Overview: Thrown into a murderous rage of the apparent death of Goliath, Damian pushes Terry and his suit to the max. Upon seeing Bruce in danger, Damian resolves his differences with Terry and the team is able to stop a payload of nuclear missiles from striking Gotham.
Synopsis (spoilers ahead): After witnessing the apparent death of Goliath, Damian throws himself at Terry with the complete intention of killing him. Bruce finds himself watching his two “sons” fight to the death as he remarks that the AI system of Terry’s suit has taken control to achieve “mission success”. Even with his advanced battle suit, Terry finds himself being evenly matched by Damian and his superior fighting skills. Damian also seems to have intimate knowledge of how the suit actually operates as he dismantles parts of it strategically during the fight.
Meanwhile, Bruce locates a computer terminal where he realizes that Damian has a number of nuclear missiles ready to launch. He begins, what once was an easier task, to try and break into Damian’s system and shut down the missiles. He does not get far before Koru, son of the henchman Ubu, attacks Bruce.
At the sight of seeing Koru strangling his father, Damian comes to his senses and tries to help his father. Unfortunately, the suit’s AI is forcing Terry to choke Damian. Terry is eventually able to break its control and releases Damian so that he can save Bruce. Even though Damian neutralizes Koru, Terry’s suit presses his attack on an unaware Damian. Before striking the killing blow, Bruce thrusts himself in the middle which helps Terry break the suits control again.
Even though the immediate threat is over after Terry removes his mask to finally break the AI system, Damian still plans to launch the missiles. Bruce pleads with Damian to help him solve the world’s problems, not add to them. Damian hesitates, but upon hearing the sound of Goliath regaining consciousness, remove his hand from the button.
Feeling Damian betrayed the League of Assassins, Koru disobeys and launches the missiles himself. Since they are not able to be remotely redirected, Terry flies after them and, with his remaining energy reserves takes out all but one missile before falling back to Earth. Fortunately, Max and Terry’s brother Matt are able to divert a Wayne Satellite to intercept the last missile and detonate it safely in space.
Although missile crisis is ended, Terry is still plummeting to Earth’s surface. While Bruce pilots the Batmobile, Damian pulls off a perfect rescue jump and saves Terry. The issue ends with Bruce asking Damian to come back to Gotham, but Damian politely declines. He states that he feels he can do some good with the League. Terry tells Bruce he is getting soft in his old age, but that is okay when you are a dad. Bruce says that its good to just have two sons.
Analysis: Although I have not been able to keep up with this series as well as some others, I was very intrigued by the concept of introduction a grown up Damian in this future timeline. As my favorite Robin, Damian is one of the more interesting characters in The Batman Universe. To see him grow up and eventually take over the League of Assassins makes sense given how this world turned out.
This arc concluded in the right way in that we got to see Damian and now know his role in this timeline but we won’t be seeing him join Terry in his crusade in Neo Gotham. I really liked Bruce’s statement about having two sons (although I’m sure there are some that could argue he has five sons including Terry). It was a heartwarming affirmation and any time we get to see the walls crumble just a little on Bruce’s exterior, is a great moment.
Jurgens’ writing continues to be on point with a the conclusion of this arc. I would have liked a little more of the issue to be from Terry’s perspective but it was nice to see the battle from the father of these men duking it out. Although the animated series had done a similar storyline where Terry has to prove he’s more than just the suit, it was still very much a compelling story to see Terry take back control from the AI system and prove why he is this world’s Batman.
Final Thoughts: Although no major tease for the next arc, I am definitely on board to see what this creative team has coming next.