Robin the Boy Wonder killed? Grant Morrison speaks out

Feb. 25, 2013 | 5:31 p.m.
batman incorporated vol 2 1 cover 2 Robin the Boy Wonder killed? Grant Morrison speaks out

An earlier "Batman Incorporated" cover depicts Batman and his son, Damian, the current Robin. (DC Comics)

robin dies Robin the Boy Wonder killed? Grant Morrison speaks out

Robin the Boy Wonder reportedly will be killed in "Batman Incorporated" No. 8. (DC Comics)

batman from 1970 Robin the Boy Wonder killed? Grant Morrison speaks out

A "Batman" comic book from 1970 shows Batman, the original Robin (Dick Grayson) and Beatles look-alikes. (DC Comics)

burt ward and adam west as batman and robin Robin the Boy Wonder killed? Grant Morrison speaks out

Burt Ward portrayed Dick Grayson, to Adam West's Batman, in the "Batman" TV series.

all star batman and robin Robin the Boy Wonder killed? Grant Morrison speaks out

Cover image from "All–Star Batman & Robin" issue No. 10, released in 2008, drawn by Jim Lee. The series, which had Dick Grayson as Robin, was written by Frank Miller. (DC Entertainment)

rare copy of a batman comic Robin the Boy Wonder killed? Grant Morrison speaks out

The cover of "Detective Comics" issue No. 69 by artist Jerry Robinson, depicting the Joker and the Dynamic Duo, Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, on display in 2009 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Robin the Boy Wonder is reportedly going to be killed in an upcoming issue. Batman’s sidekick will meet his doom, an end long planned by the comic’s writer, respected scribe Grant Morrison, who insists the move is narratively necessary.

Why? Because, as Morrison writes, “what son could ever hope to replace a father like Batman?”

And so Robin — Damian Wayne — will die in issue No. 8 of DC Comics’ “Batman Incorporated,” which hits shelves Wednesday.

In an essay on DC’s blog, Morrison talks about his seven years on the Batman assignment and the Caped Crusader over the years, including “the savage, young, pulp-flavored ‘weird figure of the dark’ of his early years,” as well as the “smiling, paternal figure of the 1940s” and later “the hairy-chested globetrotting adventurer of the ’70s …  the brutally physical vigilante of the ’80s and the snarling, paranoid soldier of the ’90s.”

That’s good stuff.

grant morrison2 Robin the Boy Wonder killed? Grant Morrison speaks out

Grant Morrison. (Allan Amato)

The Scottish writer, a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, is a singular talent who, in these last few years, has been called on to revamp major comics and characters including Superman, Batman and the X-Men with his own unique brand of storytelling. With “Batman Incorporated,” he’s crafted a compelling take on one of DC’s flagship heroes.

Morrison says he took his own angle on Batman, but that it was as much Damian’s story as it was Bruce Wayne’s. Damian, he notes, was the first “Son of Batman” in the canon.

Damian is the child of Bruce and Talia, daughter of his enemy Ra’s al Ghul, though the baby was grown in an artificial womb. Talia had him trained by the League of Assassins — she eventually tells Bruce the truth and Damian becomes the Boy Wonder.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time a Robin has been killed: The unpopular Jason Todd died at the Joker’s hands in the late 1980s story “A Death in the Family” after fans voted him off via a 900 number.

Of course, whenever any character dies, the move tends to generate controversy,  with readers wondering if a death, no matter how seemingly permanent, really marks a final departure (and the maternal side of Damian’s family has made use of restorative Lazarus Pits to cheat the reaper).

For fans who really want to know how Robin will meet his fate – the spoiler-averse should stop reading now — here’s how the end will reportedly come, according to the New York Post. He faces an assassin, a killer who is, in fact, a cloned version of himself. Where’s Batman? Too late to save his son.

Morrison, too, is set for his own exit soon — he’ll leave “Batman Incorporated” after issue No. 12.

Is this really the end for Robin? And do you think this is a good move by DC? Tell us in the comments below.

— Amy Hubbard

Follow us on Twitter: @LATHeroComplex


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86 Responses to Robin the Boy Wonder killed? Grant Morrison speaks out

  1. joe says:

    not a good move. I think they are crazy and that readers will not like this move

    • Alice says:

      Joe you are so right. they want to take a good movie like batman good verus evil. where good always wins out. and let evil win…. in this . age we can't let that stuff happen even if it is just in the movies. everything is going down hill. Stupid hollywood.

