In #1-4 you see a very emotionally damaged young child. Bruce kind of sees it but hopes he can change it, and chooses to be blind to how bad the situation really is. In the issues leading up to #5 you see just how twisted Damian Wayne is even as a 10-year-old boy, he has lived a very dark life for a child and considers himself an adult. He believes he should be treated as an equal, even going so far as to claim himself as a better Robin than all that preceded him. He believes Bruce should trust him with more and not hide so many things from him. Now as it stands there is a devil on the shoulder of young Damian and he goes by the name of Nobody, unlike Bruce he has a the ambitious mentality of ‘no survivors’ when it comes to the scum he seeks out. He sees potential in young Damian and gives him the option of joining him and leaving behind the binding and somewhat strict ideals Bruce has for him.
Batman & Robin: Issue #5 Review
In this issue there are essentially three storylines coinciding with one another:
You will see that Damian chooses to leave behind Bruce and it devastates his father, who finally has the realization of how dark his son really is & his mistakes as a father, he has a moment of self-loathing and expresses his desire to have a sense of normalcy with his son, and regrets that the Batman persona he dons prevents that from being something he can have with his young son. He then spends this issue searching high and low for his son.
You also see Nobody and Damian attack the embassy in search of a human trafficker, a key point here for me would be the hesitation in Damian’s resolve as he clearly states he ‘will not kill innocent people.’ Which shows that while he has a lot of mental issues towards his rather violent nature, Bruce’s teachings have been instilled into him as well.
We see Nobody ask for him to prove his loyalty by shooting the man they seek out in the embassy in the head with a gun he provides for him. I view this as an interesting moment considering it’s supposed to show him defecting from his fathers’ teachings and in order to do so he is asked to murder someone in a manner that Bruce has adamant hatred for considering his own background with how his parents were murdered.
We finally see the back story of Morgan Ducard’s father, the one that Bruce refused to share with his son due to his own involvement with the Ducards’. The somewhat cliché story of man and woman fall and love, woman isn’t who she says and is truly an assassin sent to kill Henri, she falls in love and refuses, is found by her terrorist cell and commanded to follow through or deal with the consequence of them torturing & murdering her only child. You see Morgan’s twisted loyalty to his father when he murders his mother after overhearing her agree to kill his father. Morgan requests that his father train him and than begins his rigorous and merciless life as his fathers’ apprentice. Young Bruce while in Paris seeks out Henri Ducard, master tracker, for further training. Henri and Morgan then corner him and Morgan attacks him, Bruce quickly bests Morgan Ducard, which prompts Henri to threaten to kill Bruce. Bruce requests to join them, and then makes the observation of being careful about what you wish for.
Overall I really like how the storyline is building. It comes across to me like the good vs. evil influences that can affect a person and the struggles that can occur from such. It will be very interesting to see if Damian succumbs to the darkness within him or if he returns to fight by his father’s side as Robin, as well as to see if this possibly intensifies the bond between father/son.