"A Death in the Family - Chapters III & IV": On the trail of Shiva Woosan, Bruce and Jason learn the mercenary was kidnapped moments before their arrival. Soon afterward, Batman and Robin shake down a number of

Quote1.png You've been a bad boy. You must be punished! Prepare yourself for a severe spanking, young man. But let me tell you right from the start... this is going to hurt you a lot more than it does me. Quote2.png

Batman #427 is an issue of the series Batman (Volume 1) with a cover date of December, 1988.

Synopsis for "A Death in the Family - Chapters III & IV"

On the trail of Shiva Woosan, Bruce and Jason learn the mercenary was kidnapped moments before their arrival. Soon afterward, Batman and Robin shake down a number of Lebanese criminals and learn that Woosan was taken to the Pashar Pass in the Bekaa Valley.

In a famine relief camp just outside of Magdala, Ethiopia, the Joker blackmails Dr. Sheila Haywood for shipments of medical supplies. Meanwhile, Batman and Robin infiltrate a terrorist camp only to learn Shiva Woosan is none other than Lady Shiva. Lady Shiva battles Batman to a standstill and she is only defeated thanks to Robin's assistance. As Robin cuffs the renegade martial artist, Batman sabotages the terrorists' explosive cache. After trekking through the desert for a while, Batman interrogates Lady Shiva and learns she never had any children. The dynamic duo depart for Ethiopia.

Bruce and Jason arrive at the camp outside of Magdala and meet Dr. Sheila Haywood, where mother and son are reunited. Soon, the Joker arrives and he takes Haywood to the central warehouse to steal the medical supplies. Jason follows on a stolen motorcycle. As supplies are unloaded, the Joker has boxes of his lethal laughing gas loaded in their place. Jason returns to the camp to enlist Bruce's aid and soon the Dark Knight chases the trucks carrying the gas in a mini-copter.

Joker beats Jason

Meanwhile, Jason returns to the warehouse and reveals his identity as Robin to his mother. Entering the warehouse, Haywood turns Robin over to the Joker, who had never left. Robin is outnumbered by Joker and his thugs and his most desperate efforts to fight them are futile. After landing a punch to the Joker, the madman picks up a crowbar and proceeds to beat Robin, brutally smashing the crowbar against the boy. Shelia can barely witness the scene and Joker finds delight in doing something he had wanted for many years.

After his mini-copter is shot down by soldiers, Batman is recognized by the truck drivers. He warns them of the deadly cargo they are carrying, telling them to unload the boxes and leave them to be dealt with by the army, and is allowed use of a truck to get back to the warehouse. Meanwhile, the Joker betrays Haywood and has her bound in the warehouse next to her injured son where he's placed a bomb. Unable to deactivate the bomb, Jason instead unties his mother. Attempting to escape, Haywood discovers that the door is locked. The bomb then detonates and a helpless Batman witness the explosion from outside the warehouse.

Appearing in "A Death in the Family - Chapters III & IV"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:



  • Drug-tipped darts




  • At the time of publication, this issue was considered the canonical "death" of Jason Todd. Jason re-emerged years later in Batman Annual #25 as the Red Hood. Via retcon, Jason's first canonical "post-death" appearance actually takes place during the twelve-part Hush running through issues of Batman in 2003.[1] Originally, the Jason Todd character from "Hush" was actually Johnny Williams, the new Clayface, but this was altered later.[2]
  • Inspired by references to a dead Jason in Frank Miller's futuristic Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, DC Comics set up a 1-900 number one-dollar hotline giving callers the ability to vote for or against Jason's death from September 15–16, 1988 (1-900-720-2660 for Robin to live and 1-900-720-2666 for Robin to die). Over 10,000 votes were cast, and a slim majority voted to kill Jason (5,343 to 5,271, with seventy-two votes' difference), and DC published "A Death in the Family" to massive media attention.[3][4]

See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

A Death in the Family
Book One: Batman #426 Book Two: Batman #427 Book Three: Batman #428 Book Four: Batman #429
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