Sunday, February 25th 2018    |   

Damian Wayne

Saturday, March 1, 2014   |   Comics
Grant Morrison Writer
He saves the world.
He does his job as Robin.
He dies an absolute hero.

"Damian Wayne is a fictional character in the DC Comics Universe. He is the son of Batman and Talia al Ghul, and thus the grandson of Batman villain Ra's al Ghul. The character originally appeared as an unnamed infant in the 1987 story Batman: Son of the Demon, which was at that time not considered canon. Following this, various alternate universe stories dealt with the character's life, giving him various names. In 2006, the character was reinterpreted as Damian Wayne by Grant Morrison, and reintroduced into the main continuity in Batman #655, the first issue of the "Batman & Son" story arc.

Having spent his gestation in a laboratory, Damian as a pre-adolescent is left by his mother in the care of his father, who previously was not aware of his son's existence. Damian 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 his opponents. However, the Dark Knight does care for his lost progeny. After the events of Batman R.I.P. and Batman: Battle for the Cowl, Damian takes up the identity of Robin at ten years of age, becoming the fifth person to use the Robin identity. He first worked with Dick Grayson—the original Robin—who temporarily took over as Batman, before going to work alongside his father, upon Bruce Wayne's return to the role of Batman. Damian continued to serve as Robin until the 2013 issue #8 of Batman, Inc., in which he is killed by the Heretic, an agent of his mother and his own artificially-aged clone."

- Wikipedia, Damian Wayne

Grant Morrison Writer
[A resurrection] wouldn't bother me at all, if it was done well and if someone really had a good idea for it.

But I don't imagine that's going to happen for awhile.

It's certainly not going to happen in my story. So all the people that are hoping for a happy ending for Damian can forget it.

But other writers? That kind of thing is beyond my control and beyond the scope of my story. There are always possibilities.

We try to close down a lot of possibilities before I leave. So the idea of Lazarus Pits and things kind of gets raised in the next issue.

Robin: The Boy Wonder

  1. Dick Grayson > Nightwing
  2. Jason Todd > murdered by the Joker > the Red Hood
  3. Tim Drake > Red Robin
  4. Stephanie Brown > Batgirl > retconned out
  5. Damian Wayne > killed by his "brother"

Suggested Reading Order

Grant Morrison Writer
Batman's mission is really ... almost a never-ending one and there's a kind of terror to that I think that people may not necessarily want to see. They might not want to understand that the Batman's mission never ends. There's a kind of hope in that Batman will ultimately win and I guess what the story is saying, really ... is it's taking a long-running franchise where this guy is going to be revamped forever and he will always be new, and he will always come back shiny and new, and bigger and faster. But for him there's a kind of horror in that. ... That's kind of where I was trying to get at: What if the Batman story never ends? What if you felt that for just a moment?

0a. Batman: Son of the Demon

"Batman: Son of the Demon is a 1987 graphic novel by writer Mike W. Barr and artist Jerry Bingham, published by DC Comics", and features the birth of Batman's son with Talia, though he had no name at this time.

"Grant Morrison's story titled Batman & 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."

Grant Morrison Writer
For a long time, [DC] said [Son of the Demon] was out of continuity. Now it's just kind of out of continuity. I didn't actually read it before I started writing this. I messed up a lot of details, like Batman wasn't drugged when he was having sex with Talia and it didn't take place in the desert. I was relying on shaky memories. But now we have this new "Superboy punch" continuity [after Superboy Prime attacked the fabric of the universe during Infinite Crisis]. People still don't realize how important that single punch was to cover everyone's ass.

