Batman: A Death in the Family
"A Death in the Family" is a four-issue, 1988 Batman comic book storyline published by DC Comics. The story was written by Jim Starlin and illustrated by Jim Aparo, while Mike Mignola designed each cover. The story follows Jason Todd/Robin's quest to be reunited with his birth mother after being relieved of his duties by Batman. During his journey, however, the Joker kidnaps and tortures him, eventually killing him. The storyline is notable for its 900 number voting system, in which fans were allowed to call two separate numbers and chose whether Jason would survive the Joker's torture or die because of it.
Introduced as a replacement for then-Robin Dick Grayson in 1983, the impulsive Jason Todd had grown very unpopular amongst readers. Aware of this, editor Dennis O'Neil conceived of letting fans decide his fate, leading to the creation of the storyline. For 36 hours, beginning on September 15, 1988, readers could call the two numbers to cast a ballot on whether he should live or not. Over 10,000 votes were cast, with a narrow majority in favor of killing the character. In Batman #428, the Joker kills Todd by blowing up the warehouse he is being held hostage in.
Upon its publication, "A Death in the Family" attracted massive media attention, some of it critical. In retrospect, the storyline is remembered as one of the most important in the Batman family of comics. Elements of the story have since been incorporated in various Batman-related media.
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