Batman was not aware of Damian’s existence for a considerable time. Genetically perfected and grown in an artificial womb, Damian was intended to be a formidable warrior. He is raised by Talia and the League of Assassins. He becomes a talented martial artist by the time he is a pre-teen, at which time Talia reveals Damian’s existence to his father and leaves him in Batman’s custody in an effort to disrupt his work.
Precocious, spoiled, and violent, Damian battles Robin (Tim Drake), whom he wants to replace as his father’s sidekick, and sucker punches him off the T-Rex of the Batcave. Grounded by Batman, he escapes, dons a variant Robin costume made of Jason Todd‘s old tunic and assorted League of Assassin gear, and gets into a fight with and decapitates the villainous Spook. Although misguided and malicious, Damian seems to genuinely want to aid his father’s war on crime.
Eventually, Batman confronts Talia, but both Talia and Damian are soon caught in an explosion. They survive the explosion, but a badly injured Damian requires transplants of harvested organs, which his mother orders her physicians to carry out. He made a full recovery.
Talia takes Damian to the Australian Outback where he is tutored in the secret history of his grandfather, Ra’s al Ghul. Talia is unaware that a former servant of Ra’s, named White Ghost, plans to use Damian as a shell for the soul of Ra’s to return to Earth. This process would, of course, kill Damian. Talia is able to save her son from his fate at the last minute.
However, Ra’s is still able to return, as a rotting, shambling undead corpse, still needing Damian to stabilize his form. Damian flees to alert Batman, but he’s still pursued by his evil grandfather. Upon entering Wayne Manor, Damian attempts to relay to Robin the fact that Ra’s has returned. However, Robin, suspicious of Damian’s intentions, does not believe his story and begins a fist fight. Damian flees and encounters Alfred. Before he can effectively relay his news he is attacked by Robin, who perceives Damian’s attempt to help a tripping Alfred as an attack, and renews their battle.
As they fight, members of the League of Assassins approach the manor with the intention of killing all others within and bringing Damian back to Ra’s alive. Damian and Tim fight side-by-side against Ra’s and his minions. However, their collaboration is hindered by their very different philosophies of battle, not to mention their strong dislike – even hatred – of each other. Damian is willing to betray Tim at any moment for his own safety. Ra’s captures the two and tells Batman that he will use one of them for his own body. Batman offers his own body instead. Ra’s refuses the offer, feeling that he needs someone of a younger age.
Batman offers a third alternative: “Fountain of Essence,” which contains the qualities of a Lazarus Pit. Batman and Ra’s go in search of the fountain, leaving Tim, Damian, Nightwing, Alfred, and Talia to battle the Sensei. Damian leaves his mother and Tim to an unknown fate, while he goes off to be with his father. Unfortunately, he ends up captured by Ra’s and nearly loses his life. Batman and the others manage to save him, and Talia takes her son and escapes.
Batman R.I.P. & Battle for the Cowl
Soon after these events, Talia and Damian take up residence in one of the League of Assassin’s many bases, where Talia continues to monitor Batman’s activities, such as his relationship with a woman named Jezebel Jet. Meanwhile, Damian continues to train under the eye of the archer-villain Merlyn. Both Damian and Talia become concerned when they catch wind that a group known as the Black Glove is targeting Batman.
The pair of them fly back to Gotham, where they save Commissioner Gordon from a booby-trapped Wayne Manor and ask to pool their resources. Damian meanwhile steals a Batmobile with Alfred in order to rush to Batman’s side. Damian, uncaring of basically everyone, runs an ambulance off the road, unaware that he had taken out the Joker as a result. Alfred admonishes the boy, who threatens to kill him in response. Once they arrive at Arkham, they learn that Batman is again missing in action. Although Batman survived the events of R.I.P., he would later be killed by Darkseid during the events of the Final Crisis.
Damian apparently decides to stay in Gotham following his father’s supposed death, and takes up residence with Alfred and his adopted brothers Nightwing and Robin. While joy riding in the Batmobile one night, he is attacked by a group of villains. Oddly enough, Damian’s previously cruel and aggressive behavior is replaced with a more childlike and fearful persona (going so far as to call for his mother when attacked by Killer Croc and Poison Ivy). He is saved however by Nightwing, but unfortunately, the pair of them end up being attacked by a new gun toting Batman revealed to be Jason Todd. While in pursuit of Jason, Damian is shot point-blank in the chest, and rushed to the Batcave by Nightwing and the Birds of Prey.
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