0b. The Black Casebook

The Black Casebook is a collection of stories from the fifties that inspired Morrison's run, including an introduction by Grant Morrison.
  1. "A Partner For Batman" from Batman #65
  2. "Batman - Indian Chief" from Batman #86
  3. "The Batmen of All Nations" from Detective Comics #215
  4. "The First Batman" from Detective Comics #235
  5. "The Club of Heroes" from World's Finest Comics #89
  6. "The Man Who Ended Batman's Career" from Detective Comics #247
  7. "Am I Really Batman?" from Batman #112
  8. "Batman - The Superman of Planet X" from Batman #113
  9. "Batman Meets Bat-Mite" from Detective Comics #267
  10. "The Rainbow Creature" from Batman #134
  11. "Robin Dies At Dawn" from Batman #156
  12. "The Batman Creature" from Batman #162

0c. 52

The first glimpses of Morrison's Bat-Epic can, according to Matches Malone excellent article (quoted in places here), be seen in issues 30 and 47 of a series called 52:

"In 52, Morrison gives us a few glimpses of Bruce wandering to Nanda Parbat where he would undergo the thögal ritual which is referenced later on during his proper Batman run." - MM
  1. "Dark Knight Down" from 52 #30
  2. "Revelations" from 52 #47

1. "Batman and Son"

The beginning of the story takes place in Batman #655 – #658 and then again in Batman #663 – #666.

2. "The Black Glove"

Consists of issues Batman #667 – 679 and then #672 - #675.

Issues #670 and #671 are part of a side story, and the only parts of that story that Morrison writes, called The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul, and are not pertinent to the main run.

3. "Batman RIP" and "Last Rights"

The first three pages of Batman RIP come from DC Universe #0 and serves as a prologue. The rest of the story is Batman #676 – #681.

Last Rights, collected in the Batman RIP trade, consists of Batman #682 and #683, and is meant to serve as a bridge between RIP and Final Crisis.

4. "Final Crisis"

Not entirely part of the main Bat-Story but featuring crucial events none-the-less, Wikipedia describes this story-arc as:

"The series deals with alien villain Darkseid's plot to overthrow reality, and the subsequent death and corruption of various DC characters and their universe."

5. "Time And The Batman"

Although this story takes place before Final Crisis, it includes spoilers to that main story, and should be read afterwards.

6a. "Batman and Robin"

"Bruce is dead/missing and Dick Grayson is now Batman, while Damian is Robin. If you want to know how this came about, read Battle for the Cowl – which is not written by Morrison and has no real bearing on his story. The most important thing to keep in mind is that Batman and Robin #1 – #16 take place at the same time as The Return of Bruce Wayne #1 – #6 . If you're reading them "together" the only thing to remember is that TRoBW #6 is meant to synch into the big reveal on the last page of B&R #15, so as long as you read TRoBW #1-#6 before you reach the end of B&R #15 you're golden." - MM
  1. Batman and Robin: Vol. 1 - Batman Reborn
  2. Batman and Robin: Vol. 2 - Batman vs. Robin
  3. Batman and Robin: Vol. 3 - Batman and Robin Must Die!
  4. *The Return of Bruce Wayne
  5. *Issue #16 of Batman and Robin: Vol. 3

6b. "The Return Of Bruce Wayne"

"Bruce Wayne is skipping through time and if you synchronize reading issue six of TRoBW , with reading issue #15 of Batman and Robin you'll be perfectly caught up." - MM

7. "Batman Incorporated"

Batman Incorporated collects Batman: The Dark Knight #1 - #9.

Batman, Incorporated: Vol. 1 - Demon Star collects Batman, Incorporated #0 - #6.

Batman, Incorporated: Vol. 2 - Gotham's Most Wanted collects Batman, Incorporated #7 - #13 and Batman Inc Special 1.
  1. Batman, Incorporated: Vol. 1
  2. Batman, Incorporated: Vol. 1 - Demon Star
  3. Batman, Incorporated: Vol. 2 - Gotham's Most Wanted

Why Damian Wayne is the Best Robin

Joey is a Senior Editor at IGN and a comic book creator.
This is his interview.

IGN Comics: Was it always part of your larger plan on Batman to wind down your run with the death of Damian?

Grant Morrison: Yeah, always. I actually have my series pitch from April 13, 2011 and the death of Damian is right there. So even two years ago I was telling everyone this stuff was going to happen. It's amazing that no one leaked the news until a couple of weeks ago! But yeah, it was always going to happen; it was part of his destiny and the character arc he was put through. Initially I was going to do it in the first four issues, but I'm glad we didn't because we got to build him up to be a much bigger and stronger character.

