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Batman Vol 1 427

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"A Death in the Family, Part II of IV": On the trail of Shiva Woosan, Bruce and Jason learn the mercenary was kidnapped moments before their arrival. Soon afterward, Batman and Robin shake down a number of Lebanese criminals and le

Quote1 You've been a bad boy. You must be punished! Prepare yourself for a severe spanking, young man. But let me tell you right from the start... this is going to hurt you a lot more than it does me. Quote2
-- Joker

Appearing in "A Death in the Family, Part II of IV"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:

  • Ralph Bundy (Behind the scenes)
  • Dr. Sheila Haywood
  • Sharmin Rosen (Flashback only)
  • Mrs. Walker (Flashback only)



  • Drug-tipped darts


  • Mini-copter

Synopsis for "A Death in the Family, Part II of IV"

On the trail of Shiva Woosan, Bruce and Jason learn the mercenary was kidnapped moments before their arrival. Soon afterward, Batman and Robin shake down a number of Lebanese criminals and learn that Woosan was taken to the Pashar Pass in the Bekaa Valley.

In a famine relief camp just outside of Magdala, Ethiopia, the Joker blackmails Dr. Sheila Heywood for shipments of medical supplies. Meanwhile, Batman and Robin infiltrate a terrorist camp only to learn Shiva Woosan is none other than Lady Shiva. Lady Shiva battles Batman and is defeated. As Robin cuffs the renegade martial artist, Batman sabotages the terrorists' explosive cache. After trekking through the desert for a while, Batman interrogates Lady Shiva and learns she never had any children. The dynamic duo depart for Ethiopia.

Bruce and Jason arrive at the camp outside of Magdala and meet Dr. Sheila Heywood where mother and son are reunited. Soon, the Joker arrives and he takes Heywood to the central warehouse to steal the medical supplies. Jason follows on a stolen motorcycle. As supplies are unloaded, the Joker has boxes of his lethal laughing gas loaded in their place. Jason returns to the camp to enlist Bruce's aid and soon the Dark Knight chases the trucks carrying the gas in a mini-copter.

Joker 0081

Joker beats Jason

Meanwhile, Jason returns to the warehouse and reveals his identity as Robin. Entering the warehouse, Heywood turns Robin over to the Joker, who had never left. The Joker and his gang proceed to beat Robin so savagely, Heywood can no longer bear to watch.

After his mini-copter is shot down by soldiers, Batman is recognized by the truck drivers. He warns them of the deadly cargo they are carrying, telling them to unload the boxes and leave them to be dealt with by the army, and is allowed use of a truck to get back to the warehouse. Meanwhile, the Joker betrays Heywood and has her bound in the warehouse next to her injured son where he's placed a bomb. Unable to deactivate the bomb, Jason instead unties his mother. Attempting to escape, Heywood discovers that the door is locked. The bomb then detonates and a helpless Batman witness the explosion from outside the warehouse.


  • Officially, this issue comprises chapters 3 and 4 of the overall "A Death in the Family" storyline.


  • At the time of publication, this issue was considered the canonical "death" of Jason Todd. Jason re-emerged years later in Batman Annual #25 as the Red Hood. Via retcon, Jason's first canonical "post-death" appearance actually takes place during the twelve-part Hush running through issues of Batman in 2003. [1] Originally, the Jason Todd character from "Hush" was actually Johnny Williams, the new Clayface, but this was altered later. [2]
  • DC Comics aware of Jason Todd's unpopularity with fans and perhaps inspired by references to a dead Jason in Frank Miller's futuristic Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, set up a 1-900 number one-dollar hotline giving callers the ability to vote for or against Jason's death from September 15–16, 1988 (1-900-720-2660 for Robin to live and 1-900-720-2666 for Robin to die). Over 10,000 votes were cast, a majority voted to kill Jason (5,343 to 5,271, an approximate 50.339% majority), and DC published "A Death in the Family" to massive media attention. [3][4]

See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

A Death in the Family
Book One: Batman #426 Book Two: Batman #427 Book Three: Batman #428 Book Four: Batman #429

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