Bruce Wayne is lost in time. He is using every bit of his strength, wits and training to get back to the present. If anyone can do it he can. But Gotham City hasn’t shut down in the meantime. Criminals have seen that the Batman is gone and have tried to strike while Gotham’s protector is gone. Fortunately, Bruce Wayne has a family that has stepped up to pick up the slack while Bruce is gone. Each member of the Bat-Family has evolved to be better than they were. Absence in the Family will detail that evolution. I will talk about what the character’s were doing before Bruce was taken and how they have changed since Bruce’s disappearance. Next up Damian Wayne.
Damian Wayne was trained from birth to be a perfect weapon. A mixture of Bruce Wayne and Talia Al Gul’s DNA and grown in an artificial womb, Damian was born to take over the world in the name of the League of Assassins. Something unexpected happened though. Talia suddenly left Damian with Bruce, who had no knowledge of a son. She did it to confuse and slow Batman down, but the ploy backfired. Maybe he just wanted to rebel or maybe it was something of his father inside him, but Damian decided to follow in Batman’s footsteps rather than the League’s.
That doesn’t mean that Damian became a good little boy who was full of joy and rainbows. Damian had been taught to kill his enemies and rivals. His mindset was completely opposite of his fathers. He was arrogant, selfish, pretentious, and the biggest A-hole a pre-teen could ever be. Gotham and the world should thank their lucky stars he was only 10 years old.
It is hard to blame Damian though. He was raised by people who hardly value human life. He viewed every problem as something he should attack and everyone as an obstacle to overcome. His redeeming quality was that he really did want to follow in Bruce’s footsteps. Damian hoped that Bruce would train him to become the next Batman, but Bruce was taken away before he could.
After Bruce’s ‘death’ Dick Grayson made Damian the new Robin. He is still a jerk but he isn’t as malicious as before. You can see how he wants to live up to his father’s example. He has promised to no longer kill criminals (or try to kill Tim Drake) and has kept that promise. He is absolutely vicious to his enemies but tries hard to protect Gotham’s innocents.
He is also learning that he might not be ready to be Batman just yet. He tried to go it alone and got in over his head during one of the new Batman and Robin’s first missions. Luckily, Grayson was able to show up in time to save him. That went a long way toward Damian finally respecting Dick. Damian knows he can learn a lot from Dick, especially when it comes to patience and detective work.
Since Bruce’s disappearance, Damian has taken strides to become a Batman that his father would approve of. His upbringing will be difficult to overcome but hopefully the new Batman will be able to help him. If Damian is able to put his past behind him, he has the ability to become a Batman that surpasses both Bruce and Dick.