When Did Robin Die in the Batman Comic Books?

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Batman is one of the oldest comic book heroes. His partner is Robin, the Boy Wonder. Robin is not just one person, though. There have been several different incarnations and the second one, Jason Todd, met his demise in a rare comic book death for a main character. This collection actually was titled "A Death in the Family" and is one of the more controversial set of issues from the Batman comic series.

History

  • The Batman comic book series has featured four different Robins. The first Robin was Dick Grayson, a circus acrobat whose family was brutally murdered. This Robin went on to become Nightwing, another hero in the DC universe. The second Robin was Jason Todd, another acrobat who was victim to the infamous death. The third Robin was Tim Drake, one of the more popular Robins. When he left Batman's side, it was his girlfriend, Stephanie Brown, who took over the role of Batman.

Features

  • Jason Todd's Robin was not as popular as the original, and fans were thoroughly disappointed with him. A plot kicked into gear that involved Batman, the Joker, Robin and Jason Todd's biological mother. Robin was in search of his real mother and when he found her, he realized that she was working for the Joker, embezzling items for him. She ended up turning on the Joker, causing a savage crowbar beating for Robin and an eventual explosion that ended Robin's life--as well as his biological mother's. A funeral followed to further cement his death, and Batman got revenge on the Joker with the help of Superman.

Time Frame

  • Robin's death took place during the Batman mini-series entitled "A Death in the Family." These were issue Nos. 426-429 and published between 1988 and 1989. All of the issues were compiled together so future readers could read the complete story without having to purchase each separate issue.

Effects

  • The new Robin of Jason Todd was so controversial that his death was actually chosen by the fans of the series, not the creators. A 1-900 phone line was opened up so that fans could vote whether to kill him off or not. It was a narrow margin, but ultimately he was voted to die.

Significance

  • Main characters in comic book series are rarely killed off, especially main superheroes like Batman's sidekick. Also, to have the fans decide on storyline outcomes was a new concept that garnered massive media attention.
    Like most characters, though, Jason Todd did make a return--this time as a villain of Batman's known as "Red Robin."

  • Photo Credit http://thehouseofel.blogspot.com/2007_10_21_archive.html
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