IGN: Very quickly Damian became my favorite Robin; Batman's lost Robins before but Damian's death isn't quite the same. How do you think Damian's death challenges Bruce as a character?

Morrison: Well, what I don't want to do is the whole weepy Batman; the Batman in mourning thing. Over my run, we've seen a Batman who's basically a super Buddhist meditation addict who's going through one of the most hardcore rituals. This is a guy who works in a superhero universe who has seen friends die and come back to life. So what I wanted to do, and what you're going to see coming up, is a Batman who has a very different approach to death than what most of us do.

I think what makes this guy special is in the way that he relates to life and death; he's seen things the rest of us just couldn't deal with. He's not going to think the same way we do, he's not going to weep. He's just going to be working stuff out, and that's what I'm going to start to show. These last four issues are kind of the vengeance of Batman and the iron fist of the Dark Knight. [laughs]

IGN: You mentioned not showing Batman weeping and such, but we've been getting a lot of great aftermath stuff in some of the other Bat-books in the weeks following Damian's death. How involved were you in what they had planned?

Morrison: Everyone knew what was going down from two years ago, so I know they had planned a Requiem month and everyone had their little wave and nod goodbye to Damian. But apart from that, I've just been doing my own book, you know? These guys know what I'm doing, they've got the pitch, so they just added their little notes. Pete Tomasi did such great work with Damian in Batman and Robin right up to his death, and he made Damian more and more likable and lovable until the moment we snatched him away. [laughs]

IGN: Damian is, and I think you'll agree, a character that took some fans a little while to warm up to.

Morrison: Oh, yeah.

IGN: So what's the reaction been like to his death as opposed to his introduction back in 2006?

Morrison: Well, people didn't like him. And obviously, he was created to be kind of unlikable, although I always liked the character. I like little bratty kids, fighting against authority. Damian was created to be difficult. He had a bad attitude. But the reason was always to turn him into the son of Batman. I love the idea that he was the son of Batman and the daughter of the world's greatest super criminal. So part of him is a bad little dude and the other part of him is the son of Batman. It's an obvious story to tell of this little bad, aristocratic, stuck-up, arrogant, snot of a kid suddenly realize that, "Wait a minute, part of my genetic heritage is Batman!" and then living up to that.

That practically wrote itself the minute the character appeared. For me, he was always great, but I think the fans took a little while to realize, "Okay, we get it now. This little, bad, horrible, snotty kid is going to turn into something great." I think that's how it played. Hopefully it did. I think he was a really lovable character by the end.

IGN: I think Damian has been a great example of showing that a character can age and evolve beyond the usual accepted status quo of superhero comics. What are the challenges of accomplishing something like that as a writer operating within the structure of a larger universe?

Morrison: For me, it was always to keep in mind that I had one Batman story to tell, and this is how it worked, and he was a story arc, and here's how it would play out. I always knew I was going to give Batman back kind of like, "This is the way I found the guy." He's got his cave, he's got his butler, he's got his Batmobile, he's got his allies, and that's it, you know? I didn't want to leave the kid for future writers who may not want to have to deal with that stuff. That's why Damian's death was always going to wind down my run, because I wanted to take away anything that could date Batman or trap Batman within a certain set of circumstances.

I tried to bring him up and give him an arc and then take him away within the context of my run. I don't want the other writers to be stuck with something I'd come up with and was intrinsic to what I was doing. So I kind of kept him to my stuff and there are a lot of other writers who have done great stuff with Damian, but the whole arc of who he was, what he became, and how he'd wind up, was hopefully contained in my Batman run.

IGN: That sort of brings me to my next question, which is something I have to ask – Damian is an al Ghul, after all, so is there any chance of a Lazarus Pit in his future, or is that something you'll be leaving to other creators, should they want to carry that torch?

