Death is in everything that Batman does.
The fire of his existence, of his endless crusade, was sparked in an alley with the death of his parents and fed by the loss of Jason Todd all those years ago.
Even now, in this new 52, death hangs in the air with the conclusion of Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo’s “Death of the Family” event, as the question is asked: why hasn’t Batman killed the Joker?
I won’t spoil the end of that book, but a pic on twitter has spoiled another Bat-book. Reportedly posted by a comic retailer named “Al Mega” — which sounds like the name of one of Carmine Falcone’s flunkees — the pic, which is of three covers for the upcoming 8th issue of Batman Incorporated, simultaneously pays tribute to a great cover from the recent past (Batman #676) and teases another death in Batman’s family.
According to CBR, this is not Mega’s first tussle with infamy in the four color world. Apparently, Mega:
posted an auction on eBay for “Amazing Spider-Man” #700 weeks before its scheduled release date. Mega’s Twitter feed indicates he has access to advance copies of DC’s books — on February 8, he posted a photo of a number of issues not set to release until February 20 including “Justice League of America” #1, “Justice League” #17, “Green Lantern: New Guardians” #17 and more.
Here’s the picture:
In case you can’t tell from the art and the Robin symbol that is standing in for the “R” in R.I.P, Damian, Batman’s son, is the character whose death is being teased on the cover of the book, which is written by Grant Morrison, the man who created the Damian character and also the writer on Batman during the R.I.P. storyline that began with Batman #676.
The why’s and how’s are — of course — not known. For that matter, we don’t even know if this will actually come to pass, or if DC is simply putting a WTF moment front and center in an effort to hook readers into buying an issue that twists itself away from the rather shocking imagery on it’s cover.
But with that said, I can’t even imagine the effect that such an event would have on Bruce Wayne/Batman. Losing his parents was formative and harsh on a young boy and it’s still painful for the man who he became, but Batman has used that pain.
Jason Todd was another thing entirely. This was a failure. The Bat-Man failed to protect his latest ward, but as deep as that cut went, Todd was merely a sidekick. This Robin (Damian) is also Batman’s flesh and blood son, his only son. Could Damian’s death break the Bat? Could it plunge the caped crusader into a black pit of despair, or has he simply felt too much pain to expect any other end for those who are close to him?
We’ll find out when the issue hits the market February 27th.