Batman and Robin #1 reveals Damian’s coping mechanism has gotten surprisingly meta

Christopher Baggett
Batman and Robin #1 alternate cover art

Batman and Robin #1 kicks off with a renewed focus on the dynamic duo, but Damian Wayne’s penchant for art also returns in a surprising form: a crude, hand-drawn comic book.

The highly anticipated Batman and Robin #1 has finally been released, ushering in a new era for the dynamic duo. Isolated from the rest of the Bat-family as a result of the current Gotham War event, the father-and-son pair is reconnecting and working together better than ever. 

The debut issue sees the two working together like they haven’t spent the past two years on the outs. Batman and Robin squash an attempted kidnapping by White Rabbit in record time, establishing a new level of teamwork we’d not seen from the two before. 

It’s the moments that come after that are truly surprising, though. The issue gives us a brief glimpse into what’s really going on with Bruce and Damian – including a new take on one of Damian’s oldest hobbies and coping mechanisms. 

Batman and Robin #1 reveals Damian is making a comic book

It was revealed months before release that this book would be as much about Bruce and Damian reconnecting as father and son as it would be about Batman and Robin reuniting after their big fallout a few years ago. The issue takes time to show us that there’s still some friction, though and gives us some insight into Damian’s thoughts via a comic he’s seen drawing. 

The comic is very crude and obviously in the early stages of creation, but the content indicates Damian is still at odds with his place in the world. There is some indication that he’s frustrated with not being able to live a teenage life. 

A comic drawn by Damian Wayne in Batman and Robin #1
Robin has always used art as a coping mechanism, but now he’s become a comic artist.

Most notable are lines at the end referring to his parents, Batman and Talia. Damian refers to his mother as a hero and his father as a criminal, hinting at some lingering resentment following Lazarus Planet and Batman vs. Robin, where Batman tries to stop Damian from helping Talia escape custody. There’s also a line noting that “they often forgot how to be parents,” indicating Damian may not have entirely forgiven his mother, either. 

Damian has been depicted as being an artist since his earliest days. Origin stories told in Batman and Robin #0 have shown him being taught to paint as part of his training with the League of Assassins. Later stories showcase Damian using art as a coping mechanism through art pieces Bruce and Aflred found after his death. 

While the art itself was always a coping mechanism, Damian has never shown interest in comics, making this a slightly more meta take on it. Considering part of Damian’s new direction is going to include becoming a high school student, it should be interesting to see if the book continues to use comics to offer insight into Damian’s feelings. 

Batman and Robin #1 is available now from DC Comics. For more Batman and comic book news, be sure to follow all our coverage

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