    • camfrommaine says:

      Bad move. And robin is one of the best super heroes all time. As a kid he was my favorite. I think he allows readers to feel as though… i could feasibly n robin. Not superman.

    • Mark says:

      I think you are 100% right. Morrison needs boundaries. His psychotic mor-besity just crushed the DC fans he sat on in this one.

  2. Axalon says:

    I have been collecting comics off and on since the mid 1980's, I have seen many characters kills killed and brought back again and again. After awhile it really losses its impact. I remember when they killed superman, i was not reading it at the time, and I thought to myself how brave DC was to kill off such an iconic character, then of course he came back. Phoenix, Mocking Bird, Spider-man, Thanos, Superman, Robin, it does not really matter any more how big they are, death only lasts until the next writer thinks they can breath new life into the same concept, wash, rinse, repeat. Maybe I am asking to much for a sense of permanency in this medium, not to say the writing and stories cant be incredible, they just get caught up in tropes to much.
    Just my two cents.

    • lex1126 says:

      no offense, but i dont think its about the death of the character per se (as you have justified, they will come back eventually anyway). For me its more about the currents and collateral it brings as a result of that death. in this case, being the son of the bat is sure to affect him in a way, similar, the death of todd will, and always will be, batman's greatest failure. this is how batman pushes himself to be better, training beyond perfection.

      other than a few characters like supes and ww, dc has created a long line of legacy creators, simply because it gives them the option to play the emotional angle in stories. this coming from a reading since the early 90s :)

    • justin says:

      I agree 100% with everything you said. I read the "Death of Superman" arc. It was epic, and (I felt) left it the right way for someone like Superman. I had taken a little break from buying comics, but when I decided to go back to it, I found they had somehow revived him. I thought 'how the heII could they pull that?' It was as if they took everything the writers and artists did for that storyline and scribbled all over it with red and black Sharpies. I never did buy another comic after that.

  3. Aden Romine says:

    Robin is, I hope, the end of a long line of unnecessary and annoying teen age "sidekicks" for heroes.
    I have read that writers thought kids would identify with Robin [or with Boy in the Tarzan movies, for another example]. I never wanted to be Robin [or Boy]. I wanted to be Batman [or Tarzan]!

    • Mark says:

      You obviously have no sense of character conflict and development. Of all of the "teen age sidekicks," this one was done excellently. You obviously never read Batman and Robin with Damien as Robin or you would understand how ignorant your statement is… not to mention naive in thinking that sidekicks will go away with Damien.

    • A.Hubbard, LA Times says:

      Aden, I gotta admit at one point I wanted to be Batgirl

  4. nonya biz says:

    why would you do that..every hero needs someone to carry on his vision to fight injustice..[t propels the just to keep fighting against the evil of the worid..[n every form it takes,,

  5. james says:

    This really doesn’t Tim Drake is still red robin

  6. xxH4D3Zxx says:

    So does robin really die or is it some sort of trickery where his clone dresses up as robin to trick everyone else when in fact robin is dressed up differently to trick the clone??? hmmmm let me ponder this once more

  7. Dave says:

    don’t really like the story that batman had son by his enemys daughter, so getting rid of him is ok by me next chapter plz.

    • Mark says:

      I can't stand when people who have no vested interest in a story line (and have most likely never read the story line) make comments like this. If you have no vested interest and you haven't read the storyline then why comment on something like this. No one cares if you like how Damien got here. What matters is that those of us who cared about the Damien character (or actually read it and hated the Damien character – because its fine if that's how you feel after giving it a chance) actually DO care about what happens to him. Speaking without knowledge of the subject is also known as ignorance… or pretentious at best.