Morrison: We deal with the Lazarus Pit in the very next issue. That's in there. For the purposes of my story, Damian is dead. As I always say, who knows what the future brings? But no one is doing it as far as I know, and it's not a priority. Damian is dead in this story. And you see why he had to die; why he had to go.

IGN: Well now that he's gone, what do you hope is this lasting legacy of Damian Wayne? What do you hope people remember?

Morrison: Just all of those issues where you loved him. Where he jumped about kicking Professor Pyg and just jumped into every battle, even if he got his neck broken, he didn't care. Most of the Robins have been good boys. Dick Grayson was a circus kid and I really liked that he was kind of a working class kid. Tim Drake was more of a middle class kid; this little computer expert who could pretty much do anything. Hopefully what people remember is just Damian being the kind of Robin that the 21st century wanted. This little ninja-trained kid who could do anything and had a problem with all authority but a desire to do the right thing.

IGN: Anything you wanted to add about Damian or the end of your Batman run in general?

Morrison: I just hope people like the end. It's kind of a big end and obviously we're dealing with big emotions now. And we'll be dealing with the whole red-and-black thing that's been in play since almost the very beginning and ultimately resolves with the Dark Knight versues the Red Queen. It all makes sense in the end! But I hope it's got a big opera-like ending and that people get into it. And then they can wait for the omnibus edition! [laughs]

IGN: [laughs] I hope so! Well, I'm really looking forward to what's next. Thanks for your time!

Morrison: You too!

You Can 'Forget' Happy Ending for Damian

This is Vaneta Rogers' article at

Newsarama: Grant, we talked years ago, and you said that you had originally planned for Damian to die at the end of his first story arc.

Grant Morrison: Yeah.

NRAMA: Did the plans for his overall story arc change? Or was this pretty much what you were thinking: He died a hero's death.

Morrison: Yeah, I always thought he should go from being a really unpleasant, aristocratic brat to being the son of Batman, to be a great little superhero.

And I thought initially, we could do that in four issues. But it wasn't really the way to do it, I think. To do it over six years was much better, because it spans generations of comic book readers, you know? They've taken the character quite seriously and accepted him as Robin.

So it made it much more powerful to do it over that length of time. And I'm glad I didn't kill him off.

NRAMA: A lot of other writers took the character and played around with different aspects of him by putting him in various situations in the DCU. It seemed like he had a lot of potential.

Morrison: Oh, yeah! I mean, there was lots of things he could have done, and I thought he got a chance to do a lot of them, you know?

Peter Tomasi's stuff was amazing. His last few issues especially. And what he did with the ending was brilliant.

But the effect of that was that he was more and more loved and loved and loved until the very last second when he was impaled.

NRAMA: Damian died at the hands of... well, himself. A clone. What were your thoughts behind the choice of who killed him?

Morrison: The basic symbol of this story has been the serpent swallowing his own tail. And it was this idea of family destroying themselves, you know? And watching the kids having to deal with it.

And so because Damian is the child of Batman, Damian is killed by the child of Damian via Batman — this monster that Talia has grown and accelerated and turned into a monstrous warrior.

And so it just seemed right in the story of the serpent eating itself and families destroying themselves to take it from, you know, the little perfect child into this broken Frankenstein child who then destroys him. And obviously, Batman's going to have to deal with this thing.

It's all part of the overall structure, the kind of swallowing structure of the story.

NRAMA: I'm sure you grew close to this character and started to like him early on. Was there ever any consideration of keeping him alive at the end of your Batman run, or was it always his ending no matter what?

Morrison: I've always liked him, even when he was horrible! [Laughs.] So yeah, there were moments, you know? I could have written Batman and Robin a lot longer, and Damian could have had more of a life. I would have taken him up to the age of 14, where then he sells his soul to Dr. Hurt, or to the devil, and I'd play out that story. But you know... it just didn't play that way.

So yeah, he could have done a lot of different things. But ultimately, it had to come to this moment. And that's the moment he came to.

NRAMA: With all the escape hatches inherent in any Batman character's death — like Lazarus Pits and cloning — how will you feel if Damian gets brought back in the future?

