DC Comics spoiled this week’s Batman Incorporated #8 in a New York Post exclusive Monday morning. The comic hits the stands Wednesday.
What happens in that comic? The death of the current Robin/Batman’s illegitimate son, Damian Wayne. (You saw his mother in this year’s “The Dark Knight Rises” — Talia al Ghul, daughter of villain Ra’s al Ghul.)
In the issue, Damian teams up with the original Robin, Dick Grayson, but a teammate reportedly isn’t enough to save him from his final fate.
It follows the storyline “Death of the Family,” which many fans believed would lead to the death of one of the Batman family’s characters such as Robin or Batgirl, but that story concluded with a metaphorical death of the family as characters drift apart emotionally. Now, the literal death is here.
Writer Grant Morrison told the Post, “It’s all about the family and the family going to hell,” saying that it’s a metaphor for divorce and the price children pay for their parents fighting. Morrison splits his time between Scotland, where he’s originally from, and a home right here in Los Angeles.
So how exactly does Robin die? As the Post describes it, he’s killed facing a “hulking assassin” cloned from Damian’s own genetic material. Batman shows up, but too late to save the sidekick who’s also his son.
The young Robin goes out in a blaze of glory. “He saves the world. He does his job as Robin,” Morrison told the Post. “He dies an absolute hero.”
Morrison shared his thoughts on his run on the Batman books, which is coming to a close, in an essay on DC Comics’ official blog.
Damian’s not the first Robin to die. The second Robin, Jason Todd, proved so unpopular with fans that, when given the choice in 1988 to vote via 1–900 number whether to kill Todd or the Joker, they voted for Robin. Todd ended up beaten to death by the Joker, leaving behind a bloody crowbar until Todd was later resurrected in a rather convoluted storyline.
Is there space for Robin in a world where an adult man teaming up with a young boy draws a much more askance look than in 1940? Will this Robin be resurrected once again? Morrison offered a glimmer of hope to the Post: “You can never say never in a comic book … Batman will ultimately always have a partner.”
Batman tie-in book “Batman & Robin” will continue following the death of Damian, writer Peter Tomasi tells Comic Book Resources . It’s going to deal with the fallout of Damian’s death, while moving into pairing Batman up with other characters, beginning with another former Robin, Tim Drake, followed by that resurrected Robin, Jason Todd — with the book changing its name for each of those co-stars.
The Post also has a four-page preview of the final issue of Damian’s life.