When he was introduced in 2006, Damian Wayne - offspring of Batman and the daughter-of-his-nemesis Talia al Ghul - was a divisive figure. Some saw him as an interesting new take on the Batman mythos, while others saw him as an absolute violation of the canon. Since then, however, he's become one of DC's most popular heroes, thanks to creator Grant Morrison's expert handling of the character. What could have been a short-lived, quickly-retconned out, angsty "extreme" Robin was actually a fully-realized, finely-nuanced character. Watching him struggle to reconcile his mother's cold-blooded anger with his father's compassion and nobility (and not a little outright arrogance from both sides of the family tree) has been one of the highlights of the comics reading experience in recent years, not least because he's such a completely unlikable little shit that you still find yourself feeling real affection for.
Mostly a supporting character in his first few appearances, the highly-trained and lethal 10-year old came into his own following the apparent death of Bruce Wayne, donning the Robin colors alongside former Robin Dick Grayson, who was wearing the cowl in Bruce's absence. Morrison's long story arc saw Damian pitted against both new villains and rogue's gallery classics, developing him from a petulant loner into a full-fledged member of the Batman family.
By the end of Morrison's run, Damian had taken a crowbar to the Joker, defused a nuclear bomb, fought off a zombified Batman clone and even learnt to show a little respect to Alfred. This new run by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason has him partnered with the original Batman - his father - for the first time. The first issue showed the pair at odds with the criminals they were fighting and, predictably, each other, as well as introducing a mysterious new villain who's seemingly out to kill anyone involved with Batman Inc. The next issue comes out on Wednesday, but DC have given us an exclusive sneak preview - and you know we love our exclusive sneak previews here at Maxim - of the first few pages. Check them out below!