Man. When Grant Morrison gets to tell his story all the way through, with a solid artist, there is no one better.
I’ve read that Morrison promised to leave the Bat-universe as he found it. That means no Damian, no Batman Inc. (I assume) and everything back to normal. I respect that, but I’m going to miss Damian Wayne a lot. Unlike a lot of my comic-reading friends, I loved Damian from the start. I found his poor attitude hilarious, and I was fascinated by the relationship Damian formed with Dick Grayson. Seeing the two of them function as Batman & Robin was a joy.
I think Morrison found it that way too. Damian has one hell of a send-off in this issue; he saves pretty much all the other Robins, he fights off crowds of bad guys, and he even gets a moment with Grayson. It’s a nice, quiet moment between explosions where the two of them get to acknowledge how much fun they had working together as the caped crusaders. Perhaps Damian is a bit mushier than normal, but it is totally worth it to see the two buds charge into the maelstrom together one last time. A wonderful, touching scene; it is my favorite in the comic.
But the death scene is great too. Rendered in unbelievable detail by Chris Burnham, Robin goes down fighting. His bulky brother (who still reminds me of Bane) is a tough opponent, and the two of them shred each other attempting to win. During the whole conflict, however, Damian is being shot with arrows and bullets. By the time the fight is wrapping up, Damian is bloodied, tattered, and spitting blood. Burnham does a great job making Damian still look like a kid too, making his death all the more tragic.
I find it to be a fascinating decision that Damian’s “goodbye” is with Nightwing, not with Batman. Bruce Wayne will never have the chance to say goodbye to his son. Damian’s mother, Talia Al Ghul/Leviathan? She could have saved Damian or at least said goodbye. She does neither.