Everybody knows that Batman’s sidekick is Robin. Of course, readers are familiar with the fact that there’s more than one Robin. That said, there’s only one son of Bruce Wayne, the best Robin of all (if you ask him), Damian. Like X-23, he is a fairly new character (2006!), but also one that has accumulated a lot of apparitions in multiple series. If you’re a fan of Damian, here is the guide you need to keep track of him.
Who is Damian Wayne a.k.a. Robin, Batman’s better half?
Damian Wayne is the son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, and thus the grandson of Ra’s al Ghul. Grown in a laboratory, Damian was raised by his mother and the League of Assassins to make him a great warrior. It also makes him arrogant and violent.
Batman ignores his existence until Talia left his pre-adolescent son in the care of his father. Talia hasn’t grown a conscience but just uses Damian in an effort to disrupt Batman’s work.
For Damian, two choices is offered to him: follow his grandfather and mother’s footsteps to become the future head of the League or embrace his father’s lifestyle and choose to be a superhero.
I. The Introduction of Damian Wayne by Grant Morrison
- Batman: Son of the Demon — Damian doesn’t appear in this 1987 graphic novel by writer Mike W. Barr and artist Jerry Binghamon of the Demon. It was out of continuity during a long time. Grant Morrisson used it as an inspiration. Quite optional, but for the perfectionist, this is where all begins.
- Batman: Batman and Son — First appearance of Damian Wayne. Morrison’s run is as much about Batman as it is about his son. The opening arc is an essential to better understand who Damian is. Collects Batman #655-658, #663-669 et #672-675 (the new edition includes the Black Glove storyline)
- Batman: The Resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul — Damian discovers what his grandfather wants to do with him and he is not OK with it. Collects Batman #670-671, Robin #168-169, Detective Comics #838-839, Nightwing #138-139, Batman Annual #26 and Robin Annual #7
- Batman: R.I.P. — In Batman #675, Damian has sensed that someone is out to get Batman, and he was right! The Black Glove organization is determined to destroy everything for which Batman stands. Collects Batman #676 to #683
- Batman: Battle for the Cowl — Chaos reigns in Gotham City following Batman R.I.P. and Final Crisis (see Batman: Time and the Batman). Damian has a hard time adjusting to the new order, as well as Dick Grayson. Collects Batman: Battle For The Cowl #1-3, Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead? #1 And Gotham Gazette: Batman Alive? #1
II. The (New) Batman and Robin
Morrisson’s Era continues with a new Batman. Dick Grayson tries to fill the mantle of the Bat and has chosen Damian Wayne to be his Robin. A partnership filled with tension that’s going to evolve in a respectful and sincere brotherly relationship. This is where the magic happens between those two.
- Batman & Robin, Vol. 1: Batman Reborn — The new Batman and Robin affront Professor Pyg, then have to deal with Red Hood. Collects Batman & Robin #1-6
Wants more Damian? This is where you can begin to read Batman: Streets of Gotham. The Series contains 3 volumes: Hush Money, Leviathan and The House of Hush. Beware, a little context is needed. It’s a follow up to Paul Dini’s Heart of Hush and in the spirit of his Detective Comics run (#821-850, just before Grant Morrison Era).
- Batman & Robin Vol. 2 Batman vs. Robin — No time to rest for the new Dynamic Duo in this collection who contains a 3-issues storyline that ties into Blackest Night. Collects Batman & Robin #7 To #12
- Batman & Robin Vol. 3: Batman & Robin Must Die — Joker is back and he’s not the only one to make a return in this volume that marks the end of Morrison on this title. Connects with The Return of Bruce Wayne (to read before for better context). Collects Batman #13-16 and Batman: The Return #1
Batman & Robin by Morrison has an Absolute Edition.
Wants more Damian? You can read Superman/Batman #77. Damian Wayne meets Supergirl in this special Halloween issue where those two makes a team to stop the nightmares plaguing Metropolis. Obviously quite optional, but still nice to know it’s out there. And for those who don’t buy in digital, you can find this issue in Robin, The Boy Wonder: A Celebration of 75 Years.
