Aug 7, 2016
The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 529: Batman Incorporated #6, February 2013
I've noted before that there's an interesting scopic arc to Morrison's run on the Bat-titles, and with the metaphor of the spi(y)ral firmly in place, things circle and circle and circle to the focal point, the young man standing between his parents in that picture up above. In a lot of ways, Morrison's story has never been about any of the primary characters we've come to know over the last almost-century, but about Damian Wayne, and our understanding of him as not only a character in this story, but a cipher for those of us who grow up reading comics and idolizing not only the heroes, but the villains too. While we may not always want to be the Joker in the same way we might want to be Batman or Superman, we acknowledge the coolness of those characters. But then we see the disparity that has to happen with our heroes, that their calling automatically makes them have to think more broadly about human kind. Much as Batman might care about us (or about Damian), the choice Talia forces him into, the truth she broadcasts to the Bat-sons in the cave (and it's no mistake that it is all the Robins gathered and listening) is that, in the end, Bruce will always choose the needs of the many over the needs of the one, even if that one is his son. But Damian is an 11 year old boy who needs his father in a way that Dick, Jason, and Tim don't. Talia shows him that the love that his father feels has always to be subordinate to the mission. And she's showing this to Bruce, too, revealing to him a truth that he may not have openly acknowledged himself. To show someone for whom family has been the defining feature of his life that, really, family comes second. Talia's evil. Remember when I was asking if we should be feeling pity for her? I think I've got my answer.