  8. Jag Knight says:

    I never cared for Damian as a character and the whole mess of a plot with bringing an Elseworld DC story into regular DC Universe continuity to make him exist in the first place. He is just another one of the subset of characters used to expand the Bat family of characters to spin off into an expanded lineup of monthly Batman comic books. Damian is bad, he's killed and he now he needs his daddy to mentor him and set him on the right path. Give me a break! When Dick Grayson grew up and became Nightwing, why couldn't they just leave well enough alone and not have someone else pick up the Robin mantle? Why do you need a Robin? Why can't you have an extra title called Batman and Nightwing, a partner better suited to Batman's dark persona? Because if there is a Robin, then you can have 3 or 4 solo Batman titles, a Nightwing title and a Robin title until your sales slump and you need to do something dramatic like kill him off, or something stupid like make Catwoman regularly sleep with on old guy that no one likes and then tease fans with the idea that she is pregnant with Batman's child or possibly the old guys' and before they can go to Maury Povich to figure out who's the daddy, DC writers go all Jerry Springer on the fans and reveal that the baby resulted from a night of passion with the old guy's son! No move is a good move by DC! 'Nuff said!

  9. @king_puddin says:

    Man, as if Batman hasn't been through enough. It seems like DC wants him to start killing people, I swear.

  10. Mordred Gravehaven says:

    Grant brought him into this world…he can take him out…and Grant will do it well.

  11. Noname Simba says:

    Why can't Superman or Batman or any other "Flagship" character get old and release the mantle of their powers to the proverbial "sidekick"? Personally, I think Robin should somehow don the Batman motif for more realism; just my $0.02 on that. Killing off Robin because the writer doesnt' believe Boy Wonder can't fill daddy's shoes is kind of lame. Maybe Morrison could have pushed the storyline into making Robin a villian if he couldn't cut the mustard "as" Batman. Then it might make more sense to kill him off. In all, I always thought sidekicks were there to develop and eventually carry the mantle after the hero faded out.

  12. R.B. Esq. says:

    Heroes have been “dying” for decades. Superman, Green Lantern, Flash, etc. have all been killed off in bold attempts to draw attention to grand events and, let’s face it, to sell more books. These heroes have all been miraculously written back to life. Robin, like his resurrected predecessors, will enjoy a triumphant rebirth that will tie in nicely with a new line of action figures and his own animated series. R.I.P. Robin, for now.

  13. Destiny says:

    How can you have Batman without his sidekick Robin??? It won't be the same.

  14. Benjamin says:

    HORRIBLE move. I've really come to enjoy his latest version of Robin.

  15. Ted says:

    I've never thought Robin did much to carry the story along. It seems that he was mostly getting in Batman's way. So yeah, send him off however you see fit. Although I believe killing people is not the solution to any problem, so perhaps he could get banged in the head, get sent up in a cryogenic fitted rocket and get parked in orbit a hundred thousand miles out. Or better yet, park him behind the moon.

  16. James Wilson says:

    I haven't been reading comics in a while, so I don't know if this is a mistake or not. Jason Todd came back as the Red Mask. Damian may come back, if Talia intervenes.

  17. me-won says:

    The New 52 Batman is not an enjoyable read. Morrison should just do one shot graphic novels because he's too weird for a monthly series. I used to like the Bat book but I have no interest in what they are doing with him today.

  18. So will he die in Batman & Robin, too?

  19. dennydog says:

    Why did they reveal that Robin will die before the fact? Holy anticlimax Batman!!!

  20. jeff says:

    dc keeps doing this they dont have a origanl idea anymore they are allways doing this they all should be fired

  21. It won't last. Deaths in comic books aren't permanent like they were back in the 80's and earlier. Writers, artists, and publishers hype up the whole event of someone dying in order to sell more issues, then anywhere from three months to a year, something happens that brings said character back. Superman died and came back. Batman died and came back. Captain America died and came back. Within the next year, Peter Parker will be back and as Spider-Man once again. The days of Jason Todd and Gwen Stacy are sadly long gone.

  22. Jack says:

    They have killed Robin once before. Special Issue was released some twentyfive years ago or so and Robin, it may have been Robin two not the originial Dick Grayson, but they killed Robin. So killing Robin is not new. But who wants to be Robin if they keep killing him off.

  23. Rick says:

    It's about time! I've been a Batman fan for damn near 50 yrs. Batman doesn't need a kid sidekick. Grayson grew up became Nightwing. Tim is now the Red Robin (so for those that like "Robin" you got one!) It's time DC brought the Worlds Greatest Detective back…alone no kids. They've been writing the comics with the Batman family as adults. No more kids please. Time to grow up and move on. Tell me truthfully that DC has been writing for "Kids" younger than 16. Give me a break. Let Red Robin be the Robin of today. And at least for the foreseeable future kill off the kid. We all no he'll be back anyway.

