If this were a picture of me at eleven years old, there would be more cake.
Damian's next task is to return a crystal he stole from the Cult of the Cliff Swifts. They might all be dead since he trapped them in a mountain cave when he stole the crystal but that isn't his problem. This is his Year of Atonement and not his Year of Miracles. If they don't appreciate that he's making as much of an effort as possible, they can just keep being dead.
Well at least they're not dead.
After the atonement is taken care of, it's time for the part of the comic book where Damian and Nobody Too flirt with each other. I normally wouldn't call screaming at each other and getting into a fistfight "flirting," but this is a mainstream superhero comic book. That's all the explanation I need to give, right? I was going to say more and use concepts I don't totally understand like "arrested development" and "fantasy wish fulfillment" and "mostly written by men who really don't know how to interact with women," but I felt maybe I might hurt the feelings of some comic book readers and writers and maybe mine too.
The Sica Strike sounds sexy! I wonder if I can find somebody to use it on me?
Goliath flips the fuck out because Damian's whistle which helps to control the Werebat was destroyed by the Swift Cult. Now Damian touches Nobody without permission so that he can reprogram the sonic device in the palm of her hand. He gets it to emit a sound which either calms Goliath or turns his brains into scrambled eggs. Either way, it causes the Werebat to fall asleep. Now Damian has to make friends with Nobody so he can replace his whistle with her. That's called romance in comic book terms. It goes like this: a male character objectifies a female character (in this case, Nobody is nothing more than a whistle to Damian) so that he can stand to hang around with her. Eventually that means she says enough things to force him to realize she is an independent, thinking human being. That eventually leads to touching the female with permission because the female becomes impressed and grateful that the male now acknowledges her non-sexualized objectiveness and finally sees her as a full-fledged sex object.
Nobody and Damian stop flirting after Goliath falls asleep. Now it's time to remember they're both just kids and that they should be kid friends on a grand adventure!
Inappropriate phallic imagery. This is the part where they become friends! It's not the part where they turn this comic book into child pornography!
The first thing I typed about his lost tooth was that he was probably going to lose it soon anyway. But then I was going to continue the thought by saying not because it's a baby tooth but because he gets punched in the face so much. And then I deleted it all to point out how much toothless people freak me out.
Meanwhile, Talia has been brought back to life with bath beads by the Lu'un Darga, the enemies of Ra's al Ghul. But Talia beats the crap out of her captor while her skin smells and looks terrific. She climbs up from her refreshing bath to find the Lu'un Darga have gotten their Crystal Sun of Power back and she freaks out. Well now. Maybe it would have been better to be open and honest with your child about why he was committing the atrocities he was committing during the Year of Blood, hmm? Might have prevented your ancient enemies from regaining all of their power. Think about that one the next time you want to manipulate somebody for your own ends, Talia. Or Ra's. Whoever was responsible for keeping Damian in the dark.
Maya has been receiving messages from her father's old contacts wondering where he's gone and why he isn't helping them make money by killing people. Maya does not tell them that her father is dead. She just tells them over AOL Messenger that she quits. That decision will probably cause some future conflict, right? I bet the person on the other end of the line is Deathstork!
Which it is! I figured it must be Deathstork and then I noticed the next page with the orange-gloved hand receiving the text message and knew it had to be Slade. Then the last page shows Deathstork and his beautiful smooth testicles proclaiming, "Nobody likes a quitter." Ha ha! Get it? NOBODY!
Robin, Son of Batman #3 Rating: No change. Damian and Maya are going to make a cute team. And because Damian is so young, it hopefully won't fall into the trap of creating a romantic side story simply because a male and female partner are working together. Globetrotting platonic kids adventure would be ideal, please. Although I wouldn't mind if Damian developed his first crush on Maya but she sees him as way too young and isn't attracted to his baby toothed face at all. Plus he killed her father, so that makes things kind of weird. I'm really just projecting my fantasy Batman/Catwoman relationship onto Damian and Maya now. Because what I want most in a Batman/Catwoman relationship is one where Bruce Wayne is head over heels in love with Catwoman and Catwoman is just done with him. I want to see Bruce suffer the pangs of heartbreak as he stalks Catwoman around the city and keeps getting caught by her so he stands around stuttering, "Oh. Um. I was just, you know, out on patrol over here on this roof across from your apartment, you know? Bad neighborhood, this. Leaky roof too. Um, gotta go now! Keep up the good work! Bye!" Anyway, I just hope that Patrick Gleason can make the Damian/Maya friendship as adorable as I'm imagining it could be.