Born to Kill is a Batman storyline published as part of The New 52. Following the timeline reboot in Flashpoint, it establishes Batman and Robin's position in the DCnU. It's the debut storyline of Peter Tomasi and Patrick Gleason's Batman and Robin volume. Simultaneously published were The Court of Owls, Faces of Death and Knight Terrors. The story introduces a new villain, Henri Ducard's son who becomes the assassin Nobody.
Bruce Wayne and Damian Wayne begin patrolling Gotham City together for the first time, as both Batman and Robin; and father and son. Batman decides that instead of remembering his parents by honoring the anniversary of their deaths, he is instead going to honor the way they lived by celebrating their wedding anniversary. They take down a group of criminals stealing from a nuclear reactor, and Damian is heavily chastised for allowing their deaths. The mysterious killer Nobody murders the Batman of Moscow in a vat of acid, announcing that he must stop Bruce Wayne and his Batman Incorporated.
Realizing that Damian is a natural born killer and he must find a way to nurture it out of him, Bruce worries that he might be as guilty of a parent as Talia. They take down a shipment of arm dealers, and Damian shows restraint in their beatings. Bruce tells him that his actions are commendable, but Alfred chides Bruce on not really being supportive as a parent. The killer slits these victim's throats when they're left for the police. Meeting Bruce in person, he reveals himself to be a man named Morgan who also shares the teachings of their mentor Henri Ducard.
Bruce buys Damian a dog, and tells him that he is proud of his self-control. He tries to forbid his son from leaving the Manor with Morgan still on the loose, but Robin leaves after Alfred slips a tracer on him. When he finds the young vigilante delivering a particularly brutal beating to two muggers, Nobody encourages his darker side. Batman arrives to intervene, but Nobody knocks both of them out and they wake up tied to a car at a secluded drive-in movie theater.
Morgan tries to convince Batman that his methods are ineffective, then decides to execute him and take Robin as an apprentice when he refuses to see reason. They are rescued by Alfred piloting the Batplane using remote control. Back in the cave, Bruce reveals that Morgan is Henri Ducard's son. They argue, and Damian insists that he can't listen to his father if he's constantly keeping secrets from him. Taking the dog for a walk to get out, he decides to name it Titus. Once again Nobody appears, and tries to convince Robin to join him.
Robin decides to leave Wayne Manor and become Nobody's student, who insists that he still needs to prove his newfound will. Batman attempts to track them down, and makes a recording for his son to explain the history between himself and Nobody. He tells the story of how they first met, when he sought out Henri Ducard's instruction. Robin and Nobody hunt down a foreign ambassador involved with human trafficking, then Morgan puts a gun in Damian's hand and tells him to perform the execution.
Robin pulls the trigger, but the gun is empty. Having passes his test, Nobody takes him back to his lair where they can interrogate the ambassador. Bruce continues to explain the history between Morgan and himself on tape. During their time together with Henri Ducard, Bruce was an unwitting accomplice to murder and tried to leave their arrangement. Henri had Morgan attempt to murder him and tie up the loose end, leading Bruce to nearly break his one rule killing Morgan in retaliation. Back in the present, Robin reveals that he had been lying to Nobody and knew there were no bullets in the gun by its weight. Despite their problems, Batman is still his father and he won't let a crazed sadistic murderer come between that. Morgan announces over the radio that he is going to break Damian and force Bruce to listen to every sound.
Batman tears through the city streets, exploding the Batmobile through the wall of Nobody's hideout. They battle, and Bruce delivers an even more severe beating to Morgan. Having almost killed him, he insists that they're going to leave him for the police. Nobody swears that he'll come back to kill all their friends, and tells Damian to make the right decision. Damian murders him on the spot.
Bruce takes Damian home where Alfred sees to both of their wounds and has them hospitalized for two weeks. Instead of getting angry, Bruce tells Damian that he understands his problems and actually struggles with the decision of whether or not to kill everyday. His principle is that you can't build a better world by perpetuating the cycle of violence and death, you have to stand above that. Damian says that he doesn't want to be like Nobody, he wants to be like his father... but it's difficult. They reach an understanding, and spend the rest of the day in Alfred's care playing with the dog in the backyard. They play into the evening together and the Bat-Signal turns on, causing both of them to run off again while Alfred sighs and questions if one simple night is too much to ask.
- Batman and Robin (Volume 2) #1
- Batman and Robin (Volume 2) #2
- Batman and Robin (Volume 2) #3
- Batman and Robin (Volume 2) #4
- Batman and Robin (Volume 2) #5
- Batman and Robin (Volume 2) #6
- Batman and Robin (Volume 2) #7
- Batman and Robin (Volume 2) #8
- Pandora appears to witness the events of this storyline, as she appears in all #1 issues of The New 52. This is following her first appearance in Flashpoint, where she is responsible for the creation of the DCnU.
- This story arc is the first appearances of Nobody and Titus.
- Born to Kill leads directly into Night of the Owls.
- Batman mentions that there were six people including man-hunter Henri Ducard who trained him, which is a retcon. He also mentions martial artists Chu Chin Li and Tsunetomo.
- Batman Recommended Reading
- Batman (Volume 1)
- Batman (Volume 2)
- Batman (Volume 3)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 1)
- Batman and Robin (Volume 2)
- Batman Confidential (Volume 1)
- Batman: Gotham Knights (Volume 1)
- Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: Shadow of the Bat (Volume 1)
- Batman: Streets of Gotham (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 1)
- Batman Incorporated (Volume 2)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 1)
- Batman/Superman (Volume 2)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 1)
- Batman: The Dark Knight (Volume 2)
- The Brave and the Bold (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 1)
- Detective Comics (Volume 2)
- Superman/Batman (Volume 1)
- World's Finest (Volume 1)
Links and References
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Batman and Robin (Volume 2) #1
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Batman and Robin (Volume 2) #2
- ↑ Batman and Robin (Volume 2) #3
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Batman and Robin (Volume 2) #4
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Batman and Robin (Volume 2) #5
- ↑ Batman and Robin (Volume 2) #6
- ↑ Batman and Robin (Volume 2) #7
- ↑ Batman and Robin (Volume 2) #8
- ↑ Flashpoint (Volume 2) #5, see excerpt
- ↑ Batman and Robin (Volume 2) #9
|Batman Family Storyline|
This event or storyline is specifically related to Batman, or to members of the Batman Family. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the Batman Storylines category.