On the road to the Lazarus Tournament, Damian Wayne took down Bane’s father on his way to DC’s premier fighting tournament.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Robin #1 by Joshua Williamson, Gleb Melnikov, & ALW’s Troy Peteri, on sale now.
Damian Wayne’s quest to find the League of Lazarus and participate in their tournament has taken him to some interesting places so far. But prior to his induction into the tournament, Damian fights his way into the competition in Robin #1 by taking down the Batman villain King Snake in one-on-one combat.
While this might seem trivial in comparison to everything else he’s done in his superhero career, King Snake’s family ties make this a far more personal affair than it initially seems. King Snake is Bane’s father, and Damian’s victory over him is one of the first steps, perhaps an inadvertent one, in a long-term plan to get even with Bane over the killing of Alfred Pennyworth.
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The main reason Robin fought King Snake was to gain an invitation into the League of Lazarus’ Tournament, a once-a-decade event that brings some of DC’s best martial artists together. As the King Snake put it, he had spent his fortune trying to find the League and gain entry to its legendary tournament. With the villain having done all of the legwork, Robin simply stole the right to fight out from under King Snake with a definitive defeat, and the fact that King Snake was Bane’s father only sweetened the deal.
After letting King Snake brag about who he is, Damian told him that his defining snake tattoo was stupid and promptly knocked him out.
While taking down Bane’s father may have given Damian Wayne some catharsis, it’s not exactly the start of a targeted quest for vengeance against the villain who murdered Alfred in front of him. Sir Edmund Dorrance first appeared, ironically enough, in 1991’s Robin #2 by Chuck Dixon and Tom Lyle, and his defeat at Damian’s hands is a callback to his first defeat.
Edmund used his skills to hire himself out as a mercenary for various individuals across the globe, one of those groups was an anti-communism rebellion located in Santa Prisca. During his time there, Edmund slept with and impregnated a rebel but fled when their camp was attacked by the government. The rebel he left pregnant was captured and imprisoned for his crimes, with her child joining her shortly thereafter. After birth and a harsh upbringing, that child would grow up to become Bane one day.
As it stands, King Snake and Bane have been aware of each other, but they did not have a good relationship before Bane’s recent demise.
Given Batman’s comprehensive research database, Damian was almost certainly aware of King Snake’s connection to Bane before this fight began. While his focus truly was truly on winning his way into the tournament and forging his own path forward, this still provided Robin with a chance to dish out some serious punishment to a villain whose long list of misdeeds hit very close to home.
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