“Next of Kin”
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Andy Kubert
Art: Andy Kubert
Colors: Brad Anderson
Letters: Nick Napolitano
Cover: Andy Kubert w/Brad Anderson & Tony Daniel w/Sandu Florea, Tomeu Morey
Review by Scott Keys
Imagine if you will, a world in which Damian Wayne, son of the Batman, was not killed in action. A world where he was able to grow up under the tutelage of Batman for years to come. That’s the world in which Damian: Son of Batman takes place. I wasn’t a big fan of his death in the first place (the little scamp actually started to grow on me, and I enjoyed his role in the Batman Family), so when I heard this mini-series announced, I was excited. But how does the first issue fare?
Andy Kubert, I must say, wrote a very good “teenage” Damian. If you thought that young Damian was a smart-alec, know-it-all, just wait until he gets a few more years under his belt! The way that Kubert sets up the premise is well done, with narrative from Damian himself as he and Batman are investigating a case. During the case…SPOILERS AHEAD…Batman dies in an explosion. This sets Damian off on a quest of vengeance. His first stop? His mother and grandfather! Of course, they rebuke his plea for help, which sets Damian on a downward spiral, fully embracing his vengeance and killing off Gotham’s criminals one by one. I won’t spoil that last page (it even got me, so I want you to experience it for yourself!), but suffice it to say, Kubert did an excellent job of writing this “imaginary” tale.
Kubert’s work wasn’t only at the keyboard, but also at the drafting table. Kubert has such distinct style, and I think it works so well in the world of Batman. He is able to capture every spectrum of emotion, from the first panel to the last. The anguish on Damian’s face when he discovers his father’s body and the splash-page following, where he is holding his father’s body, are absolutely gut-wrenching! And the anger on his face when he is standing in the Batcave with his blood covered uniform… terrifying! Kubert has been doing comics for many years, and from the looks of his latest work, he doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon! He’s still in his prime, and I don’t care how long it takes for him to illustrate a book, as long as I get more books with his name on it.
Damian: Son of Batman #1 is a peek into what could have been in the DCU, and what an entertaining peek it was!
Art: 5 / 5
Story: 4.5 / 5
Overall: 4.5 / 5
Scott Keys is a father, Butler University grad, pharmacist, and full-time comic nerd. You can follow his adventures around the spinner-rack and his Incoherent Comic Book Ramblings on:
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