(DL) – Speculators load up on Batman and Robin #19 and Batman Inc # 8. This time it's not just Batman's sidekick Robin that dies it's Bruce Wayne's son Damian. He dies at the hands of his own clone brother Leviathan. I called this tragedy months in advance; I didn't forecast how he'd die. I did speculate Damian would die. Standing in the Captain Blue Hen comic book store I turned to my then girlfriend and said, "He's the logical choice to die." I felt this was the case as the Joker was tearing up Batman's inner circle and the only way to effectively sever Batman's inner circle was for Damian to die. After all, the series is called, Death of the Family. The Joker plays center stage in the story but I saw him as a distraction to what would take place. This either speaks to my intuitive skill or Detective Comics (DC) predictability. Either way Batman's list of Robin's are now up to six.
- – Dick Grayson
- – Jason Todd
- – Tim Drake
- – Stephanie Brown
- – Damian Wayne
- – Carrie Kelly (Robin with elderly Batman)
Dick Grayson became Nightwing. Todd was killed by the Joker and through resurrection became The Red Hood, Tim Drake has become the Red Robin, his girlfriend Stephanie Brown stepped in until she died soon after. Carrie Kelly doesn't come along until later in Batman's life through Frank Miller's masterpiece The Dark Knight Returns. That brings us back to number five, Damian Wayne. The last name rings ominous. Bruce Wayne's son is now Robin. How did it all come to this?
In 2011 DC rebooted all their titles to create a more accessible DC Universe allowing new readers to start from the beginning of each characters story line. DC also aligned sales of digital and print to same day release. With 52 titles in all, DC had a short and memorable name.
Many original stories have remained, new ones have been injected. In Batman's universe the latest Robin is his son Damian from Talia al Ghul. Damian almost came out of nowhere were it not for his being born in a 1987 issue as Bruce Wayne's unnamed infant son.
Damian has had a price on his head for some time. Damian's mother Talia has caused him to give up the mantle of Robin where he now operates as Red Bird. Why kill Damian? The age old hackneyed marketing works, kill a character and increase sales. It's never done spur of the moment though. Stories are written months to almost a year in advance. To be fair, all good stories require bold decisions by writers. In this case the community of graphic novel readers has come to expect story arcs like this from Grant Morrison. Grant plays off the decision to kill Damian as closure to Death of the Family, despite it not actually taking place in that storyline. "It's all about the family and the family going to hell."
I personally don't see the family going to hell. I see Damian going to the Lazarus pit. After all I've been right before.