Robin writer Joshua Williamson hints at plenty of martial arts action and secrets for Damian Wayne’s upcoming solo series in Infinite Frontier.
Many iconic DC characters are poised to play a major role in the upcoming Infinite Frontier era, including the once and future Robin Damian Wayne. The Boy Wonder is set to star in his own solo series by Joshua Williamson and Gleb Melnikov. After starring in two back-up stories in March’s Batman #106 and Detective Comics #1034, Damian will have to decide if he is better suited for redemption with his father and the Bat-Family or accepting his dark destiny with his mother and the League of Shadows.
In an exclusive interview with CBR, Williamson teased where Damian will be at the start of Infinite Frontier, what secrets his mother has been keeping from him all his life and the martial arts adventure that Damian will find himself in the center of in his upcoming series.
CBR: Damian is an interesting place when we last saw him, not back in the Bat-Family’s good graces at the end of Tomasi’s Detective Comics run. Where is Damian when we first see him?
Joshua Williamson: You’re first going to see him in Batman #106, we’re doing the back-ups in that and Detective Comics #1034 that set the stage for Robin #1. Those two issues are about him going to his mother Talia and what he discusses with her and go back to that side of the family, return to that part of his life and take on this role but he’s conflicted. That story is called “Demon or Detective?” for a reason: He’s trying to figure out which side of the family he wants to fall on at this point. Does he want to go back to the Bat-Family or does he want to go with Talia and Ra’s?
But also, Talia has stepped up into a big role in the DCU too, she’s in the Totality. She’s one of those big characters and knows a lot of the stuff going on so she has her own thing to worry about. She has her own plans and her own ideas of what she wants to do. She has big plans you’ll see over this next year and having her son come back, she’s very excited that he’s finally coming home. She’s still Talia, so it’s not hugs and high-fives but her talking to him to see what his next role is going to be and Damian having to make a decision is what those two back-ups are about.
And then we’re going to get into the actual Robin series. And with that, he finds out about this thing called the League of Lazarus. For a long time, Ra’s had these two groups, the League of Assassins and League of Shadows, and Damian was trained by them; the League of Shadows were always the more elite group. And he finds out about the League of Lazarus that was hidden from him the entire time that broke away into their own thing and he wants to find out what that is and he discover this tournament between all the great fighters of the DCU. And because he wants to find out why this thing was hidden from him and why the League of Lazarus was erased from the archives and why his mother never told him about it, he has to know and go explore it.
He investigates this thing and finds this place called Lazarus Island and sees what that is, he meets all these new characters like Flatline — who is a character we introduce pretty early on — there’s a bunch of new characters, bunch of new villains and allies, and he goes on this really cool adventure. It’s drawn by Gleb Melnikov, and he is just nailing it, every page that comes in is really exciting and has a cool energy to it. There’ll be some surprises in there; I think people will be surprised by the stuff we pull, there’s some tricks that will surprise people.
It makes me think of that ’90s storyline “Brotherhood of the Fist” with Connor Hawke.
Williamson: Yeah, I love that stuff. Back in the ’90s, there was sort of this pocket in the DCU that had spies and fighters and that’s kind of what I’m getting into [here]. All the books I’m doing, including the ones that haven’t been announced yet, they’re all…not in a pocket universe, but all the books I’m working on are kind of connected in weird ways that might take people a while to realize. But I love that story and we’re kind of doing something in that vein, for sure.
Will this definitively answer who is the greatest martial artist in the DCU?
Williamson: I feel like you’re going to have to read it to find out. [Laughs] I think people will be surprised by the way it goes and twists; it’s not going to be that easy, it’s never going to be that easy.
What do fans of Damian have to look forward to with your and Gleb’s upcoming story?
Williamson: Him kicking a lot of ass. It’s going to be cool. It’s going to be a big, mythology-building story for him, really placing him in this cool, emotional evolution for the character and trying to bring him. He was sort of going on the path of a villain and one of the big goals for me was to really swing him back around to being the hero and dealing with his family.
Written by Joshua Williamson and illustrated by Gleb Melnikov, Robin #1 goes on sale Tuesday, April 27 from DC. Batman #106 and Detective Comics #1034, featuring back-up stories starring Damian by Williamson and Melnikov, go on sale March 2 and March 23, respectively.
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