The character of Robin has been considered the conscious and a humanizing presence to the character, Batman, since his debut in 1940.
In his 70 year history, the laughing, carefree, yet brilliant character Robin, has been a partner, best friend, rival, sibling and ofttimes, son (literal and actual) to the dark and tortured man known as Bruce Wayne/Batman.
But, for a man who became legend based on the most grievous of losses - witnessing the first hand murder of his parents as a child, what can possibly be more traumatic than experiencing probably the second greatest human loss? What can seeing the death of your child, not once, but twice, do to any man? Or "Bat-"man?
Well, its something the public will find out on February 27th as Damian Wayne, the fourth Robin, dies in the pages of DC Comics' Batman Incorporated #8.
The death of a character has become an old stand-by in the comic book world. And in the world of the Batman, death and the breaking points of characters are a very common occurrence; incidents occurring to both Batman and Robin during their long careers.
But, this is a first: this is the second death of Robin. But, it's just not the same Robin.
Confused? Well, unless you're a comic fan, you probably should be. So, let's review a very brief history of the young men who would all be called, "Robin."
Since the powers at DC figured Batman needs a Robin, the second one was created in the character Jason Todd.
Todd, a extremely troubled kid and a juvenile delinquent from the start, was introduced in 1987. But, the character, being rude and abrasive, never made the kind of impact Grayson did and was killed off, by the Joker and comic fandom itself in 1988. However, Todd was revived in 2005 as the Red Hood.
Written and created to be likable, intelligent and a detective on par with the Batman himself, the Drake-Robin became so popular he earned his own long-running comic.
But, like Grayson before him, he eventually evolved into his own persona and became "Red Robin" in 2009.
But as always, Batman seems to need a Robin. So, one was created with a bit of a twist. Where the previous three were unrelated teens taken in to give them guidance and some type kindred companionship for the Batman, the fourth was actually a Wayne himself.
Beginning a life as damaged as his father, his mother weaved a life for Damian to spite Wayne and garner the approval of her ruthless father.
But, Damian would prove popular with the fans as an interesting pastiche of all the Robins that came before him. And now in the wake of the "Death of the Family" Joker storyline, it seems Damian Wayne will be the next Robin to meet his demise.
But how it happens remains a mystery.. That is, until Feb 27th.
What is known is that Damian faces off with a cloned assassin, a cloned version of himself sent by his mother.. And like the the first Robin death, Batman arrives too late to save his son.
It seems tragedy and loss are destined to walk side-by-side with Wayne/Batman forever.
So, how will the death of his son (at the hands of the mother) affect the Batman? Will he need another Robin to tether in his rage? Should there even be another Robin?
What do you think?