By Ashley Gibbs
We’ve been reintroduced to Damian Wayne, Bruce’s son with Talia al Ghul. He’s taken up his grandfather’s mantle and cause, shunning his father and the opportunity to be Batman. In the previous issue, it seemed to be the fault of the suit and its AI, at least that’s what Bruce wants to believe, but in Batman Beyond #10 Damian sets the record straight that his choices were his own. This issue is mainly exposition with some flashbacks and not much action, which is a bummer but I did enjoy the father-son discussions and the look into Damian’s thought process.
I admit I was worried the last issue that all of the blame for Damian leaving Gotham would be put on the suit, but it would seem most of that was Bruce looking for an excuse. Maybe the suit’s AI did contribute, but if it did, Damian isn’t about to admit it. He has a history of being jealous of all of the other robins and that feeling probably goes for Terry as well, another fact he won’t admit to that is easier for readers to see. Adding to that conflicting views with his father and being drawn in by his grandfather, he’s a character with many layers. While he spends most of the issue talking to Bruce and explaining why he’s following in Ra’s al Ghul’s footsteps, Terry fights a bat dragon and doesn’t add much to the narrative, though the suit is taking control of him more and more anyway which makes everything messy. Despite the lack of fighting and action, I enjoyed the story because I like when Bruce and Damian interact, no matter the continuity.
The artwork presented is once again great quality, and I enjoyed it very much.The character movements are organic, and the colors are vibrant. I love the way the panel layouts are used to help frame the story. A key example being when Bruce and Damian are talking in the main panels, we have two smaller panels to the side showing body guards in the snow waiting to pounce on Bruce and restrain him. It adds to the feeling of how surrounded he is. Another nice artistic moment is a flashback of Damian with an older Ra’s, his grandfather is withered and on a cane but Damian stands by him, working to make his dream a reality. Something we want to see him do with Bruce, sadly.
Family drama is always messy; this isn’t a simple situation that can anyone can punch their way through. This is a confrontation long overdue. There is also the issue of Terry’s suit going full rouge and of course Damian’s over-the-top plan. Batman Beyond #10 helps to set up things for a thrilling conclusion though I can’t predict what that might be. As much as I enjoy a good fight seen I do love backstory, especially for characters I care about. This was a good read and while it helps to read at least the previous two, which makes a good starting point for new readers.
Batman Beyond #10
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Bernard Chang
Colorist: Marcelo Maiolo
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Publisher: DC Comics