Collection Stories- Batman: A Death in the Family

14 07 2010

Batman: A Death in the Family TPB cover. Art by Jim Aparo

My county is currently under a tornado watch, so if this seems rushed don’t blame me 🙂 

Batman: A Death in the Family written by Jim Starlin, drawn by Jim Aparo with inks by Mike DeCarlo 

  I remember one day when I was a young little boy I was reading a copy of Batman#442. I don’t remember exactly how the conversation happened, but my dad and I started talking about Batman and Robin. That conversation lead into my dad mentioned the story where Robin (Jason Todd) was killed by the Joker. I was intrigued by this story so I wanted to hunt it down and read it.

The next comic book convention my dad and I went to guess what I found? Yes, I found the trade paperback of Batman: A Death in the Family for only $2! I also found a copy of Amazing Spider-Man#200 for $2 as well, but that’s a story for another time. So one night my family went out for dinner at Perkins. I came along and brought Death in the Family with me. At that time I had already finished the first 2 parts of the story. So as we were seated and waiting for our food I was reading Part 3. That’s the part where (possible spoilers for those who haven’t read it yet, but this story has been out for 20 years so it’s your own fault if you haven’t read it yet) Joker beats the crap out of Robin while Robin’s mom stands unable to do anything about it. That was when anger started to boil up inside of me. Then I got to this page:

Art by Jim Aparo

Jim Aparo did a great job with the expressions of the characters because looking at the characters expressions and emotions brought a pain that really got to me. In fact I got so angry at Joker for killing Jason Todd and his mom that I started yelling and getting angry IN PERKINS. So imagine, if you will, a young kid at about the age of 7 or 8 complaining and getting mad over a comic book inside of a restaurant. Fortunately my parents calmed me down so nothing seriously embarrassing happened.  To this day that splash page of Batman carrying Robin’s dead body remains as one of my favorites. Reading A Death in the Family when I was young brought many years of hating the Joker. I had a serious dislike of his character. I still do although not as much. 

Reflecting back on this story makes me want to re-read this soon 🙂




3 responses

15 07 2010
wade evans

I remember that!

16 07 2010

It was a great story that was tainted by a gimmick. Readers were asked to vote on whether JT lived or died, and the creators had two versions of the story ready to go. So, obviously, readers voted to kill the current Robin at the time. Looking back, I think the decline of the comics industry can be traced back to shock stunts like this IMHO. But the story itself was very good, and I always thought the Starlin/Aparo team was underrated.

16 07 2010

I’ve always enjoyed the Starlin/Aparo Batman issues and I agree that that team is underrated. Thanks for leaving a comment Morlock!

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