  24. Mike Morales says:

    no bueno my friends to kill off another robin not a good idea but Im not the writer. write him off and bring him back when he's older.

  25. Rob says:

    I never liked the Damian Wayne character to begin with. I was never comfortable with the idea that Bruce Wayne had a son and I didn't like the character's attitude. I would have rather he disappeared after a reboot and then we would find out Damian never existed, but I think that killing him off is a good idea.
    The only thing though is, that as the article pointed out, death is never permanent in the comic book world and if they decide they want him back they will bring him back. But that kind of stuff is getting old too.

  26. RicBret says:

    Totally rethinking my love of Grant Morrison works and my being a customer of DC in general.

  27. Kevin says:

    I agree …. That is a terrible idea .. They should not killed Bruce Wayne only son,, I lot of people wish and hopethat the Mantel of the dark night will be passed down.. They should not kill "this" Robbin"

  28. Kit says:

    Batman and robin are the dynamic dou why kill off one of them , if it aint broke dont fix it robin should stay find another story line

  29. Sylentknyt says:

    I can think of several ways around the death of Damian, as I am sure can many others. So I won't go into that. What I will say is that I hope we don't get Bruce going down the rabbit hole again. He's been there before, we don't need to read it again. Sadness? Yes. Depression? Yes. Rage? Of course…but not off the wall, out of control crazy. That's been done. Rather, taking into account that Bruce introduced Damian to Gotham society as his son, I hope we get to see how this death effects Bruce Wayne's life and the life of any others who knew his son.

  30. Johnathan Wright says:

    It's Morrison. The man can do no wrong.

  31. Stan Kerns says:

    Reminds me of when Coke changed its flavor

  32. nickelstew says:

    I wonder how Batman will deal with the 2nd loss of the boy wonder,…

  33. brewpub420 says:

    Didn't we do this in Death in the Family?

  34. Robert says:

    I think it is time that they leave things ALONE. I am a Dick Grayson, ORIGINAL ROBIN/NIGHTWING, fan. Now having said that I have come to love Tim Drake. Good riddance to Jason Todd and this imitation freak of Bruce Wayne (and can we say Superboy copy cat with cloning). Now is the era of Dick Grayson and Tim Drake as the Dynamic Duo. They have to good cleaning values like heroes should and they were both trained by Bruce. Plus they have worked excellent in the past.

  35. mike says:

    The writing of all comic books should be put in the hands of the true fans, not some guy who thinks he knows it all. I'm so tired of some idiot being put in charge of iconic heroes only to either change them beyond what they have always been or kill them off just because they ran out of fresh ideas. If you want to write stories for super heroes, then you better be a fan.

  36. BIG Jim says:

    It does not matter howmany DC Comics character you kill, it will not breathe new life into the Batman title. Every idiot thinks they need to do something spectacular too shake things up and maintain the faithful fanbase. The death of this Robin will be very anti-climatic considering it has been done before. And then a few years later an idea to resurrect Jason Todd as the Red Hood was spoon fed to everyone. Don't try to leave a lasting personal mark on a legacy like Batman & Robin. There has always been a Robin. No matter what iteration. Barry Allen should have remained dead and they brought him back as the Flash once more, if this is to be the end of Robin, then make it permanent and don't try to sell more books by placing him in the Lazarus Pit and bringing him back. Oh wait….that story line has already been used on Jason Todd. Wankers!

  37. David says:

    as sad as it is we all know the writers will probably think of some way to bring him back anyone remember red hood. im am a big fan of robin and even when he leaves (teen titans , young justice , knightwing,red robin, ect) he always comes back and or just puts batman in a spot were he is more carefull in picking the next after all as cool as batman is bruce wyane is getting old so sooner or later robin is going to be needed to carry on the batman series(batman beyond)

  38. Josh says:

    are we forgetting that this is the 5th Robin overall? It isn't like the character is getting offed. Just Bruce Wayne's son.

  39. Fin Alyn says:

    Why let a writer who is leaving in 4 issues kill off a major character? The fact he uses one of the weakest reasons I've ever seen is terrible. What son of any great man can live up to their legend? For this he gets killed off? Pathetic.

