Every family has a black sheep. Sometimes that sheep can cause a scene and some grief for their family. Jason Todd took that to a whole new level in Batman: A Death In The Family.
Just in case you did, Batman: A Death In The Family should not be mixed with the other Batman story event, Death of the Family, which took place in the 2010s in the New 52 era which made some cheeky nostalgia references to Death In The Family which was published in the 1980s.
Let me set the scene for you, it was the 1980s and comic books were no longer for kids only as books like the Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns are on the way with content certainly not aimed at wee children.
The tale follows Robin A.K.A. Jason Todd, a very angry teenager running away from Gotham to find his mother and discovering The Joker who beats Jason senseless with a crowbar and blows him up. Of course, this wasn’t the end for Jason.
If such a pivotal event such as Death In The Family was to be published now the promotion would be bigger and the number of issues, tie-ins and miniseries would be larger too. With that in mind let’s look at some of the ramifications and behind the scenes occurrences for the Death In The Family story event.
The outcome of the story was decided by a public vote
Jason Todd’s run as Robin was polarising. It wasn’t going down well with the fans so DC put the power into the reader’s hands. It was put to a public vote to if Jason lives or dies at the end of the story.
The artwork for both outcomes was done up but the fans voted for Jason to be killed but was indeed a razor-thin win with less 200 votes deciding it.
Joker became the ambassador of Iran
Batman was very mad after what Joker had done. Batman was out for justice but Joker had an ace up his sleeve as he was made the Iranian ambassador to the US and thus has diplomatic immunity from criminal prosecution. This was later retconned to a fictional country and I don’t think diplomatic immunity works that way.
Jason became a pariah
The DC Universe quietly forgot the Black Sheep Robin with his name being rarely mentioned for at least two decades until he was retconned back to life as a lethal vigilante going by the name of Red Hood (an identity The Joker was thought to have used).
No Robin for a while
Batman went solo for a while until whizz kid Tim Drake wormed his way into the fold and became the third Robin donning a costume with more body armor and trousers.
Have I missed any facts out? Let us know in the comments!