WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Batman #77 by Tom King, Mikel Janín, Tony S. Daniel, Norm Rapmund, Jordie Bellaire, Tomeu Morey and Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
Bane's war on Gotham in the current "City of Bane" arc has broken several members of the Bat-family, especially Bruce Wayne. The Dark Knight has been mentally and physically drained, realizing this isn't anything like what he's faced before an, truly feeling like defeat's on the horizon, especially with Nightwing forgetting most of his life after being shot in the head and Tim Drake in a similarly dire place since Bane took over Gotham.
Batman's problem's are only worsened by a villainous Thomas Wayne, an alternate reality version of his father and the Batman from Flashpoint. All of this is taking a heavy toll on everyone Bruce holds dear, since they just can't predict who's friend or foe anymore. But in Batman #77, it looks like Damian Wayne in the biggest victim in all of this turmoil.
The young Robin starts this issue off beating up Bane's lackeys, Gotham Girl, Scarecrow and Zsasz, so he could get intel before he encounters Thomas on a Gotham rooftop. While Damian rights with rage, hating on the man he sees as an impostor, Thomas is cold, calculating and menacing, understanding logic trumps emotion in the field. As a result, in this brawl, the otherwise rigid Robin has his one flaw exploited -- his love for his family -- which leads to a brutal beatdown from Thomas.
Robin's torture of the mind is all but affirmed when Thomas taunts him as Bane breaks Alfred's neck in Wayne Manor. This is one of the few times we see Damian in a state of panic and fear, crying, screaming and vulnerable, understanding how close his loved ones are to death. It's a dagger in the heart, not only because he has learned how far Bane and his allies are going to break the Bat; he's watching first-hand as one of his prime father figures is seemingly killed in front of him,
Although it's a shocking moment, there's no guarantee that Alfred was really killed or that he won't be revived soon if he was. However, Damian's reaction says it all; he can't stand to lose anyone, especially since he's been dealing with his own trust issues and broken family drama in Teen Titans.
Now, we see just how ill-equipped he is for this cerebral war and how his lack of maturity factors in. He's always had the cushion of the Bat-Family and the safety net of his dad. Without those comforts, Batman's individual allies can barely fend for themselves as Bane's onslaught overwhelms various parts of Gotham. This separation allows King to place Damian in the trenches like never before, isolated and engulfed in terror.
Robin has never known turbulence like this. Even when Bruce died during Grant Morrison's tenure as Batman's chief writer, Dick was able to step in as Damian's mentor. Without anyone else to turn to, Damian's worst fears are coming true -- he's all alone and at the mercy of Bane, someone who hates everything he stands for.
This could already have an impact on shaping Damian's bitter future, as seen in Batman #666, which is further hinted at here in this story when he uses magic and talks about a soul pact.
As it stands, Damian has been broken beyond belief, and Bane's actions towards his family could be the poison that walks back all the progress the character made since abandoning the House of al Ghul. If Damian's sanity is eroded even further and his body beaten any more, there's a chance the light could be removed from him for good, creating a darker vigilante or something even worse in the future of the DCU.