Robin the Boy Wonder killed? Grant Morrison speaks out

Feb. 25, 2013 | 5:31 p.m.
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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)

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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.

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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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