Batman and Robin are finally reunited in The Shadow War, only for the Dark Knight to make things worse rather than fix the situation with his estranged son.
In the new DC Comics Shadow War event, Batman finally has a chance to become a better father and reconcile with his estranged son Robin… just to make things worse. After the death of Alfred Pennyworth at the City of Bane event in 2019, Bruce and Damian Wayne subsequently broke up. Instead of being near his son, who was also grieving, the Dark Knight was too focused on his own pain and darkness, which prompted Robin to leave Gotham for a while. Now that Damian is back, Batman has made things even worse by proving his status as one of the most terrible fathers of the DC universe.
In recent releases, Damian has been abroad in his own series, Robin, battling his inner demons to decide whether he is the son of a detective or the heir of a demon. Although he has previously admitted that he would be willing to meet his father, he does believe that Batman will need to do most of the talking (a point that seems accurate). In doing so, Robin #12 saw Damian join his mother Talia on her journey to rebuild her empire, promising to treat him as a son and not as a weapon, as she and Damian’s grandfather, Ras al Ghul, had in the past.
Batman is the greatest detective in the world. His comment about Alfred could not be taken well. Damian was bound by Bane and forced to watch as the villain wrung Alfred’s neck, unable to save one of the few members of the bat family who truly understood and loved him the most. Batman’s claim that he could have saved Alfred if he had been there implies that Damian wasn’t good enough, but only contributed to making the gap between father and son even bigger than it was. While Robin seemed ready to handle the situation, he is no longer interested.
Batman royally screwed up as a father beyond what seemed possible. Now his son has gone off alone again, obsessed with killing Detstroke for apparently killing his grandfather. While it’s unlikely that the Dark Knight will be able to fix everything anytime soon, it would be nice to see Batman try to do the right thing with his son at least once while the Shadow War continues. While the darkness of losing his parents may be related to some of the problems he has faced as a father, the last thing Batman has to come to terms with is knowing that his son is lonely and in pain, and no one can support him. It’s time for Batman to become a successful father of Robin, and not constantly let him down.