Morrison: That wouldn't bother me at all, if it was done well and if someone really had a good idea for it.

But I don't imagine that's going to happen for awhile.

It's certainly not going to happen in my story. So all the people that are hoping for a happy ending for Damian can forget it.

But other writers? That kind of thing is beyond my control and beyond the scope of my story. There are always possibilities.

We try to close down a lot of possibilities before I leave. So the idea of Lazarus Pits and things kind of gets raised in the next issue.

NRAMA: When you released that statement reflecting on your Batman run, you said that when you approached Batman originally, you were coming at it from the angle of every Batman story being in some way "true and biographical." You took inspiration from all the portrayals of Batman. It seems like you did that somewhat for Superman over the years. Do you think that's the way we should approach these immortal, mythical heroes from comic books?

Morrison: I think it's a good way to approach it, because it gives them more dimensions. And I think one of the things that we did was to reintroduce the color and the camp and the pantomime moments to Batman. A lot of people hated that stuff, but it was all a big part of the appeal of Batman at different times.

I think the guy is big enough and strong enough to cover a whole range, you know? From the brooding, psychopathic Batman that was done in the '80s or early '90s, to the super-detective, Denny O'Neill, all-around sex god Batman, the Frank Miller hulking, physical Batman — they're all part of the character.

I think the wider the spectrum you have, then the more real he becomes.

So by taking all of his publishing history as his life, you actually get a really great character out of it, you know? You can put every Batman — even Adam West — into the life of this guy. And it makes him, for me at least, much more rounded then the kind of slice of character that sometimes gets used, this one-dimension monster.

Batman's been a lot of things, and if you can encompass all those things, I think it's much more true.

And the same goes for Superman. It's a multidimensional look at the way they have been portrayed over decades, and trying to combine them into one thing.

NRAMA: Is that going to be your approach to Wonder Woman?

Morrison: Well, Wonder Woman is more... unified, I think. The original idea of Wonder Woman was pretty sound. And I think the other great idea of Wonder Woman was her TV show with Lynda Carter. So I'm going to try to do something that's got all of that.

As I told you, I've been working my way through the entire history of feminism, and I'm doing my research, and I'm talking to everyone, and my wife is leaning over my shoulder. So I really want to make it a particularly good book.

It's different from Superman and Batman, because I think Wonder Woman... there have been different Wonder Womans — you know, the mod, 1960s, Wonder Woman. But we're trying to unify everything into a...

I don't know if I can answer this one, Vaneta. I think this is more like All-Star Superman than how I did Batman, you know?

NRAMA: Well, I know this interview is supposed to be about Batman and Superman. But you mentioned that your approach to them was similar, so I was curious...

Morrison: No, no. You just got me thinking, you know? [Laughs.] Because I actually took a really different approach to Wonder Woman than I did with Batman, where I was combining all the ages into one man's life. And I worked it out on a 15-year timescale... when he was 25 and met Talia, and on from there. And I had all that worked out.

But with Wonder Woman, I kind of read a bunch of stories and then ignored them all. This is like a completely new version of Wonder Woman.

NRAMA: OK, then maybe we can talk after that's out, about why she gets that unique approach. But getting back to Action Comics, now that you're no longer part of the editorial/creative New 52 team, do you believe in it long-term? Because comic book fans are always looking over their shoulder for what was done to be eventually undone.

Morrison: In terms of Superman?

NRAMA: The changes to the whole universe, because Superman was a big part of that, as the first superhero.

Morrison: I think the changes will remain and will be improved upon. For me, who's been around now for three universes, I feel like one of these Monitor characters, who are watching universes rise and fall.

The New 52 feels strange because I was so used to the old 52, or whatever it was [laughs]. But the great thing about it is it belongs to a new generation of creators, and they're building it up brick by brick. It's got a definite feel to it. And I think the changes will stay, because they've become the foundation of something that will seem a lot more substantial given more and more bricks.

That's a terrible metaphor. But I see it as belonging to this next generation of guys, and they're just starting to map it out.