- Teen Titans: Team Building — Damian Wayne is not interested to be part of the Teen Titans, but he is fine with being a leader. There should always be a Robin in the team, but this one is a hard pass. Collects Teen Titans #88 to #92, Red Robin #20, Wonder Girl #1
- Batman & Robin Vol. 4: Dark Knight Vs. White Knight — Grant Morrisson’s arc is over but the collaboration between Batman and Robin continues, thanks to Paul Cornell (#17-19), Peter Tomasi (#20-22), Judd Winick (#23-25) and David Hine (#26) — this last one issue is not collected in a TPB or HC edition. Collects Batman and Robin #17 to #25
- Batman Incorporated — Bruce Wayne is back and decides to go global in his Crusade against crime. This volume is important for what follows in New 52, with the conclusion of Grant Morrison’s arc. Collects Batman Incorporated #1 to #8, Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes #1
Wants more Damian? You can read Batgirl (2009-2011) #17. Stephanie Brown as Batgirl has been given her first sanctioned Batman Incorporated assignment. She’s thrilled about it, until Damian Wayne decides to ride shotgun. And this one is not collected anywhere, apparently.
III. Damian Wayne during New 52
Following the events of Flashpoint (thanks Flash!), DC rebooted its universe and gave us New 52. This is where Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo took over creative duties on Batman. But Grant Morrisson wasn’t finished yet, and his storyline will impact the Bat-family.
During that time, you can find Damian Wayne in Batman Incorporated by Morrison and in Batman and Robin by Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason.
- Batman and Robin Vol. 1: Born to Kill — This is a Batman and son team, with Bruce in the Bat costume and Damian having to learn how to work with his dad as Robin. Collects Batman and Robin #1 To #6
- Batman and Robin Vol. 2: Pearl — Batman’s son Robin must prove to his father-as well as his previous mantle-holders-that he’s worthy of being the newest Boy Wonder. Collects Batman and Robin #7 To #14
- Batman Incorporated Vol. 1: Demon Star — The beginning of the end for Morrison. The entirety of Batman Incorporated face the Leviathan organization headed by the Dark Knight’s former romantic interest Talia al Ghul. Collects Batman Incorporated #0-6
- Batman and Robin Vol. 3: Death of the Family — A tie-in to the Death of the Family arc. Collects Batman and Robin #15-17, Batman and Robin Annual #1 and Batman #17
- Batman Incorporated Vol. 2: Gotham’s Most Wanted — This is the conclusion to Grant Morrison’s epic Batman saga. Collects Batman Incorporated #7-13 and Batman Incorporated Special #1
- Batman and Robin Vol. 4: Requiem for Damian — Batman faces a new tragedy. The members of his extended family will rally to his side and try to temporarily fill the void in his life. Collects Batman & Robin #18 To #23
- Batman And Robin Vol. 6: The Hunt For Robin — This is Batman versus Ra’s al Ghul, the father against the grandfather in a volume that prepares everything for the showdown, sort of speak. Collects Batman and Robin #29-34, Robin Rises: Omega #1
- Batman and Robin Vol. 7: Robin Rises — This is the end of this Volume 2 (2011–2015) of Batman and Robin. If you want to know a little bit more about what’s going on with Batman, it’s the perfect moment to read Batman Vol.7: Endgame. Collects Batman and Robin #35-40, Robin Rises: Alpha #1, And Batman and Robin Annual #3
- Robin: Son of Batman Vol. 1: The Year of Blood — Damian gets his first ongoing series. Collects Robin: Son of Batman 1-6, Sneak Peek
- Robin War — It’s Robins vs. cops! Robins vs. Robins! Robins vs. Batman! Robins vs. the Court of Owls! A lot of Robins in that crossover event. Collects Robin War #1-2, Robin: Son Of Batman #7, Grayson #15, Detective Comics #47, We Are Robin #7, Gotham Academy #13, Red Hood/Arsenal #7 and Teen Titans #15
- Robin: Son of Batman Vol. 2: Dawn of the Demons — Damian faces the young champion of the Lu’un Darga family before a new DC relaunch. Collects Robin: Son of Batman 7-13
IV. DC Rebirth
As part of the DC Rebirth, Damian is featured in three titles: Teen Titans, where he becomes the team’s leader, Super Sons, where he lives dangerous adventures with Jon Kent, the son of Superman and Nightwing as a supporting role where he assists Dick Grayson.