  40. guest says:

    It doesn't matter, he'll be right as rain in a year or two.

  41. RJDude says:

    Morrison has his finger on the pulse of the future…either the reborn Robin, or, his assassin, will be Coldbringer…the son of Batman void of the moral code.

  42. willie bass says:

    well if they killed of this robin batman still has the dick grayson and tim drake which are two of the best teen sidekicks ever..

  43. Suckk Deez Nuttz says:

    Who cares!?!?

  44. jhayes_tsc says:

    The main issue are the repercussions… Jason Todd as Robin being killed was different than had it been Dick Grayson as Robin being killed. But Damian? That's Bruce's flesh and blood, his son, and where they recently have once again in the comics reiterated that there's a line that Batman won't cross… to me, by doing this, it would take that equation out. Because if he stays within that line after his own son is killed to me it weakens the character… and if he crosses the line there's no going back. It's almost a no-win situation on how he handles Damian's death from here on out.

    And with Damian you have a character that has grown over time… even in the Bat world there are too many adventures still ahead for him. And to be killed off by a no-name? Even Jason Todd got the honor of being murdered by the Joker…

    But it's the comics and they do say Robin is being killed off… not exactly that Damian Wayne himself is…

  45. @Rhysdux says:

    I think it sucks. He's a kid AND a Robin. He doesn't need to be fridged.

  46. Alan Scott says:

    Damian was a fan favorite, edgy not-the-type-of cookie cutter character of the robins before him, he actually made Batman better as a hero and a father, so right on cue you kill him off for shock value.
    If you was going to do that it would of made more sense to off him in the "Death in the Family" event.

  47. Nicholas Stothard says:

    This is a horrible move. Robin was my favorite character!

  48. badger says:

    batman does not need a son. personally I'm tired of this whole "we have to age robin correctly with the times but since batman is making us money we cant adjust for him" thing. if robin is in his thirties, tim is in his twenties and damien is a teen, then batman should be in his sixties! leave aging out of it, leave tim drake as robin and dick grayson as nightwing. leave it at that and you will make this fan very happy.

  49. Johnny51951 says:

    I grew up with Batman and Robin. I think its a bummer that he (Robin) is being killed off.
    Kill off Batman, he's way to old. Give Robin a chance to fill his (Batman) shoes.

  50. Lobo Lobot says:

    I would understand if there was a plan for a tremendous character arc for Batman, or other areas of his psyche Morrison was looking to explore, but to use the reasoning “what son could ever hope to replace a father like Batman?” is ridiculous. It sounds more to me that Morrison has his own daddy issues.

  51. Baby Nightsoil says:

    Damian Wayne will still be my favorite Robin (closely followed by Carrie, distantly followed by the others)

  52. donald says:

    i think it is time foe writers to not kill off everyone adn why should he not be a replacement for the batman as he has the same training and all. he should be a worthy successor.

  53. matt says:

    if it was like something new, maybe…but as mentioned a robin has already been killed once, and the whole lazurus pit idea has already been used to ressurect him in the batman movie "red hood". so for all the accolades grant morrison is given in this article, sounds to me like hes being a copy cat. be a true visionary mr. morrison and try to create something equal to Alan Moore's batman's "the killing joke", oh wait im sorry, you are no Alan Moore.

  54. Randolph says:

    why am I not suprised? history repeating it's self. only wish he had a better reason than that.
    sound like a very weak excuse to me.

  55. george says:

    Gonna be like corn flakes without the milk

  56. Charles Hunter says:

    Grant Morrison has not been good for the title, his unique vision is barely compatible with the character of Batman, and DC's recent "reboot" was a terrible mistake. All that being said, this particular decision to kill off the current Robin is well founded and will not hurt the title, if anything the brooding, solo that is Batman will do much better on his own. Giving Batman too many people to look to for support hurts him, his greatest charm is his unceasing quest for justice and his incredible ability to overcome obstacles. Hopefully this decision will be just the kind of thing that will help DC get it's "legs back" and stop doing idiotic things like have Superman and Wonder Woman get together. Best of luck great dying beast that is DC, too bad you guys fired Joss Whedon from the Wonder Woman movie project huh?

