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Batman Tragedy #5: The Death of Robin

~Excerpt from Batman #428 (1989)

When the Joker shot Barbara Gordon in the stomach, we thought he had reached the pinnacle of villainy: ending the career of a superhero. But we were wrong. Way wrong. Less than a year after that ill-fated crime, Joker returned to raise the bar, add one more notch to his insane list of accomplishments. And it was all thanks to you, the readers, because that's when he killed Robin. (Not my fault, really.)

Depicted in the story arc A Death in the Family, from 1988 to 1989 with Batman #426-429, this event takes place far away from Gotham; Bruce Wayne is now training a new sidekick, Jason Todd, with great skill, but easily angered. Sensing the potential for problems, Batman takes him out of action. At the same time, Jason has none of it and abandons the Batcave. The story then takes a turn where he searches for his real mother; the dynamic duo work out their differences, but end up in the Middle East where Joker is dealing out his latest scheme.

If you want to talk about a tragic ending, look no further: Todd finally finds his mother, but she's a twisted, tormented soul and leads him into Joker's trap. She literally takes advantage of his last shred of innocence and trust and turns him over to the madman. Pages later, Batman's greatest villain beats Robin to death with a crowbar.

How did it happen? Why, it was all thanks to a poll. DC held a hotline where readers could vote at a cost of 50 cents per call. (Multiple calls? No problem!) The result was 5,343 to 5,271: Robin would die. Humanity exposed its cruel fangs and took Jason Todd out. And certainly, this time, Joker had the last laugh.

The 10 Most Deadly Moments of Batman is a countdown provided by The Superheroes List preparing fans for the upcoming movie The Dark Knight Rises, with Christian Bale. If you want to get hyped up on Caped Crusader information, come on over and Check out the List!

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