NRAMA: It seems like you're backing away from in-continuity stuff. Do you feel like you've laid a foundation with Action Comics, and now you want to just let the younger guys do the heavy lifting?

Morrison: Yeah, there comes a point where suddenly you're Pete Townhsend and you're looking at Johnny Rotten, and it's just... OK, you guys... I just want to see what you do. I don't want to be part of this. I've done my bit. I've built my corner of here. But it's more interesting to see what everybody else does now, and to see where it goes now. And I think that's what makes it fresh.

I want to say, I don't think it's going to go back, because who would want it to? It would be horrible.

A lot of new people came in because of that stuff, and I think they want to see the universe that they grew up with develop.

NRAMA: The fact that they're using Multiversity, which you said has blueprints for all 52 Earths, also points toward you laying the foundation for others to then come and build upon. Is that what interests you?

Morrison: Yeah, but if you're contributing to a universe like DC and Marvel, you're handing stuff over. And someday — whether it's not today — some kid will read one of my stories and he'll bring it back in 15 years.

But that's what's exciting about these ongoing universes. You can come in and you can add a little piece of a mosaic, and someone else might do something even bigger and better with it.

You know, Geoff Johns is doing Vibe now. I bet you the guys who came up with Vibe didn't think he would come up again in a story by Geoff Johns. [Laughs.]

NRAMA: We talked last month about what this last issue of your Action Comics run was going to be, and you said it's "psychedelic in the literal sense." Can you expand on that?

Morrison: Well, it's Superman of the "impossible."

For me, Batman fights death, and Superman fights the impossible.

I wanted to do something only comics can do, which is the impossible. It wouldn't fit in a movie. You just wouldn't get away with it in TV either.

But in Action Comics, Superman can come to the reader and say, if we all do this one thing, we can kill the devil. And you have to just accept it. And you take sides in it. And it couldn't happen anywhere else. That's why it's psychedelic to me, you know? I want everyone to read it. It's like doing a magic spell, because Superman is up against magic, and the fifth dimension. So that's what it's kind of like, it's that moment when Superman asks us to do the impossible.

NRAMA: You've had your hands on Superman for so long, between all these different Superman projects you've done... and I know you told me that this run ended up being longer than you originally intended. Are you going to miss him, now that you're ending it?

Morrison: Yeah, no, no, absolutely. You kind of feel a hole. You know? These guys have a specific energy. You notice them when they're gone.

NRAMA: Then as a last question, what are we going to see over the next few months of Batman, Inc.?

Morrison: Batman, Inc. is now the vengeance of Batman. This is what happens when you push him too far. He underestimated Talia, and now Talia has underestimated him.

But at the same time, Batman's dealing with something much bigger than he's ever had to deal with. Talia runs a gigantic, international criminal empire. She's no pushover. So it's kind of Batman going to places he's never been before.

But yeah, all the Batman, Incorporated characters come into it, and the world is threatened. Everyone's in trouble.

And find out where Batman goes when his son dies. What kind of Batman emerges from that?

Grant Morrison Answers All Your Questions About The Death Of Robin

This is a Donna Dickens article at BuzzFeed.

BuzzFeed: Who was Damian Wayne?

Grant Morrison: Damian Wayne is the son of Batman. Back in the '70s, when he split up with Robin, he kind of went solo for a while and he lived in a penthouse in Gotham City and was kind of James Bond Batman: hairy-chested, very sexy, getting off with girls. And one of the women he became attached to was Talia al Ghul, who is the daughter of the world's ultimate criminal mastermind, Ra's al Ghul. And most people will be familiar with these characters from the movies. Talia appears in The Dark Knight Rises and Ra's appeared in Batman Begins.

So what you have here is Batman basically has a relationship with the world's greatest criminal mastermind, and their son becomes this super-assassin kid who's been trained by the greatest fighters in the world, who'd been brought up to be the tyrant who will take over the world in the future, and instead of this, the kid rebels against his mother and goes to Batman, his father, and basically announces himself. And Batman had no idea he had a kid, and suddenly he has a 10-year-old son who is a trained killer. So the whole story is about how Batman and his allies, particularly Dick Grayson, have been turning this vicious little villainous kid into a superhero over the last six years. So that's who Damian is: the child of the world's greatest crime fighter and the world's most evil girl.

