By Darren Franich
Updated February 26, 2013 at 05:42 PM EST
DC Comics

The death of a major comic book character is one of those pop culture events that gives you a moment to sit back and really consider the big questions. Questions like: “So, is this a shameless marketing ploy, or is it an actual good story that will nevertheless be pitched as a shameless marketing ploy?” And: “How long until they bring him/her/it back to life?” Well, even cynical grouches — who remember the good old days when it seemed like Barry Allen might actually stay dead — might be a bit surprised by the news that DC is preparing to off one of their main characters. Which character you ask? Take a look — SPOILERS FROM HERE:

DC Comics

As reported by the New York Post, the current Robin will bite the dust in the upcoming Batman Incorporated #8. The current Robin is Damian Wayne, the 10-year-old son of Bruce Wayne and femme fatale Talia Al-Ghul. Damian was brought back into the continuity by Grant Morrison, who has been shepherding the Bat-titles for the last several years. Morrison’s run is coming to an end this summer, with Batman Incorporated #12, and with Damien’s death, it’s clear that he’s pulling out all the stops for the endgame. He tells the Post, “He saves the world. He does his job as Robin. He dies an absolute hero.”

Students of Bat-history will know that this is actually the second time a Robin has died in the line of duty. The second Robin, Jason Todd, bit the dust in the iconic “Death in the Family” storyline in the last ’80s. (Fans were actually allowed to vote on whether he would live or die.) Todd was replaced by Tim Drake, who notably did not die before being replaced by Damian. So, lesson learned: Even-numbered Robins probably aren’t long for this world.

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