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Merry Little Batman: Who is Damian Wayne?

But when writer Grant Morrison took over the main Batman book in 2006, they endeavored to make everything canon, including the goofy stuff from the 1950s. So Morrison ended 2006’s Batman #655, their first issue on the book, with Talia ready to bring her son back into Bruce’s life. 

The reunion didn’t go well. Not only did Damian have the massive ego of any pre-teen boy, but his mother trained him as a ninja assassin and filled him with legends of his father’s exploits. So when Damian shows up at Wayne Manor, he isn’t the good-hearted kid shown in Merry Little Batman. He’s ready to prove himself as Batman’s rightful heir, which he does by trying to kill Tim Drake, the Robin at the time who had just been officially adopted by Bruce Wayne the issue before Damian returned. 

Despite that rough introduction, Damian did mellow a bit and eventually took Tim Drake’s place as Robin (when Tim picked a new identity, not when Damian killed him). But even when he fought alongside his father or leading the Teen Titans, Damian kept a chip on his shoulder, making him one of the more controversial additions to Batman lore. That said, nobody called a 900 number to demand his death, so Damian has one over one of the previous Robins, Jason Todd. 

The Many Faces of Damian Wayne

The Damian of Merry Little Batman may differ from the character that comic fans know, but that doesn’t mean a more accurate version hasn’t shown up in other media. The murderous Damian played a major role in direct-to-video animated movies such as Son of Batman and Batman vs. Robin. That version also appears in the Injustice: Gods Among Us video games, both as Robin and as an adult with the codename Nightwing. 

However, many adaptations veer away from the hyper-competent murder machine of the comics to explore different facets of the character. In the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode “Knights of Tomorrow!,” Damian is the timid son of Bruce Wayne and Catwoman Selina Kyle, who becomes Robin after Dick Grayson takes on the Batman mantle. In the Harley Quinn series, Damian is a snotty, entitled Robin, voiced by Jacob Tremblay. 

As these examples show, Damian can be very mutable, a quality that he shares with his father. In the same way that Batman can sometimes be a remorseless vigilante who pummels his opponents to almost death (can’t break that code!) and can sometimes be a paternal voice of reason, so also Robin can change according to the needs of writers and the story. 

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