So, I finally got it, and read it, and read it again, and digested it, and I don't feel anything, mainly because I'm too late to that party. I've already read Batman #18 and Batman and Robin #18, which find Bruce dealing with his grief and loss in the only way Bruce knows how to deal with grief and loss: by beating the living shit out of as many bad guys as he can find. Bruce is not one to let his emotions run free. Christ, he bottled up his emotions for more than a decade after his parents dies and became the goddamn Batman as a result. What do you think he's going to do when his kid dies? Get depressed? Batman doesn't get depressed. No sad Batmans. Just angry, violent Batmans.
As for this issue... I don't actually feel nothing, but I barely feel anything. I've seen so many panels and so much discussion of this issue in advance of actually reading it that I feel like I read it already. Trying to step back from that I feel like Damian's death was telegraphed too much for my liking, as if it were inevitable (which it obviously was, but it didn't have to feel that way), from the cover image to Damian's phrasing when talking to Dick. Looking upon the letter from Batman and Robin I commented on yesterday, I'm now trying to figure out in the context of this issue if Damian's plan was to fight to the death, or if his expectation was that he was going to return to his mother. Either way, the kid seemed to know he wasn't going to be around much longer.
As for his death, it was brutal. Stabbed, shot, arrow-d, Bane-d, and finally run through with a sword, it was a remorseless butchering on Morrison's part, as if to say definitively to the geeks "there's no way this kid's getting out of this one". It's a comic book death, so there's always a way, it's just going to be way far fetched.
Seeing it now, it's settled in. The kid's gone. That sucks. I hated him sooo much when he showed up that I stopped reading Batman for a while. Now I hate that he's gone.
[as I finished writing this post I learned of my friend's wife's passing. Aislinn, I didn't know you well, but I did know you brought Troy so much irreplaceable happiness. Though it aches now, I know that you will continue to do so in his heart forever. Rest peacefully.]