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top 10 robin: son of batman moments

robin: son of batman is so close to my heart and it’s so bittersweet to see it end. it’s the only comic series that i own every issue to. going back through them all, i wanted to make a post of my personal highlights. this series had a lot of iconic moments that i thought gave wonderful insight into damian’s character, and also some breathtaking artistic moments, which is why i enjoyed it so much. those are the two categories that matter most to me and the biggest qualifiers for this list. without further ado

10. “What is the year of blood?”

this entire scene gets me every time (dick!!!!!!!!!!!!), but i single out this particular panel for a bunch of reasons. first of all, damian’s crinkle nose and big thick eyelashes are so gorgeous, and now is as good a time as any to start ranting about how talented patrick gleason is. damian’s whole expression is so emotive and flawless, i have no idea how you get that much story into half of a kid’s face. look at his frightened eyebrows. art aside, this moment creates so much organic hype for the rest of the story. it pulls you to the edge of your seat. it displays the magnitude of the crimes damian’s committed, the intensity of the challenge he’s about to face. it shows that damian is still keeping secrets from his father, secrets he’s terrified bruce will find out. it shows in one deft stroke all of damian’s guilt, paranoia, self-hatred and desperate hope for redemption. it’s a stroke of genius and even after having praised the art i have to say that i think gleason is even more talented as a writer than a penciller. *takes my hat off respectfully*

9. the bat skeleton

a very obvious choice but iconic for good reason. the dead bat is a huge neon finger pointing accusingly at damian and telling him that all the mistakes he’s created in the past are still floating around (most likely pregnant with consequences). it’s a petty mistake he made ages ago and bringing it up again not only shows a great respect for the emotional continuity of damian’s story and provides a nice easter egg for dedicated fans, but it condemns damian in such a painful and particular way. i love it. also a well-drawn frame, tons of emotion on his face again.

8. no weakness, no hesitation, no mercy for fools

what isn’t completely gut-wrenching about this moment? (first of all, it’s beside the point but i’d like to draw attention to the fact that talia is scared enough that she gets out her gun. she didn’t have it before this frame. it makes you wonder if she’d be willing to shoot damian, even though all her characterization in the series indicates she probably wouldn’t). the real reason i love this scene, though, is because it really takes the conflict in the story to a peak. the series asks "how far would damian go to wash the blood off his hands?” and dares to follow up with “would he forgive his mother?” and, even better, dares to show that that’s a nearly impossible choice with a high cost for him. this moment shows that damian is actually willing to break all his promises and deny all his struggles for redemption and kill someone (even worse, that someone is someone he used to love). i also love that the darkness in damian is displayed here in terms that call back explicitly to his upbringing as an al ghul. it shows that there’s still a part of him that might believe the al ghul way of cleansing evil is legitimate and that part of him is the real villain of the series in a way, you know? ghh it’s so juicy with conflict

7. “You are an Al Ghul, no matter what you say.“

a very dark twist. near the end of the series, right when, thematically, we’re close to finding out “what it’s all meant”, talia drops this bomb. even though it’s mostly refuted in the next issue with damian’s spirit not answering to the name “al ghul”, it adds a note that could be interpreted as sinister, or be seen as just an interesting complexity (i tend to see it in the latter light). it raises questions about damian’s identity that the series had almost put to rest. maybe i’m reading into it too much but i very much appreciated this line casting shadows where maybe there may have been a little too much sunshine. maybe i just like the angst.

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