BF: You said Damian's been training with his dad for six years. Is that six years in Batman time or six real-world years?

GM: Six years in human time. In Batman time it's only been about a year.

BF: In "Batman, Inc.," Talia looks like she's completely turned on her son, other than a moment of remorse at the end of the issue. Is she really that angry at Damian for choosing Batman over her?

GM: She's very angry, but she mostly hates Batman. And the thing for me was to tell a story about divorce. Because when I was a kid, my parents divorced. So I always kind of wanted to tell the story of what if you were a child of Batman and this incredible, exotic, brilliant woman who runs a criminal empire? There was once a time when Batman was in love with her and she was in love with him, but now she hates him, she hates him so bad. Because that's what happens to people, and it's really sad — people who used to really love each other end up in divorce courts, shouting at each other and bringing out the worst qualities of one another, and they hate each other. So I thought, let's expose this little kid to this. This new Robin, who is right in the middle of these two people, and because it's Batman and Talia, it's not just Damian's parents falling out, but when they fall out, the whole world ends. A superhero against a super-criminal. So it's really a way to explore what happens to kids when their parents really grow to hate one another.

BF: Damian seemed very mature, and very dangerous, for a 10-year-old.

GM: Talia brought him up to be a world conqueror, an Alexander the Great of the 21st century, and take over the world - trained him with world-class assassins and groomed him to rule. But instead he wants to be a superhero and wants to be more like his father. So Talia basically says, OK, if you want to be like your father, I'll destroy everything that your father represents. And some people have said she seems really petty to use all of her resources just to mess with one man, and honestly, I just thought of my mother. If she had had those resources in 1972, she'd have messed up my dad just the same way. So it's about the hate that grows between lovers and the horror of being a little kid trapped in between that — and wondering why your parents don't just get on, and why everything isn't OK.

BF: So what's up with the man who deals the fatal blow to Robin, Damian's brother?

GM: He's a clone of Damian that's been rapid-aged and genetically enhanced. He's a kind of super-being. He's only 2 years old and he has the mentality of a 2-year-old, and we'll see more of that as the story reaches its end. And that's kind of his weakness as well as his strength; he hasn't had the time to grow up and learn lessons, so he's kind of a destructive force of nature. It's kind of the negative side of Batman and the negative side of Damian are expressed in this character and he kind of wants to be Batman, to replace him and take over Gotham City and the world. He's just this crazy 2-year-old kid who wants to have his own way.

BF: Now, was he created by Talia as an emotional and physical replacement for Damian?

GM: Absolutely. We've seen him before, as a little baby in a tank while Talia was growing him in a test tube. Readers are going to see that play out as well, since there isn't just one of these clones. There's a bunch of them, and they're all at different stages of development. So yes, he was always going to be a replacement for Damian because she has access to Batman's DNA, and she's creating these alternate Batmen. So she's this woman who'd fallen in love with this man, and now she's trying to create all these kids in his image so she can control them even if she can't him. But instead it's all going wrong; because she's a super-villain, because she was raised badly herself, she just doesn't know how to do it. She runs a criminal empire, slavery, drug-running, and we must never forget that she's not a good person. She can't escape her heritage, the shadow of her father. Unfortunately she's stuck with that. So her story is about family and how they can mess you up so bad.

BF: Were you afraid of any backlash from killing off such a young character?

GM: Well, he's not a real kid. Anyone who feels like it's terrible this young kid's been killed in a comic should go out right now and help real young kids in trouble. If this motivated you and you're worried about what happens to children who are in trouble or who have been hurt, go out and help some real people.

BF: Most importantly, is Robin really, REALLY dead?

GM: In terms of my story, he doesn't come back. That is the last time I ever wrote that character, and it kind of broke my heart do to it, but whatever happens in the future, I have no idea. But as far as my story is concerned, he's dead.