  57. mike says:

    uh…Lazarus pit…'nuff said

  58. Skyler says:

    Damian was a Robin I actually liked, and you're going to kill him off? Really? You finally got a Robin character right and now you're gonna end him?

  59. jimmie says:

    Never really got into the concept of Batman/Bruce Wayne having a "love child" with Talia. IMO, he and Catwoman/Selena Kyle were always destined to be an item, get married and have a child named Helena who would one day become The Huntress. Always liked that scenario better than Bruce being tricked into fathering a child thru artificial means and then having that child "magically" become the next Robin. In a way, it was a credible scenario, as comic book standards go, mind you,
    but can you really trust an al Ghul?? No way!! Off with his head and onto the next, I say!!

  60. Is too soon for Damien to die, i don't believe it.

  61. Freddie says:

    Just one simple point with the writer planning his departure why kill off anyone. The storyline should be left to the new writer. The landlord would perfer the old tenants not tear down the place before leaving.

  62. FilmBuffRich says:

    Thanks for the spoiler in the headline!

  63. Mark says:

    Grant Morrison is a morbid douche bag who needs some writing accountability for this very reason right here. This is the worst move in the DC Universe in my lifetime. Damien was the best unconventional character in my lifetime. He was believable. He was easy to get attached to and he caused the type of conflict within the story and in other characters that needs to be there to make a great story. The fact that DC allows this ass hole to run free in writing stuff like this (potentially brilliant if bridled but wreckless in when left on his own) shows me that DC cares more about what this douche bag wants then they do about their own fan base… who they might lose after this one (even after 30 years of patronizing DC). Here's a giant middle finger to DC and an even bigger one to Morrison.

    • Gitley says:

      Morrison created the character, evidently one of the your most beloved, so perhaps he has some idea of what should be done wth him. I would guess that the real reason for this move is so that the character might not be ruined by whatever hacks take over the job.

  64. Newt Romney says:

    DC has "killed off" so many characters over the last several decades that it ceased to be surprising, moving, or even interesting. Is there anyone in the DC universe that hasn't been killed off at least once? Its become so fucking cheap. To me its a sign that sales of the New 52 are not what the suits in DC expected them to be so they ordered Grant Morrison to kill Robin…again. I guarantee you in the next two to three years if sales dont pick up (and they won't) there's going to be another reboot of the entire universe. But not after Grant is ordered to do another story where Bruce discovers that Damien is back from the dead or didnt' really die after all. I'll save you the trouble Grant. Use the Lazarus Pit!

  65. Mike says:

    So now Grant Morrison is copying Geoff John's lead of killing off characters just to make a story interesting. This type of storytelling does not interest me.

  66. larry grey says:

    I hate to see the Damian Wayne character go…he still has much potential as a character and in the Batman mythos…especially now with Helena Wayne on the scene sets up some interesting dynamics…I know we have not seen the end of this character…are we forgetting the Lazarus pit. The growing relationship between father and son still has a lot to be explored…..He will be back!

  67. #Corrections – Photographer is ALLEN AMATO.

  68. Grant Morisson does not Care about his fans says:

    Grant Morisson recreated batman through damian in a way that has caused me to love batman more then i ever have before. now that what changed batman is gone honstly i cannot imagine these comics without damian. morisson killed damian off much to soon and this has cased a very negative effect on the fans… and now even if he does bringhim back it has already been done before with

    jason todd. killing damian was a big mistake… at least when thy killed jason the writter actully bothered to ask the fans first rather then just doing

    what they wanted and not caring about the fans at

    all… i have been a batman fan for as long as i can

    remmber and grant moriason just ruined it fo me.

  69. Richard John Grayson says:

    I'm very disappointed that Damian dies, which honestly doesn't make any damn sense. Why? In the distant future Damian takes over as the mantle of the bat, there are 2 or 3 comics that show this. How ever I EXTREMELY happy that Grant Moron, I mean Morrison oops (sorry jackass that's who I refer to him as) is leaving Batman… FINALLY!!! Now I don't have to worry about him do stupid, ridiculous shit to my favorite hero. I haven't since my son was born :)

    • Gitley says:

      Do you think the author of those stories, Grant Moron as you would have it, has forgotten them? They're the whole impetus for this death.

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