DC Comics is Finally Revealing What Would Have Happened if Jason Todd Had Not Been Killed!

Two longtime creators, J.M. DeMatteis and Rick Leonardi, are teaming up for a new story exploring on of the most iconic DC stories ever.

The death of Jason Todd at the hands of the Joker in Batman #428 was controversial at the time, with fans calling a toll number to cast their votes to decide Todd’s fate. The outcome hinged on a few dozen votes, leading to Robin’s demise. Rumors over the years suggested that a fan may have used an auto-dialer to influence the vote, but this was never confirmed. Nevertheless, in an era when comic book deaths were rare, Todd’s fate was a significant event. Jason Todd would later be resurrected in 2005’s “Under the Hood” storyline, becoming a key figure within the Batman Family.

Recently, DC published a reprint of Batman #428 with a significant twist: What if Jason Todd had lived? What if the outcome of the vote had been different? Using the original art from the legendary Jim Aparo, who had drawn both versions of the story due to time constraints, fans were able to see how events might have unfolded.

The December 2023 reprint was well-received by fans, prompting DC to explore this alternate timeline further. A four-issue mini-series from DeMatteis and Leonardi is slated to hit comic shops on July 10, 2024. DeMatteis, known for his skill in revisiting past eras of comic book universes, has demonstrated his prowess in multiple series for Marvel over the past few years, including follow-ups to “Kraven’s Last Hunt,” ” The Clone Saga,” and Magneto’s early days as headmaster for the New Mutants. When you add in the dynamic linework of Leonardy, who is as equally adept at

providing impactful images for emotional moments as he is showing all-out action, it is fair to say that fans will eagerly anticipate this revised look at Batman history.

You can find the full press release below.

From the DC Vault: Death in the Family: Robin

Lives! #1: What Happens After Jason Todd

Survives His Encounter with The Joker?

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Available for Preorder Friday, April 19

On Sale at Participating Comic Book Shops Wednesday, July 10

Following the seminal events of 1988’s original Batman #428 and 2023’s Batman #428 “fauxsimile” edition, featuring an alternate ending in which Jason Todd survives his brutal encounter with The Joker, DC is planning an all-new story that tells readers what happens to the ex-Robin during and after his recovery from nearly being killed by the Clown Prince of Crime.

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On Wednesday, July 10, writer J.M. DeMatteis and artist Rick Leonardi add an all-new chapter to this iconic story when From the DC Vault: Death in the Family: Robin Lives! #1 arrives at participating comic book shops and digital retailers.

In 1988, DC raised the revolutionary idea to let fans decide the fate of then-Robin Jason Todd by calling a 1-800 number and casting a vote. Originally, fans decided that Jason would pay the ultimate price at the hands of The Joker, but a new facsimile of the original Batman #428 was released in December of 2023, featuring an alternate ending in which Jason lives. Now, for the first time, readers will witness his plans for revenge against the Clown Prince of Crime.

“Continuing this classic, and controversial, story and following in the footsteps of Jim Starlin and Jim Aparo, two creators I greatly admire, has been both a challenge and a joy,” said DeMatteis. “This is a great opportunity to tell a story that’s big on action, but also takes a very deep dive into the heads of our main characters as we ponder what would have happened if Jason Todd had survived The Joker’s brutal attack. And having a master like Rick Leonardi bringing it to life visually? I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Leonardi added: “I’m hoping this series will give readers a look down the path not chosen; a glimpse of the alternative to the original fallout from Batman #428. After people read it, maybe this choice made back in the day will seem vindicated, or maybe we’ll see that it was a poor choice after all.”

From the DC Vault: Death in the Family: Robin Lives! #1 is available for preorder at participating comic book shops Friday, April 19, and features a main cover by Leonardi, plus an open-to-buy variant cover by Mike Mignola. Contact your local comic book shop for more details on availability and preordering.

Both the original Batman #428 and the “fauxsimile” edition, as well as the complete “Death in the Family” story, can be read through the DC UNIVERSE INFINITE digital subscription platform (DCUI). For more information and a free trial, visit the official DCUI website at www.dcuniverseinfinite.com. DCUI is not available in all countries and is not intended for children.

For the latest information on Jason Todd, The Joker, and Batman, follow @DCOfficial, @thedcnation, and @Batman on social media.

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