BF: So Talia made a completely irrevocable mistake, then?

GM: Yes. But Batman did too. I wanted to make the point that both parents are culpable in this. This is what they've done with their stupid war. When two parents fall out, it's a small scale, but my idea is, what happens when Batman and Talia fall out? Will the whole world tremble? What's happened to Damian will affect everything, and that's how the next four issues will play out, how they work that out. Batman has a big confrontation with Talia at the end that will change pretty much everything.

Morrison Reflects on His Eventful, Acclaimed Batman Run

This is a Newsarama Staff article at

Grant Morrison: Little did I suspect when I accepted the Batman writing assignment back in 2006 that I'd wind up spending the next six years writing the longest continued comic story I've ever attempted. I thought I'd said most of what I had to say about the character with Arkham Asylum, Gothic, and Batman's appearances in JLA. Clearly, I was wrong.

The original pitch was for 15 issues winding up with Batman R.I.P. but something happened along the way and, as I was researching his rich history, I became fascinated by the idea that every Batman story was in some way true and biographical - from the savage, young, pulp-flavored \‘weird figure of the dark" of his early years, through the smiling, paternal figure of the 1940s and the proto-psychedelic crusader of the '50s, the superhero detective of the '60s, the hairy-chested globetrotting adventurer of the '70s, to the brutally physical vigilante of the '80s and snarling, paranoid soldier of the '90s.

By taking his entire publishing history as the story of his life, I was able to approach Batman from a different angle and the multifaceted character that was revealed became the subject of my story.

What would such a man be like, realistically? This was a man who had saved countless lives, faced innumerable perils, and even prevented the destruction of the world itself. This was a master of martial arts, meditation, deduction, yoga and big business. This was a man who had tamed and mastered his demons and turned personal tragedy into a relentless humanitarian crusade.

Taking that man seriously meant I had to throw out a few of the accepted ideas about Batman as a semi-unhinged, essentially humorless loner struggling with rage and guilt. The totality of his history and accomplishments made that portrayal seem limited and unconvincing, so instead, my Batman was a true superhero at the height of his powers and the peak of his abilities, surrounded by a network of friends and associates, all of whom had been inspired by his lead.

I chose to build my story around the basic trauma, the murder of his parents, that lies at the heart of Batman's genesis. It seemed to me there would be a part of Bruce Wayne that resented his parents for leaving him and especially resented his father for not being Batman that night, so the principal villains were an archetypal bad father figure in the form of Dr. Hurt and a dark mother in the form of Talia, our villain for the concluding chapters of the story.

This master theme of damaged and ruined families was nowhere more in evidence than in the creation of Damian, the first "Son of Batman" to be acknowledged in the canon. In many ways this has been Damian's story as much as it has been the story of Bruce Wayne and it's a story that had its end planned a long time ago - for what son could ever hope to replace a father like Batman, who never dies?

And so, via Batman, Batman and Robin, Return of Bruce Wayne and Batman Inc. this epic tale has finally reached its finale.

Thanks to all the artists who helped realise the story – Andy Kubert, JH Williams, John Van Fleet, Tony Daniel, Ryan Benjamin, Lee Garbett, Frank Quitely, Philip Tan, Cameron Stewart, Andy Clarke, Frazer Irving, Scott Kolins, Chris Sprouse, Ryan Sook, Yanick Paquette, Georges Jeanty, David Finch, Scott Clark and of course, Chris Burnham.

Thanks to the inkers, colorists and letters and to my indefatigable editors.

Thanks to the readers who joined in the fun and contributed to the thought-provoking debates and analyses online.

The conclusion is finally here, with only four more issues to go. Four issues which take Batman to dark places he has never had to visit before. Four issues and I'm done, while Batman himself continues into as yet unimagined future adventures. He'll still be here long after I'm dead and forgotten; long after all of us have come and gone, there will be Batman. It's been a joy and a privilege to spend so much time in the company of pop culture's greatest character but it's going to feel weird waking up and not having Bruce Wayne's calm, commanding, ever-so-slightly cynical voice in my head.

Batman forever...