The DC Universe is built on a long history of legacy, with younger people often carrying on the inspiration passed on to them by previous generations of heroes. While it’s usually heroic (like Jon Kent taking on the role of Superman in his father’s absence), it can sometimes have a tragic edge — especially in the case of a member of the bat family.
Damian Wayne’s encounter with Doctor Multiverse in Dark Crisis: The Dark Army #1 (by Mark Waid, Delilah S. Dawson, Dennis Culver, Freddie E. Williams II, Jack Herbert, Adriano Lucas and Troy Peteri) suggests that he is always destined to be his Batman 666 counterpart. Given the fate of his anti-hero variant and recent events, this could be Damian’s undoing Batman vs Robin.
Damian Wayne’s fate as Batman 666 seems sealed
Damian Wayne has been in an interesting place the past few years. He left the Teen Titans and refused to work with Batman, which directly led to much heroic growth on the pages of Robin and the Shadow War crossover that followed. Now, during the height of Dark Crisis on Infinite Earths, Damian has proven he is uniquely positioned to do a great deal of good. He donates Dark Crisis: The Dark Army Hopping through the multiverse along with a small team of other heroes, seeking means to break the chains that currently control countless villains and force them into the Dark Army.
The mission eventually leads them to the multiverse House of Heroes, where they discover the corrupt incarnation of Justice trying to infect the entire multiverse. But thanks to quick thought — and a big boost in power for Dr. Light – the heroes save the day and find a way to break the chains. As the group prepares to venture back into the core DC Universe, Doctor Multiverse helps them find their way back – while seeing glimpses of their different variants along the way. While the other heroes present have many different possible paths, she notes that throughout the multiverse, Damian Wayne seems destined to eventually don his Batman 666 costume – something Doctor Multiverse notes as a rarity.
What that means for Damian Wayne – and the DC Universe
This revelation carries a lot of weight given Damian’s history and Batman 666’s legacy in past storylines. Introduced in Batman # 666 (by Grant Morrison, Andy Kubert, Jesse Delperdang, Guy Major and Jared K. Fletcher), he is a version of Damian who eventually took over the mantle of Batman from his father after his death. Eventually, however, he saw his entire world destroyed in a massive war – giving an inherently dangerous advantage to any future where Damian became the Dark Knight. It even happened in the core DC Universe Batman vs Robin seeing a demon-controlled Damian donning the variation of the costume to fight his father.
There are a few ways to read Doctor Multivere’s revelations, none of which are necessarily positive for Batman’s son. The most optimistic interpretation suggests that throughout the multiverse, Damian is eventually destined to become Batman in his father’s place and secure the legacy of the Caped Crusader even after Bruce Wayne’s inevitable death. But it could also suggest that any Damian timeline is doomed to the same destruction and devastation that Batman 666 faces, in addition to losing Bruce Wayne to his war on crime. It might even be a hoax that all Damians end their stories by becoming Batman, suggesting that Batman vs Robin could lead to a tragic end for Damian. Robin’s destiny to take the mantle of Batman appears to be a positive development on paper, suggesting Damian is less likely to return to his mother’s more villainous teachings. But it could also indicate that his destiny is tied to his tenure as Batman – and could easily end there as well.