There is no doubt that the death of Robin is one of the immovable pillars of the mythology of the Dark Knight. This funeral event left impacted and saddened the world of comics, to be Batman A death in the family one of those comics that changed some rules of the history of superheroes. Like the one that youth assistants could not die.
Before arriving at this comic, few had been the helpers of heroes who died in front of the readers, one of the most notorious, was the death of Captain America's Bucky, a fact "out of collection". Unlike this story that showed us the still hot body of the victim, being shown to the readers, who had irrefutable evidence of the death of the young hero.
How did Robin get to die?
The new Robin was practically the same as the old man, except that he had parents in his civil identity and that being a redhead, he had to dye his hair to look like the previous Robin. This bland change would be modified shortly afterwards, after the crossover Crisis in Infinite Lands.
After this "Crisis" the continuity of all the comics as well as the origin of Jason was re-linked. Like Dick, this new Robin was also an orphan, but the difference he had with the first was that Jason would be a fugitive and delinquent origin. His first contact with Batman would occur when the boy tried to steal the wheels of the Batmobile. Becoming thus a very accused assistant with respect to the previous Robin. In addition to the previous, the new Robin was violent, reactionary and very given to respond and to oppose Batman. This change in the character did not seem to like part of the readers' sector, dividing the fandom between defenders and detractors. The directors of DC Comics to see this situation decided to leave their fate in the hands of the fans and thus solve the differences. To do this, two phone lines were enabled, in this way the followers of the comic could call, and depending on the number they called, they could choose if Jason died or not. Under this premise pulled a death in the family, a story arc narrated between the Batman # 426 to # 429 (1988 - 1989).
This result was adjusted, just under a hundred calls decided. That's why Jim Aparo, cartoonist designated to this comic, made another page in anticipation that Jason would finally live. This page was for a long time under lock and key, until it was revealed in 2006, after the story Under the Hood that resurrected Jason Todd.
Starlin and Aparo
This work of four issues and divided into six chapters includes a sample of the best work that DC Comics published in the 80s, without being precisely something revolutionary in form. On the one hand, we have a very veteran screenwriter, nothing more and nothing less than Jim Starlin, who in 1988 had already been writing comics for 20 years. There was still a couple missing so that his Infinity Gauntlet for Marvel could be published, but skipping the cosmic and editorial distance, we observed that genius and know-how in the history that concerns us. One of the least explored aspects of Batman in film fiction, is a story in which this facet of the characters is exploited to narrate a search that will end in tragedy. Thus, the story raised by Starlin starts through two tracks, played separately by Batman and his assistant. Both stories will end up coinciding and initiating a common mission that will result in the death of Robin and that will make Batman consider if maybe he has been too benevolent with the destitute villain of Crime, the architect of the execution of the boy. This story, in turn, even with the end of Robin's death, also served to mature the character of both heroes, exploring their relationship and showing what path it could have taken had it not ended with the death of Robin.
Batman: A Death in the Family is gently dosed, chapter by chapter, until it irrevocably brings us to its conclusion, it does not anticipate or delay. It leads us in each step, firmly, through different stages until it reaches its apotheosis. Which is not precisely Robin's murder. In as much, Starlin plays with own conventions of the time, creating a scene that will serve as grave for the first substitute of Robin, that as well incorporated hard and violent elements.
Aparo, the illustrator of the work, helped to a large extent that the comic was well received by the critics, who although deploys a classic style of superhero comic book in his work, showed a final result that is far from having aged badly. While it is true that we must understand their time and the styles in force at the time, as well as the school of the author, the passage of time has been very generous with the final finish of this comic. Both perspective and anatomy, narrative rhythm and action by vignettes is still very pleasing to the eye.
Undoubtedly we are facing one of the most acceptable works of the late 80's, possibly the brightest in the entire Batman bibliography. Highlighting only two tares. The first, its context of Cold War, and its proposal around Iran as a country that welcomes supervillains. And the second, and this is more a flaw due to the publishers' own tendency to disdain to raise sales, the fact that the death of Jason Todd was "rewritten" within continuity so that the character resurrect time later, was the event that impacted in time the significance that Batman: a death in the family may have.
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