DC Universe has offered us many great characters, with 1938 and 1939 marking the emergence of Superman and Batman, the two most notable comic book characters of all time. Bruce Wayne was always regarded as a cool and collected character that carries a lot of baggage from his past and uses it to protect his city, Gotham, from crime and injustice. However, even Batman couldn’t do anything by himself and gained a sidekick, Robin, in 1940. Robin is the famous sidekick of Batman, and multiple people have worn the notable mantle, mostly individuals who became part of the Batfamily. Damian Wayne is one of them, and in this article, we will discuss when Bruce Wayne’s son was first introduced to the DC Universe.
Damian Wayne first appeared in DC Comics officially in Grant Morrison’s “Batman and Son” story arc, introduced in Batman #655 continuity in 2006. However, the character prototype first appeared in the 1987 story Batman: Son of the Demon, which was considered non-canon for years. Other character versions were introduced in four Elseworlds storylines that appeared throughout the 1990s and 2000s as Tallant Wayne and Ibn al Xu’ffasch. Despite being alternate versions of the character and non-canon stories to the main DC Universe, Grant Morrison decided to use the Son of Demon storyline to expand Damian Wayne’s character, which made it canon in DC Universe.
We will discuss this topic more by mentioning the versions of Damian Wayne’s character in DC Comics, his alleged appearances before 2006, and how he became the character we know today. If you are interested, stay with us until the end of the article.
Every version of Damian Wayne in DC Comics before his appearance in 2006
Damian Wayne’s origin story is familiar to most Batman and Robin fans, but let’s remind ourselves again and talk about his character in DC Comics. Damian Wayne is the son of Talia al Ghul and Bruce Wayne and the grandson of the notorious villain and Batman’s rival, Ra’s al Ghul.
The official lore of Damian Wayne cites his childhood as strict, hard, and disciplined. Damian Wayne was genetically perfected and grown in an artificial womb to become a perfect warrior. Now, we know that the League of Assassins is notorious for its actions, but creating a perfect being for fighting is extreme in every sense of the way.
Anyway, Grant Morrison’s Batman and Son from 2006 instills official lore of Damian Wayne; however, this wasn’t his appearance in DC Comics.
There are three more versions of Damian Wayne in DC Comics.
An unnamed infant from Batman: Son of the Demon (1987)
We already mentioned in our answer paragraph that there had been earlier versions of Damian Wayne in the comics before the notable comic book by Grant Morrison. In 1987, writer Mike W. Barr and artist Jerry Bingham published a graphic novel called Batman: Son of the Demon.
The story follows Ra’s al Ghul, the leader of the League of Assassins, who is helping Batman to solve the murder of a notable scientist from Gotham City. The plot thickens. Ra’s al Ghul discovers that the man who killed the scientist killed his wife, Melisande, the mother of his favorite daughter Talia.
Batman and Talia had an on-and-off relationship during the storyline, which ended up with them getting married according to the traditional marital laws of Ra’s al Ghul’s home country. Talia eventually becomes pregnant, and Batman’s demeanor vastly changes – he is overprotective of Talia, and her pregnancy affects his work significantly. Talia realizes that Batman is willing to sacrifice his life to protect her, and she cannot deal with it anymore. She lies to Batman that she miscarried and eventually gets the divorce.
Batman returns to Gotham, never knowing Talia lied about the baby. The heir of Ra’s al Ghul gives birth to a child and leaves him in an orphanage, where he is adopted into a family somewhere in the West. The baby in question doesn’t have a name and is only briefly shown in the Son of the Demon storyline. Still, it is significant because that baby is a prototype character of Damian Wayne that we will see almost 20 years later.
Elseworlds version of the character, Tallant Wayne – The Brotherhood of the Bat (1995) and League of Batmen (2001)
Elseworlds is a line of comic book series outside of the DC Universe canon, and in the 1990s, a few early versions of Damian Wayne appeared in alternate timelines. One of them is Tallant Wayne, a grandchild of Ra’s al Ghul, who is plotting against his grandfather in a comic book story called The Brotherhood of the Bat from 1995.
In the alternate future, Ra’s al Ghul finds out the whereabouts of Bat Cave after Bruce Wayne dies and proceeds to use Wayne technology to empower his League of Assassins. Of course, they all look like Batman. In the meantime, Tallant joins the Brotherhood to destroy the organization from within, wearing his father’s costume. Of course, Tallant Wayne is also a son of Talia al Ghul.
In 2001, the sequel of The Brotherhood of the Bat was released called League of Batmen. Once again, the story follows Tallant Wayne, who leads his variant of Batmen to combat Ra’s al Ghul legacy. This comic book story is more bloody than the previous one since Tallant seeks revenge for his father’s death, Bruce Wayne. Elseworlds comic book stories mean that Tallant Wayne isn’t canon in the main DC continuity, so technically, this character is only the early alternate version of Damian Wayne.
Ibn al Xu’ffasch (Son of the Bat) – Kingdom Come (1996) and The Kingdom: Son of Bat (1999)
Other Elseworlds stories follow the alternate version of Batman’s and Talia’s son called Ibn al Xu’ffasch, which means “Son of Bat” in Arabic. This time, the Son of Bat is working as a double agent for Batman, who sent his son to join Lex Luthor’s inner circle. This version of Damian Wayne has a much brighter life because he’s raised by his father, not Ra’s al Ghul. The boy even kills his grandfather and forms a group similar to the Teen Titans of the main DC Universe.
The character of Ibn al Xu’ffasch is featured in two Elseworlds stories released in 1996 and 1999 under the name Kingdom Come and The Kingdom.
When Was Damian Wayne First Introduced in the DC Universe?
If we look into the character’s history, Damian Wayne officially entered DC Comics in Batman and Son comic book story in 2006, written by Grant Morrison. However, the prototype version of the character and son of Batman and Talia al Ghul first appeared in the non-canon story Batman: Son of the Demon in 1987.
When asked what inspired them to create the Batman and Son story arc and finally establish Damian Wayne as Batman’s son and his sidekick, Grant Morrison cited the usage of source material from the character first created in 1987.
Of course, because the story was considered non-canon, the Son of the Demon storyline became canon partly as of 2006 – Morrison used the story from 1987 to remodel Batman’s character after Infinite Crisis and establish Damian Wayne as the new sidekick of Batman.
Nevertheless, the character of Damian Wayne became part of the Batfamily and new Robin that fans embraced pretty quickly, and it helped that Morrison’s vision of the character was received well by the fans.