Robin — Damian Wayne, son of Batman and Talia Head, grandson of Ra’s al Ghul himself — is in a tough place right now. He was trained as an assassin, but gave up his League of Shadows birthright to be Robin, but now he’s really, really mad at Batman for letting Batman’s alternate-universe dad let Bane kill Alfred. But really, Damian is mad at Batman because he feels responsible for Alfred’s death. What’s a Boy Wonder to do?
Well, in Joshua Williamson and Gleb Melnikov’s new series, Robin, Damian travels around the world entering supervillain cage matches until somebody invites him to the DC Comics equivalent of Mortal Kombat.
What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)
The final page of Robin #1 features new teen supervillain Flatline ripping Damian’s still-beating heart out of his chest shortly after their arrival on Lazarus Island (probably a clue that Damian will still be around next issue after all). But I’d like to highlight another important canon moment of Robin #1: Damian Wayne is a fake nerd who reads horizontally flipped manga.
The first issue of Beta Ray Bill was fun, but with this cross section of Bill’s sentient ship, Skuttlebutt, Daniel Warren Johnson (with Mike Spicer on colors) has pulled me fully in. Look! There are rooms in this ship where Johnson, Spicer, and the Marvel Editorial team are working on the comic! UNBELIEVABLY CHARMING.
I thought you’d like to know that this week’s Batman: Black and White featured a Kieron Gillen/Jamie McKelvie team-up in the form of a “Choose Your Own Adventure” Batman story with ... a twist.
I also thought you’d also like to know that you can pick up a free copy of the Hellfire Gala Guide on Comixology right now, featuring all the new character designs for the X-Men’s mutant couture lewks.
Now that we know Jon Kent will be stepping into his dad’s shoes pretty soon, it’s nice to see Action Comics becoming a Superman and Superboy book. It’s making that transition more gradual — and it’s keeping the Superboy and Robin friendship alive.
John Ridley and Travel Forman’s Next Batman continuation is easy to miss — it’s among DC’s weekly digital-first offerings, for a buck an issue. But it’s playing with an interesting question. If losing all his money is making Batman more grounded, what happens with the people who got the $20 billion he lost, the family of Lucious Fox?
One of Next Batman’s biggest secrets is about why Lucious and his wife had a falling out with his second son, Jace (who used to go by Tim). It turns out that Jace used to be a very irresponsible kid who was the perpetrator of a fatal hit and run. At the time, his parents saw it as their duty to make sure that Jace’s actions were excused and erased just as they would have been if he was the white son of white millionaires. As an adult, Jace is deeply troubled and contrite about the incident, and unsure about his family. It’s juicy and thought-provoking drama.