- Superman Vol. 2: Trials of the Super Son — Jonathan Kent, son of Superman and Lois Lane, meets Damian Wayne, son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul in Superman #10 and #11. This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship… or not! This story served as a prologue to Super Sons. Collects Superman #7-13.
Wants more Damian? You can read Deathstroke #4-5 where Slade Wilson and his daughter’s head to Gotham City in Deathstroke #4-5 and encounter Batman and Robin. Collected in Deathstroke Vol. 1: The Professional.
- Teen Titans Vol. 1: Damian Knows Best — Damian form the new Teen Titans to face the Demon’s Fist. Good luck to them! Collects Teen Titans #1-6 and Teen Titans: Rebirth #1
- Nightwing Vol.3: Nightwing Must Die —Who wants Nightwing dead? A big question for Dick Grayson as his world falls apart around him. But Damian Wayne is here to help him unravel this mystery. Collects Nightwing #16-21
- Super Sons Vol. 1 — Jon Kent hasn’t been invited to be part of Damian’s Teen Titans team, but no doubt, the son of Superman is destined to be his best frenemy. Collects Super Sons #1-5.
- Titans: The Lazarus Contract — Titans past, present and future collide with their eternal enemy Deathstroke in this DC crossover.Collects Titans #11, Teen Titans #8, Deathstroke #19-20 and Teen Titans Annual #1. Formore informations on that one, there’s also a reading order for The Lazarus Contract.
- Teen Titans Vol. 2: The Rise of Aqualad — A prison breakout has led to a string of disappearances, and some of them hit close to home. Now, to rescue the kidnapped, the Titans will have to go toe-to-fin with King Shark, and the Titans are out of their depth…literally! But a new teen hero named Jackson Hyde has seen the Titans in action, and he’s headed to Titans Tower to try to join the team. Collects Teen Titans #6-7, #9-11.
- Super Sons Vol. 2: Planet of the Capes — What starts as a simple training mission becomes a dimension-spanning adventure for the sons of Superman and Batman, and Superboy teams up with the Teen Titans for the first time. Collects Super Sons #6-10
- Super Sons of Tomorrow — The Batman of Tomorrow travels to the present to prevent a cataclysmic disaster before it happens, revealing that Superboy will soon be responsible for the deaths of millions. But Superman will do anything to protect his son… Collects Super Sons #11-12, Superman #37-38 and Teen Titans #15
- Dark Nights: Metal — A Batman Event written by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo. There’s a little bit of Damian in it, but nothing that justify reading the whole event if it’s not your cup of tea. And this is where you’ll find Teen Titans #12. For more, go to the Dark Nights Metal Reading Order page.
- Teen Titans Vol. 3 — In the wake of Dark Days: Metal, the Teen Titans takes a MUCH-needed vacation…that is until a real life member of the Justice League shows up. Green Arrow demands that his younger sister Emiko join the team! Are the Teen Titans about to get a new member? Or will Emiko Queen be Damian’s undoing? Collects Teen Titans #13-14 and #16-19.
Wants more Damian ? Our favourite Robin makes two appearances in the Nightwing. Quickly in the issue #42 (totally optional, but I like it), and in Nightwing #43 where he has to team up with Arsenal too.
- Super Sons Vol. 3: Parent Trap – Talia al Ghul returns for her son Damian, whom she trained from birth to be an assassin. The evil in Robin’s past is finally revealed to Superboy and the boys find out Talia’s next victim is one of the most important people in their lives! Collects
Super Sons #13-16 and Annual #1.
Wants more Damian ? Very forgettable, Damian meets the most famous turtles in Batman – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II. More enjoyable, the DC/Hanna-Barbera crossover Super Sons/Dynomutt Special #1 with great art by Fernando Pasarin.
And the story continues…