I’ve been a Damian apologist. The kid has no prayer of being normal with his genetics. Then he was raised to be an assassin before he escaped under Batman’s wing. Dick Grayson has tried to be a good big brother to him. He was Batman when Damian was Robin. But it was never Dick’s job to raise Damian; it was Bruce’s. Unfortunately, Bruce wasn’t and isn’t around to be that nurturing father. When was the last time he hugged his own son? As a parent, he’s not much better than Deathstroke.
But after Teen Titans Annual #1, I can’t explain away Damian’s behavior any more. It’s one thing to be a cocky, arrogant asshole, but it’s another thing to be a cocky, arrogant asshole with no consideration for others or consequences. It’s true that Damian was raised to think he’s always right and is the best at everything. But he’s had Dick and Bruce since then try to teach him otherwise. I don’t know what it will take for this kid to learn some humility other than one of his brilliant decisions getting someone killed.
One of his decisions this issue has almost done exactly that. The worst part is that I’m certain he doesn’t care.
Slade has run back to the past, several times, in fact. Each encounter with Grant ends badly, with Grant angry that his father is Deathstroke and refusing to listen. As Deathstroke tries to plan the ideal point in time to stop Grant, the Titans and Teen Titans go back in time to meet up with the Teen Titans of the past. While they try to tell the past Titans why they’re there, Damian decides to take matters into his own hands, literally. He palms young Wally in the chest, stopping his heart. Doing so caused the Flash Wally of the present to disappear.
Nightwing is already angry with Damian for leaving Kid Flash Wally behind due to his screw up. He doesn’t restrain Damian nicely. He hooks his throat with his elbow and lifts him up. If only he squeezed a little to make him pass out.
Since Deathstroke’s connection to the speed force relies upon both Wallies, once one went down, Slade was ripped to the present. The rest of the Titans also went to the present since present day Wally was no longer there to hold them in that time. They disappear while past Robin attempts CPR.
No one is happy with Damian, and that includes Aqualad, whom Damian forgot when they left Slade’s lair. While everyone yells at Damian, he explains that he only needed to stop Flash Wally’s heart for a few seconds to sever Slade’s connection to the speed force. Flash Wally reappears, meaning that the past Titans were able to get his heart beating again, and Damian pretty much calls this no harm, no foul. He goes as far to insist that everyone thank him for saving the day.
Slade of course isn’t happy. Now that both Wallies are in tact, he sets out to run so fast, he’ll go even further back in time. Instead what he does is step into the speed force. Problem is that once you’re in, you’re never leaving. Damian, naturally, has no problem letting Slade disappear into the speed force. The Wallies do, however.
Naturally, despite Damian telling them they’re all idiots, they bring Slade back. He’s even angrier than he was before. He storms off declaring that he quits, which I assume that means he quits being Deathstroke.
And that’s not even the most shocking part of it all. The epilogue shows the aftermath of the Titans and Teen Titans. Lord Damian continues to be tyrant over his team, not that he knows how to work on a team. He’s beyond pissed at Kid Flash for helping Deathstroke in the first place and then running off to save him. So much so that he decides to fire him in front of everyone. That’s not going to end well.
What’s going to go even worse for him, however, is when Nightwing gets his hands on him once again. Thanks to Damian’s little heart-stopping maneuver, Wally in the past had to get a pacemaker. Wally of present didn’t learn of it, naturally, until his return trip. He’s told that continuing to be Flash will kill him.
At this point, I want to get my hands on Damian. I know he’s a reckless teenager, because that’s what teenagers do, but that means he’s not ready to lead a team. The Teen Titans may not be able to continue without a Robin, quoth Beast Boy from the final issue of the New 52, but Damian is not the right Robin. Congratulations, Damian. You’re now lower than Jason Todd in my book.
Again, I don’t know what it will take for Damian to learn humility. His whole team rising up against him? Getting someone killed? When he finds out what his actions have done to Wally, will he even care? Maybe Dr. Hurt should have killed him in Nightwing.
Also, Wintergreen is just the best.
Our Rating: YUS
Authors: Benjamin Percy, Christopher Priest, and Dan Abnett
Artists: Paul Pelletier, Andrew Hennessy, and Adriano Lucas
Publisher: DC Comics
Publish Date: 05/31/2017
Acquired via Purchase