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Robin’s Monstrous Sidekick Proves He’s Ready To Be His Own Hero

Warning! Spoilers for Robin #4!

In the world of DC Comics, Robin aka Damian Wayne has been trying his best to distance himself from Batman’s long shadow, and now with the return of his sidekick and furry friend, Goliath, Damian is proving that he’s closer than ever in becoming a hero of his own. Plus, the smile on Damian’s usually stoic face when seeing his buddy for the first time in what seems like forever is a priceless comic moment for the character on its own, making it pretty clear that Damian is on a path unlike any he’s walked before.

Reunited in the opening pages of Robin #4, by Joshua Williamson and Jorge Corona, Damian Wayne has been having a hard go of it recently as he partakes in a Mortal Kombat-esque tournament set on an island that can revive dead participants after they fall in battle. Losing a scuffle against the Green Arrow-related character of Connor Hawke, Damian is chucked off the edge of a cliff only to be saved by his monstrously oversized and friendly companion just before hitting the jagged rocks below.

Related: Robin Knows How He'd Kill Superman (And He'd Do It)

Brought to a secret island where it’s revealed that none other than his grandfather and Batman villain, Ra’s Al Ghul, has set up shop, the opening moments of this issue depict Robin waking up from his Connor Hawke-inflicted injuries only to be greeted by a giant, red, enthusiastic, bat-winged, dragon dog. Getting a sloppy lick in before Damian realizes that he’s awakened on a different island than the one he almost died on, Damian proceeds to give Goliath a big hug that would probably make Batman jealous, while simultaneously proving that Goliath’s return is more than just a cameo moment for the character.

Making total sense having Damian’s personal sidekick return now that he’s done being Batman’s plus one, Damian and Goliath’s relationship is one that began well before Damian ever considered donning the mantle of Robin. Depicted in the 2015 series, Robin: Son of Batman, by Patrick Gleason, Damian meets Goliath during a time in his life called the Year of Blood, in which he was tasked with proving his worth to the League of Assassin’s and his mother, Talia Al Ghul. Feeling horrible about being forced to slaughter generations of dragon bats that were guarding a special item Damian needed to prove his mettle, the future Robin took it upon himself to spare the young Goliath, proclaiming that he would make him his champion, and eventually, temporary sidekick.

Similar to this series wherein Damian was trying to atone for the sins of his past without Batman’s help, the reappearance of Goliath is a subtle nod to Damian’s current status quo as a character that simply wants to be his own hero. Harkening back to a time in Damian’s life when he was going at it alone with only Goliath by his side, bringing back Damian’s cuddly yet vicious friend is a development that’s not only nice to see, but one that speaks volumes as to where Damian is potentially heading during this new ongoing series.

So while Damian is still doing what he can to carve out a place for himself within the greater Batman mythos, having his best friend and sidekick return is a huge feel good moment for the character that actually means more than it initially lets on. Goliath might not be utilized as heavily as he once was, but the implications of his reunion with Robin are subtle reminders of a hero who is much more than what he seems.

Next: New Robin Comic Confirms: Damian Wayne is a Manga Fan

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