Damian Wayne is dead, at the hands of an assassin sent by his own mother. Batman is without his Robin, but worse, Bruce Wayne is without his son. Their time together was short, but if there was any doubt it mattered, this Requiem-branded issue of Batman and Robin puts them to rest. Writer Peter J Tomasi and artists Patrick Gleason and Mick Gray convey the breadth of Bruce’s feelings as he spends an evening in Wayne Manor and on the streets of Gotham, sometime haunted, sometimes comforted, by the memory of the brat who became a hero.
Batman and Robin #18 is a virtuoso performance from Tomasi and co, as they build a picture of love and loss via a combination of small and big moments. The saddest is the family portrait begun months ago, which returns like a punch to the gut. Then there’s Clark Kent’s list of recommended films to entertain and inspire Damian; the sketchpad that bears witness to a talented young artist; the massive ‘bouquet’ of crooks delivered to Gotham PD; the Batmobile slammed into a lamppost.
I can count the Batman stories that have moved me on the fingers of one hand – ‘There is no hope in Crime Alley’; ‘Night of passion, night of fear’; ‘Interlude on Earth 2’; ‘To kill a legend’. With Batman and Robin #18’s ‘Undone’, we can add one more to the list. Tomasi, Gleason and co have done Damian Wayne proud.