In 1988, comic readers hated Robin. But no one hated the Boy Wonder more than Jim Starlin, the writer of the Batman comic!
Jason Todd was introduced as the new Robin in 1983, but his abrasive personality alienated the fanbase as well as Starlin. Unlike his famous creation, Thanos, Starlin couldn’t simply snap his fingers and erase Jason Todd from existence. Fortunately for Starlin, DC Comics was all too willing to kill off Jason in the famous Batman: A Death in the Family story; which was illustrated by the incomparable Jim Aparo.
While that story depicted Jason’s brutal demise at the hands of the Joker, Starlin told us that the second Robin almost met a different end.
“At one point, DC had this idea of giving one of their characters AIDS so they could do an AIDS booklet,” explained Starlin. “Strangely enough, they decided to put up a ballot box and let the people who worked in the company decide who was gonna get AIDS in the DC Universe. I tried to stuff the box with Robin’s name, and at the end it was Jimmy Olsen who was elected to get AIDS. The entire project was eventually abandoned.”
Starlin’s editor, Denny O’Neil, was his co-conspirator when it came to getting rid of Robin. DC came up with the idea of starting a 900-number that would determine Jason’s death or survival. According to Starlin, he was surprised the vote was so close. He also explained the Joker’s murder weapon choice and how it all worked out for him in the end. But you’ll have to watch the video for the whole story!
Video of Batman At 80: Did You Know Robin Almost Died Of AIDS? | SYFY WIRE