Incorporated.
Dick Grayson eventually sees that Damian requires friendship and compassion in order to curb his harsh methods. So Grayson takes Damian to Titans Tower, where Damian, despite not being a teenager, takes steps to become the leader of the Teen Titans. His first mission ends in disaster after a super powered teen, who was using his powers in revenge for being bullied, is attacked by Damian after Raven is able to calm him down and the teen lashes out and escapes.
Eventually Damian and Ravager work well together to defeat the feral students in the cafeteria, even coming to a truce with one another after a few final insults. During this the other Titans defeat the super powered teen Head Case. Not long after this Tim Drake commissions the Titans help to deal with The Calculator causing for the first time there to be two Robin's with the Titans. While fighting against The Calculators androids Ravager states that Damian seems to "turn up the snark factor for his brother", after which both Damian and Tim reply "He's not my brother!" After revealing The Calculator to be an android as well, Damian quits the Titans stating "you fools will only get in my way" and "you still have a Robin" Also telling Tim that it is obvious that he is the one they prefer.
Upon his return to Gotham, Grayson notices that Damian's time with the Titans has made him more patient and he is less prone to use his weapons. After apologizing to Damian about his time with the Titans being a bust, Damian states that he knows Grayson sent him there to find friends but "[he has] one in Gotham and that's more than enough" implying that Grayson is the only friend he will need.
During the "Flashpoint" event, Professor Zoom creates an alternate timeline that removes the Flash while destroying his own legacy. In this version of history, Bruce Wayne dies instead of Thomas Wayne and Damian is never born. Eventually they find a way to repair the timeline from this dystopia, but Pandora alters the DC Universe even further.
Bruce and Damian begin patrolling together as Batman and Robin for the first time. Bruce tries teaching Damian about the sanctity of life, but has trouble relating with his son. Damian begins showing restraint, which Bruce commends, although Alfred still criticizes him for not being supportive enough. Bruce buys Damian a dog named Titus to teach him compassion. They were both targeted by a super-villain named Nobody. They are kidnapped by Nobody, who tries to show Batman that his no-kill methods are ineffective. He encourages Robin's darker side and tries to take him as an apprentice. Robin angrily leaves the Batcave to work with Nobody, who asks him to execute a criminal. Robin reveals that he was lying, and refuses to betray his father. Nobody decides to torture Robin, continuing his personal vendetta against Batman. When Batman discovers their location, he beats Nobody mercilessly. Nobody swears that he will return and kill their friends, so Damian shoots and kills him. Instead of growing angry, Bruce reacts with compassion. When Damian gets out of the hospital, they talk about how difficult it is to adjust from the life of an assassin. Despite their differences, they play with Titus and enjoy spending more time together as father and son.
Bruce and Damian begin working together against his mother Talia, revealed as the head of Leviathan. During a fight in a meat factory, he converts to vegetarianism and adopts a pet named Bat-Cow. He is believed dead when he was shot in the head by an assassin named Goatboy. It was revealed that Talia has created another clone as his replacement, the obedient fully-grown Heretic. Robin is shown to have faked his death, and is confined to the Batcave at Batman's orders. To avoid the bounty on his head, he begins using the name Redbird and switches to a new costume. This allows him to team up with Jason Todd, who is using the Wingman identity. They work together with Batman Incorporated to take down the League of Assassins' top killers. However, Batman tells Damian he has to quit crime-fighting altogether. Bruce reveals that he has seen Damian's future, as told through "Batman in Bethlehem". If Damian does not retire, his actions will lead to a plague that forces the President to nuke Gotham. Batman Incorporated fights Leviathan in the streets, while Damian is forced to stay inside. Alfred Pennyworth gets him a cat to take care of, who he also names Alfred. Damian refuses to stay home while his allies are dying, and Alfred allows him to leave knowing he cannot be stopped. He flies his exo-skeleton into the center of the battle, where Leviathan has taken over Wayne Tower. He neutralizes the child soldiers, and teams up with Dick Grayson to take down the remaining assassins. The Heretic flings Grayson aside, and challenges Damian to a sword-fight. Despite his bravery and refusal to give up, Damian is impaled through the chest and killed.
After various trials and tribulations involving his corpse, mainly revolving around Ra's al Ghul and Apokolips, Batman managed to rescue his son's body and, though using the Omega Sanction infused within a Chaos Crystal shard, brought Damian back to life within the Batcave.
Having been trained by the League of Assassins since birth, Damian is already an expert martial artist. He was also trained in the disciplines of forensics, acrobatics, criminology, disguise and escapology. Damian is skilled in mimicking voices and speech patterns of others accurately, as he was able to imitate his father's and Tim Drake's in order to bypass the Batcave's voice recognition security systems. Damian is demonstrated to have highly advanced engineering skills, as he was able to complete his father's plans of building a flying Batmobile, the construction of which Alfred described as "being an endless source of frustration to Damian's father". Damian is also a capable businessman despite his young age, and involved with Wayne Enterprises and its board members. He also has been trained in numerous weapons as shown in the Blackest Night event.
Damian has a number of allies including Batman, Nightwing, Red Robin, Red Hood, Batgirl, Batwoman, Huntress, Orphan, Spoiler and many more.
Damian has made a number of enemies over the years including Ra's Al Ghul, Deathstroke, Joker, Two-Face, Penguin and many more.
|Batman and Son||Grant Morrison||Andy Kubert, Jesse Delperdang|
|Batman and Robin Volume 1||Grant Morrison||Frank Quitely, Alex Sinclair|
|Batman and Robin Volume 2||Peter Tomasi||Patrick Gleason|
|Batman Incorporated||Grant Morrison||Chris Burnham|
|Robin: Son Of Batman||Patrick Gleason||Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray, John Kalisz|