Grant Morrison has been making the rounds recently, talking to IGN, Newsarama, and Comic Book Resources about the events of Batman Incorporated #8, why he decided to kill Damian Wayne and what's next for him after he wraps up his Batman story.
IGN Comics: Was it always part of your larger plan on Batman to wind down your run with the death of Damian?
Grant Morrison: Yeah, always. I actually have my series pitch from April 13, 2011 and the death of Damian is right there. So even two years ago I was telling everyone this stuff was going to happen. It’s amazing that no one leaked the news until a couple of weeks ago! But yeah, it was always going to happen; it was part of his destiny and the character arc he was put through. Initially I was going to do it in the first four issues, but I’m glad we didn’t because we got to build him up to be a much bigger and stronger character.
Newsarama: I'm sure you grew close to this character and started to like him early on. Was there ever any consideration of keeping him alive at the end of your Batman run, or was it always his ending no matter what?
Grant Morrison: I've always liked him, even when he was horrible! [Laughs.] So yeah, there were moments, you know? I could have written Batman and Robin a lot longer, and Damian could have had more of a life. I would have taken him up to the age of 14, where then he sells his soul to Dr. Hurt, or to the devil, and I'd play out that story. But you know… it just didn't play that way.
So yeah, he could have done a lot of different things. But ultimately, it had to come to this moment. And that's the moment he came to.
Comic Book Resources: Let's start a bit with how "Batman Incorporated" has hit lately with the fans and the press. It's been odd watching the reaction to Damian's death and people bringing up the death of Jason Todd years ago in comparison. When Jason was killed off, he'd only been Robin in a short number of issues, and he was not well liked. Damian on the other hand was extremely popular and has established himself all over the DCU at this point. Did you think at all about what the reaction would be when crafting this story? Did you follow the response online?
Grant Morrison: I got asked about the Jason thing up front back when I did my first interviews, and it never really came up again. And that was really weird. It was kind of like Jason Todd was one of the most awful things to ever happen in comics, and is this the same thing again? But Jason Todd died because a bunch of people called on the phone, and Damian died because his creator decided to do it. It had to fit into the story and have a certain effect. Damian was built to die in the same way that Xorn was built to be Magneto [in "New X-Men"], even though people still don't believe me. [Laughs] And I think that's the real distinctive difference between the two. Damian was created to occupy a space in an ongoing story in a way that Jason Todd wasn't.
And Jason went through quite a few metamorphoses, if you remember. He was the red-haired kid who had exactly the same origin as Dick Grayson. And then suddenly he was a black-haired kid who stole tires off the Batmobile because they wanted to make him seem like more of a bad guy before they wiped him out. There was less control over who Jason was, which is what makes him very different from Damian who had a pretty straight throughline all the way.
Posted by Dane Haji