"Jason was a Good Soldier. He honored me."
In 1986, DC released Frank Miller’s epic futuristic Batman tale, The Dark Knight Returns.
This was released around the time of DC’s re-telling of Jason’s origin as a street kid who is caught boosting the tires off the Batmobile.
The story in DKR starts off with an elderly Bruce Wayne having retired from being Batman. Presumably, it is because of the guilt he harbours following Jason’s death. He also drinks heavily, possibly because of this, as well.
The four scans here are particularly memorable as it is quite possible this is the first time* we see a Robin memorial erected in the Batcave. The new Robin, Carrie Kelly, comes face to face with the memorial, and it is a looming presence both emotionally and physically as it towers over her. In this moment, she looks quite scared, until Bruce places a reassuring hand on her shoulder.
In another memorable moment, Alfred asks Bruce whether he’s positive he wants to take on and train another Robin, especially after what happened to Jason. Bruce replies: “I will never forget Jason. He was a good soldier. He honored me. But the war goes on.”
This event is said to be one of the factors in DC’s impetus to kill Jason in the pages of regular Batman comics.
Interestingly, when Jason did die, Frank Miller was one of the more vocal creator critics of the marketing stunt/fan call-in vote to kill him, in which he said: “To me the whole killing of Robin thing was probably the ugliest thing I’ve seen in comics, and the most cynical.”
What are your thoughts on these scenes? Do you believe the killing of Jason in the pages of DKR was the main impetus towards killing him in regular Batman continuity? Submit your thoughts to us!
*As best to the mods at FYeahJToddz’s knowledge.
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