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Robin Confirms Batman Changed His Assassin Son for the Better

Warning! Spoilers ahead for Robin #6!

While Damian Wayne may be one of the most headstrong bearers of the Robin title to date, recently he has developed a bit of humility to offset his massive ego. Trained to be a deadly fighter by the League of Assassins, Robin was as dangerous as he was cocky and stubborn, seemingly unable to find any faults with his behavior or his character. But now, while doing some serious soul searching away from Gotham at the League of Lazarus, Damian has finally admitted to himself, and to others, that Batman’s training and deprogramming have changed him for the better.

In Robin #6 by Joshua Williamson and Gleb Melnikov, the Lazarus League’s death tournament is in full swing. The fighters on Lazarus Island are now fighting to the death in the hope of obtaining the secret to eternal life. Robin faces his first two challengers and takes them out handily, making full use of his training both under Batman and under his mother Talia. After dispatching his foes, Damian takes some time to rest, watch some fights, and trade notes on the mystery of the island with Flatline, Ravager, and Hawke. After being interrupted by Respawn, the remaining fighters are gathered in the arena once more to kick off round 3 of the tournament, which begins with a free-for-all. In the chaos, Damian is able to grab Mother Soul’s (the tournament host) mysterious tome and runs away to begin to decode it. As he realizes what is going on, the comic ends with a panel of Respawn in hot pursuit, eager to kill the Boy Wonder.

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Robin gets through the first two rounds of the tournament efficiently. He makes all the right moves he learned from his parents, such as redirecting his foe’s momentum and targeting key muscle clusters in the body to disrupt their moves. Ultimately, Robin finishes both of his first two fights in the time it takes most of the other fighters to conclude their first brawl. As Robin awaits for his next fighter, Mother Soul remarks that he should be patient and that he doesn’t seem to relish the carnage of combat as the other fighters do. Damian responds by saying that he won’t be played that easily, like the other fighters.

Damian’s attitude during his fights is one of great indifference, like the killing aspect of the tournament is just another rule, as banal as the ban on firearms. This is a great shift from his first appearance, where he relished every opportunity to use his assassin training and kill. He often had to be snapped out of his bloodlust by Batman, Nightwing, or Alfred for his own benefit, and Damian would often see killing as the better way of dealing with criminals, as taught by the League of Assassins. As time has progressed, and Damian has grown closer to his father both personally and professionally, his bloodlust has been stymied. In this case, it appears that Damian’s newfound restraint is giving him the advantage he needs to survive in the League of Lazarus, keeping his head above water and avoiding the blind rage that comes with getting sucked into the tournament and its bloody premise.

Damian Wayne, much like his father Batman, is a fiercely stubborn and independent teenager. While his strong personality has remained mostly intact during his time under his father’s wing, Robin has finally admitted that Batman’s training and conditioning have changed him in a positive way by steering him away from killing.

More: Batman Cracks a Smile With the Best Robin in Heartwarming Cover Art

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