You read the title right, Damien WAYNE. He is the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul. The same Talia al Ghul who is the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, leader of the League of Assassins and sworn enemy of Batman. The same Talia who found Jason Todd and revived him in the Lazarus Pit. So from birth it was clear that Damien was going to lead to a whole mess of trouble.
Bruce and Talia had a tryst back in the day that lead to the conception of Damien, but like anything in the Batman universe he wasn’t a conventional baby. He was grown in an artificial womb and was genetically perfected to be the ultimate warrior. He is raised in the League of Assassins, growing up to be an expert martial artist and ruthless killer. It wasn’t until he was about 10 years old when Talia reveals that Bruce has a son, leaving him in Bruce’s custody. Damien’s first day in the Batcave wasn’t the best. He was arrogant and angry, with a deep desire for Bruce’s approval. Growing up with the League, he wasn’t used to being a “team player”. He thought that he deserved to be Robin because of his parentage, so he fought Tim Drake for the Robin mantle. In addition, Damien didn’t take well to the “no killing” policy. After he was grounded for nearly putting Tim in a coma, he snuck out to fight the villain Spook and decapitating him. He thought he was making his father proud, showing off his advanced training, but it just frustrated Bruce even further. Desperate to regain some sort of recognition from Bruce, Damien told him everything he knew about Talia’s upcoming attack. During the attack, he was fatally wounded, but thanks to his pre-birth genetic experiments Talia had fully grown organs to replace his damaged ones. He goes back with Talia, keeping in touch with Bruce and spending time in Gotham occasionally.
Then Bruce Wayne died. Tim Drake was in denial and was off trying to find Bruce and Dick Grayson had no choice but to don the Batman cape. Dick needed a Robin and Damien needed guidance to stay on the straight and narrow. It was a match made in heaven, just not at first. Damien was angry about his father’s death and resistant to his step-brother’s commands. His violent tendencies remained the same. When the opportunity to interview the Joker presented, he used a crow bar to do most the talking. Under Dick’s tutelage, Damien seemed to eventually acclimate into the Batman family. Dick and Damien were tight, and Stephanie Brown accepted him as an annoying little brother. And when Bruce returned (don’t ask), Damien finally got the father-son crime fighting relationship he’s always wanted. Even though Damien is still volatile and has no problem with using his impressive skills to take down street thugs, he has grown to be more empathetic and trusting towards his mismatched family.
This past February the Batman community was rocked when Damien was killed by his adult clone. Currently there is no news of a resurrection or a new Robin, but with Damien being a fan favorite I think a resurrection is in his favor.
Still to come: Carrie Kelley