Warning: SPOILERS for DCeased #4
The apocalyptic story told in the pages of DCeased has given fans enough heartbreaking nightmares for a lifetime. But with Batman's death comes a touching realization... of the sidekick Bruce Wayne always knew would take over as the next Dark Knight once he was gone.
All things considered, this moment in DCeased #4 epitomizes how heartwarming, painful, and emotionally taxing Tom Taylor's series has turned out to be. With the broad premise of 'putting the Justice League through a zombie apocalypse,' fans expected scares, terror, and a good amount of gore--all of which the book has delivered. What they didn't expect was crushing scene after crushing scene leave them in tears. Likely regretting they ever wished for such a horrifying fate to strike their beloved heroes. In which case, seeing Bruce Wayne pass the mantle of 'Batman' to his son should make his passing a little less tragic.
If fans were polled before DCeased began, odds are good that Batman would be the one hero judged most likely to survive the Anti-Life apocalypse ravaging Earth. Which is probably why Taylor and Hairsine chose to infect and kill Bruce in the first issue. But not before he got to say goodbye to his son, Damian.
The Anti-Life infection made short work of the Batman Family, due to it being spread through both digital screens, and transmitted by bloody attack--arguably the two things that Batman and his former sidekicks are best at. By the time Bruce is introduced in DCeased #1, he's been infected, and is wearing one of Mr. Freeze's suits to slow the infection long enough for him to pass his crucial findings to the surviving heroes. And, as can be seen above, say one final goodbye to his son.
As Damian begins to realize that his father is truly dying, slipping from calling him "Batman" to "Dad," Bruce eyes a suitcase carrying the legacy of Batman. A legacy that he intended to see passed to Damian firsthand, but must now entrust to Alfred, his most trusted friend--standing close behind, shotgun in hand. A cynic could argue that with Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, and Tim Drake already dead after infecting Bruce... there is nobody else to leave the cape and cowl to, anyway. But when Alfred delivers the case in DCeased #4 it's clear that Damian's survival was providence, not coincidence.
Every fan of the Batman family is sure to have their own favorite Robin, whom they believe the best equipped to follow in Bruce Wayne's footsteps. But if they're honest with themselves, Damian Wayne is hard to deny as the strongest candidate. Not to mention the fact that he's the only one who would actually WANT to continue his father's legacy out of love and duty. He's also the most like Bruce, in more than just the... admirable ways. But even if the passing of the cape and cowl (and seemingly confidential files on the rest of the Justice League) occurs only in this alternate reality, it's a moment every Batman fan will cherish. And an opportunity for Damian to prove himself before the story is over.
- DCEASED #4
- Written by: Tom Taylor
- Art by: Trevor Hairsine
- Inks by: Stefano Gaudiano
- Colors by: Rainn Beredo
- Cover by: Andy Kubert & Brad Anderson
- The Daily Planet has become a beacon of hope for the living as the Anti-Life Equation sweeps the planet. What’s left of the Justice League have begun to gather there, bringing survivors and family alike. But the city is being overrun with infected humans” and superhumans! The war for Metropolis begins!
DCeased #4 is available now from your local comic book shop, or direct from DC Comics.