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COMIC REVIEW: BATMAN #657
Author: Bill Ramey
Wednesday, September 27, 2006

As you all know, I’ve championed the return of “Heroic Batman” (I know that many of you children of the 90s don’t really agree with us old folks) in the recent Batman monthlies. Some of y’all have mistakenly thought that I was only referring to BATMAN; but that’s NOT the case my friends.

I’m loving DETECTIVE too. Hell, I’m finding “My Batman” starring in both of the two main Bat-monthlies.

Anyway, I’m here today to review BATMAN #657 -- which I enjoyed immensely.

At the end to the previous edition, The Batman found out that he had fathered a son with Talia Al Ghul some years ago -- allegedly. And the Daughter of the Demon not only dropped that bombshell on The Dark Knight, she leaves him with the kid as well.

I wonder what Bruce Wayne’s child support per month would be?

At any rate, we find The Batman back at The Batcave with his “son” Damien at the beginning of the #657. And this kid is a big-time spoiled brat. He’s an ass to Alfred, Robin, and surprisingly, The Batman himself. It seems that Talia was a bit lax raising her son. Dude wants -- and expects -- any and everything he demands.

In due time, Bruce’s newly adopted son Tim Drake (does he go by Tim Wayne?) shows up in The Cave and Damien makes an ass of himself again.

And the tension’s so thick it can’t be cut with a knife.

Look, that’s the main storyline here -- Bruce bringing this kid back to Gotham, The Batcave, and Wayne Manor. There is also a storyline involving this villain known as “The Spook” that’s raising hell in Gotham that The Batman must deal with. At first you’ll think “What the hell does that have to do with this story?” But it DOES figure in bigtime as the story plays out. And it’s quite clever as well.

What else do you get? A confrontation between Robin and Damien in The Cave, a cliffhanger, and the return of the “classic” Robin costume.

Despite being hit with the news that he fathered son (who is unlikable so far) with Talia, he still reaches out to this child. He knows that this kid being raised by The League of Assassins wasn’t the best environment, he’s still determined to give the kid the best. In fact, the word “love” even eases out of his mouth.

But make no mistake, he's not soft on the kid at all. Trust me on that one -- it's a great scene in the comic.

Nonetheless, this edition of BATMAN leaves this Bat-fan excited to find out what happens next.

"Jett" is the founder and editor-in-chief of BATMAN ON FILM, BATMAN IN COMICS, and ON-FILM.NET.

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