The following story contains MAJOR SPOILERS for this week's "Batman, Incorporated" #8
Beneath a headline that blares, "DC killing off Batman's 'Boy Wonder' Damian Wayne in new comic book," the New York Post confirms what recent rumors and cover leaks already had led readers to suspect: Damian Wayne will die in Wednesday's "Batman Incorporated" #8.
"He saves the world. He does his job as Robin," writer Grant Morrison told the newspaper. "He dies an absolute hero."
The son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, Damian was featured as an unnamed infant in the out-of-continuity 1987 graphic novel "Son of the Demon," and reintroduced into the DC Universe is 2006 by Morrison and Andy Kubert. Trained by the League of Assassins, the violent and self-absorbed boy was later left by Talia in the care of his father. After the events of "Batman R.I.P." took up the identity of Robin at age 10, working first with Dick Grayson and then, upon the return of Bruce Wayne, his father. Unlike Jason Todd in the 1980s, Damian quickly became a fan-favorite character and, as the Post notes, exits the stage at the height of his popularity.
Rumors that DC planned to kill off Damian had circulated for weeks, with a photo finally appearing Feb. 15 on Twitter showing the three covers for "Batman Incorporated" #8 - it's an homage to Alex Ross' variant cover for "Batman" #676, the first issue of "Batman R.I.P." - all showing the Robin emblem within the letters "R.I.P."
Morrison told the Post there are divorce undertones to the story, with Damian's death illustrating how parents lose sight of the children when they fight. "It's all about the family and the family going to hell," he said. "The two adults in the story are both culpable. The kid's the good guy."
Jason Todd was, of course, resurrected in 2005 (after that false alarm in "Batman: Hush"), so odds are that Damian will return ... eventually. It's even more likely that another Robin will appear to take his place.
"You can never say never in a comic book," Morrison said. "Batman will ultimately always have a partner."