On the way to the Lazarus Tournament, Damian Wayne defeated 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, and Troy Peteri from ALW, on sale now..

Damian Wayne’s quest to find the Lazarus League and participate in their tournament has led him to some interesting places thus far. But before his tournament induction, Damian makes his way into the competition at Robin # 1 defeating Batman villain King Snake in a one-on-one match.

While this may seem trivial compared to everything else he’s done in his superhero career, King Snake’s family ties make this a much more personal affair than it initially appears. King Snake is Bane’s father, and Damian’s victory over him is one of the first, perhaps unnoticed, steps in a long-term plan to exact revenge on Bane for the murder of Alfred Pennyworth.

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The main reason Robin fought King Snake was to get an invite to the Lazarus League Tournament, an event held once a decade that brings together some of the best martial artists in DC. As the Serpent King said, he had spent his fortune trying to find the League and gain entry to its legendary tournament. With the villain having done all the fieldwork, Robin simply robbed him of the right to fight under King Snake with ultimate 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 quickly knocked him unconscious.

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While taking down Bane’s father may have given Damian Wayne some catharsis, it’s not exactly the beginning of a specific quest for revenge against the villain who murdered Alfred in front of him. Sir Edmund Dorrance first appeared, ironically, in 1991 Robin # 2 by Chuck Dixon and Tom Lyle, and his loss at the hands of Damian is a callback to his first loss.

Edmund used his skills to hire himself as a mercenary for various people around the world, one of those groups was an anti-communist rebellion located in Santa Prisca. During his time there, Edmund slept with a rebel and got her pregnant, but fled when their camp was attacked by the government. The rebel he got pregnant was captured and imprisoned for her crimes, and her son joined her soon after. After birth and a tough upbringing, that child would grow up to become Bane one day.

As it is, King Snake and Bane knew each other, but did not have a good relationship prior to Bane’s recent disappearance.

Given Batman’s exhaustive research database, Damian was almost certainly aware of King Snake’s connection to Bane before this fight began. While his focus was really on winning his way into the tournament and forging his own path forward, this still gave Robin a chance to dish out some serious punishment to a villain whose long list of misdeeds struck very close to home.

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