Did Death within the Family Nearly Have Joker Reveal He Knew Batman’s Identity?


In the newest Comic Book Legends Revealed, be taught whether or not Death within the Family almost had Joker reveal he knew Batman was Bruce Wayne!

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the eight hundred and sixty-fifth installment the place we study three comic book legends and decide whether or not they’re true or false. As traditional, there shall be three posts, one for every of the three legends.

NOTE: If my Twitter page hits 5,000 followers, I’ll do a bonus version of Comic Book Legends Revealed that week. Great deal, proper? So go comply with my Twitter page, Brian_Cronin!


Death within the Family was initially going to have the Joker reveal that he knew that Batman was Bruce Wayne


I’m Going With False

DC Comics made historical past with 1988’s Batman #427 (by Jim Starlin, Jim Aparo and Mike DeCarlo). In the difficulty, Jason Todd is betrayed by his personal mom to the Joker, who savagely beats the younger hero with a crowbar…

The villain then locks Jason and his mom up in a warehouse with a bomb…

and sadly, the bomb goes up earlier than Batman can arrive to avoid wasting them…

At the tip of the difficulty, issues look horrible, however Batman would not know whether or not Jason and Jason’s mom died or not…

At the tip of the difficulty, there was an advert for a pair of 1-900 numbers the place individuals may vote as as to if Jason survived the explosion or not…

Amusingly sufficient, they weren’t allowed to particularly use the phrase “call this number for his death,” discover how they used a roundabout technique to say loss of life.

The subsequent concern, sadly, Jason was proven to have died (the vote was very slender, lower than 100 votes separated him from life and loss of life)…

Had the vote gone Jason’s approach, the one distinction in Batman #428 would have been a single web page (the timing of the discharge of the difficulty didn’t give them a complete lot of time to make modifications), and the unique Aparo/DeCarlo web page went unused for years till Batman Annual #25 (the place Superboy Prime punched actuality to carry Jason again to life), which was revealed (in a barely altered state) a yr AFTER Aparo died…

While that was the one change in Batman #428, what in regards to the different points within the storyline? Would issues have gone approach totally different had the Joker NOT killed Robin?

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An nameless former DC staffer wrote to my buddy Daniel Best and revealed a secret about this web page in Batman #429, after the Joker has develop into an envoy for Iran and thus gained diplomatic immunity…

The staffer wrote, “was working at DC Comics in the course of the Death Of Robin collection and I used to be the one entrusted to do the manufacturing work on the ebook, as everybody within the firm knew I may maintain a secret. Denny O’Neil even managed to get me a personal workplace to do the correction work on the precise loss of life concern. I couldn’t do a rattling factor till the votes got here in and after they did it was no shock and as soon as I completed the ebook it was taken from me and sealed in an envelope and despatched to print.

That isn’t the fascinating a part of the story.

The subsequent ebook got here into manufacturing and on this story Jim Starlin had a one-page sequence the place Batman confronts the Joker solely to seek out out that the Joker now is aware of he’s Bruce Wayne. This shocked me because it was brilliantly written by Starlin and drawn by Jim Aparo. Then I noticed all of the notes connected. I used to be to re-letter the sequence and take out this daring revelation that may have created a substantial amount of battle in Batman’s life. If you have a look at the web page you may clearly see it was re-lettered by me and that the character’s expressions simply don’t work proper with the dialogue. Panel two was the large ‘I do know you are Bruce

Wayne!’ revelation.”

As Best notes, it DOES appear evident that the lettering was altered within the above pages. It would not match in just a few totally different panels.

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Best turned to Jim Starlin, the author of the difficulty, for solutions. Starlin responded, “You’ve been misinformed. Never wrote anything like that. My alternative ending only had Robin living. Nothing more on the Joker than had already appeared.”

When Best requested in regards to the altered lettering, Starlin defined, “That I can help you with. Denny O’Neil was into secrecy on this story and budget conscious. The last page wasn’t lettered until the vote on Robin was in. The alternate pages were never lettered. Not sure about the inking. My guess is John [Costanza] probably just wasn’t available when the last page had to be lettered.”

The nameless staffer concedes that perhaps the stuff he put in there wasn’t meant to ever truly see print, and maybe it was simply placeholder stuff to idiot individuals in some way, however he nonetheless (accurately, I feel) notes it was a bizarre state of affairs. Starlin, although, is pretty unequivocal about not having written the Joker as having found Batman’s secret identification, so it could appear to be extremely unlikely that Denny O’Neil would have simply ever even thought-about altering Starlin’s script to make such a significant revelation (if it had been to occur, it could have been O’Neil telling Starlin to jot down it, not O’Neil altering dialogue to make a significant revelation like that).


Check out some leisure legends from Legends Revealed:

1. Did Harrison Ford Improvise His Famous “I Know” Line From Empire Strikes Back?

2. Did Star Trek Never Show Scotty’s Full Right Hand on the Show?

3. Was Bruce Dickinson Really the Producer Who Wanted “More Cowbell” on “Don’t Fear the Reaper”?

4. Did Albert Finney Have A Hilarious Cameo as a Woman in Miller’s Crossing?


Check again quickly for half 2 of this installment’s legends!

Feel free to ship recommendations for future comedian legends to me at both cronb01@aol.com or brianc@cbr.com

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