DC Universe has launched a poll recreating the 1988 phone-in campaign that allowed readers to vote on the fate of Jason Todd’s Robin, which ultimately narrowly determined the sidekick superhero would be killed off in Batman: A Death in the Family.
As inspired by the rear cover of Batman #427, voters can select one of two options: the “1-(900)720-2660” number, a green button, casts a vote in Todd’s favor: the Joker fails and Robin lives. The opposing “1-(900)720-2666” number, a red button, dooms the troubled teen to a bloody end at the Joker’s hands.
Voters can make their selection once per day.
Of the more than 17,000 votes cast since its Nov. 16 launch, 71% (12,091 votes) of users polled opted for Todd’s survival. 29% (5,025) have voted in favor of not changing history, resulting in Todd’s brutal beating from a crowbar-wielding Joker before his ensuing death in a warehouse rigged with explosives.
The original poll’s phone-in campaign lasted for just 36 hours at 50 cents per call. More than 10,000 votes were cast to determine the fate of the second Robin, who was less well-received than predecessor Dick Grayson.
An alternate ending, pencilled by artist Jim Aparo, later surfaced in the hardcover DC Comics Classics Library Batman: A Death in the Family collection. The unused ending page shows Batman removing a bloodied-but-breathing Jason Todd from the wreckage and proclaiming his excitement at finding his young ward alive.
A Death in the Family has since proved a seminal story in Batman’s history, and would later act as a launching pad for a resurrected Jason Todd’s resurgence in the modern age: it would be revealed a reality-altering punch from Superboy-Prime caused Todd’s rebirth, which he then used to become the Red Hood, a highly-trained and even more dangerous costumed killer.
The story has inspired 2010’s DC Universe Animated Original Movie Batman: Under the Red Hood and video game Batman: Arkham Knight.11comments
Todd (Curran Walters) now appears as the second Robin in DC Universe’s premiere original series Titans, where he serves as Batman’s newest protégé and Dick Grayson’s (Brenton Thwaites) replacement. Grayson has since clashed with the self-described “Robin 2.0,” a brash and “bro”-dropping crime-fighter who may not be long for the world of superheroics.
Titans premieres new episodes Fridays exclusively on the DC Universe streaming service.