Dark Knight goes silent after death in the familyWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Spoiler Alert: Robin the Boy Wonder died. In remembrance of Damian Wayne, the latest sidekick and the son of Bruce Wayne, the Batman, DC Comics has transformed several issues of their Batman-family of titles into a “Requiem” for the dearly departed young daredevil. In an interesting twist, Batman and Robin #18, by Peter J. Tomasi and Pat Gleason, is “silent,” meaning it contains no word balloons, captions or even sound effects.
“As you ‘read’ the issue, you can completely understand what’s being conveyed,” notes Jim Collins, proprietor of Toledo’s own JC’s Comic Stop. “This is the mark of a good storyteller, to be able to tell the tale without the help of dialogue. You see the pain that Bruce is going through as he goes out on patrol without his son, Damian. As he goes down the Batpoles, he sees his son that’s no longer there. He passes by a skyscraper window and sees only his own reflection. Sitting in the Batmobile he remembers Robin sitting there alongside him. We see a rare side of the Dark Knight as he allows his pain, sorrow and anger to come out – and woe to those that picked that night in Gotham to pull any crimes.
“When Bruce later returns to the Batcave, he discovers a letter Damian wrote to him when Bruce was off fighting the recent villain Leviathan. He writes that he’s not sorry about disobeying him because he will not let his father fight alone. Damian also tells him that although his mother gave him life, Bruce taught him how to live. This letter is the only words in the comic and they are powerful. If you were to buy only one Bat-title this month, this should be it.”
Concurrently released, Batman #18 continues the story of Harper Row, a teenage girl who’s taken it upon herself to follow Batman through Gotham City and watch his back. When she saves the Dark Knight from a situation he fumbles due to his grief over Robin, he goes off on her in an explosion of bottled-up anger. What Bat-fans are seeing here is most likely the beginning of a new Robin, either Harper herself or her gay younger brother, Cullen. Time will tell if DC feels the need to saddle the Caped Crusader with another sidekick or have him once again fly solo.