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How Did Batman React to Jason Todd's Death at the Time?

Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at brianc@cbr.com).

In response to my article a few months ago about Barbara Gordon's appearances between The Killing Joke and her debut as Oracle, reader txtmasterblast wrote in to ask, "I like you recent article on Barbara Gordon’s apperances after the events of “The Killing Joke” but before her debut as Oracle. Can you cover the main Batman books that take place after Jason Todd’s death but before Tim Drake became Robin? How was Bruce Wayne mood at that period? Was he really that violent after the “A Death in the Family” storyline?"

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It's funny, the current reaction from DC to the controversy surrounding Batman: Damned is pretty similar to the way that they reacted to the death of Robin back in late 1988. No one was expecting quite the response that they received and so DC's initial reaction was to turn on the story itself, so the writer who came up with the story, Jim Starlin, was quickly removed from the series.

Before Starlin left, he finished up the original story, of course, and in the final part in Batman #429 (by Starlin, Jim Aparo and Mike DeCarlo), Batman really wants to kill the Joker to avenge Jason's death...

Later, after the Joker tries to blow up the United Nations general assembly, Batman tracks the Joker down to his escape helicopter and the Joker appears to die...

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So yeah, Starlin definitely seems to show Batman as a changed person due to the death of Jason. However, Starlin only did one more issue before being taken off of the book.

In that issue, with Batman taking on a sniper, we see how Batman is haunted by Jason's death still, but that's normal, as it JUST happened, ya know?

The next issue is a fill-in issue by Jim Owsley about one of Batman's teachers before he became Batman. Great George Pratt cover...

In the next issue, also a fill-in by Owsley, Batman is compelled to solve a seven-year old kidnapping case due to his memories of Jason...

While the story was directly connected to Jason's death, it really didn't show much of a change to Batman's overall personality. Just that he was more interested in this one case than normal.

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John Byrne then took over for a three-issue arc that had nothing to do with Jason's death...

So, so far, no real change in Batman's attitude.

How about over in Detective Comics?

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