How DC's Other Robin Death Broke Batman Worse Than Jason's Murder

Batman has suffered some serious tragedies throughout his life, one of the biggest being his loss of his son, Damian Wayne, a loss he took even worse than the loss of the second Robin, Jason Todd. Batman was heartbroken over Jason's death, but his response to Damian's death was much darker.

There have been many setbacks in the Dark Knight's crime-fighting career, from the time his back was broken by Bane, to the time he lost his entire fortune to the Joker, or the time the second Robin, Jason Todd, was killed by the Joker. But one death drove him further over the edge than any tragedy ever has. When Damian Wayne, his only biological son, was killed by the monster called Heretic, Bruce took it extremely hard. This death pushed him to the absolute limits, and he almost destroyed every relationship he had in the name of bringing Damian back.


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In Batman & Robin #23 by Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason, readers see exactly how badly Bruce took Damian's death. Bruce has set up a virtual reality environment that replays the events of Leviathan Strikes by Grant Morrison, Cameron Stewart, and Chris Burnham, allowing him to try over and over to save Damian. But every single time Batman tries, he either ends up dead or Damian dies anyway. When Nightwing comes to see how Bruce is doing, Alfred informs him that Batman has been doing this for days and has made 447 attempts at saving Damian's life. Batman has always been obsessive, but this level of obsession has rarely, if ever, been shown before.

Damian Wayne's Death Almost Permanently Broke Batman

Batman simulation

After 447 attempts at trying to save Damian's life, Nightwing decides to join him in the virtual reality environment, and together the two manage to save Damian. But unfortunately, all this ends up proving is that Batman could have saved Damian, but he didn't. This obviously doesn't do anything to alleviate Batman's guilt, but Nightwing tries to comfort him, telling Batman to use that anger to save others, just as he did with his parents' death. Batman only responds that while he might be able to use Damian's death, he will never be able to accept it. While Batman did plan to kill Joker after Jason's death, he never obsessed over it to this point or tried so hard to prove that he could have saved Jason. The lengths Bruce went to for Damian were honestly unseen for any of his other children, while he undeniably cares for all of his kids, he almost literally moved Heaven and Earth to bring Damian back.

One of the greatest traumas Batman ever faced was the death of his parents. That loss of family drove him to become the Dark Knight that watches over Gotham City, but the death of his son Damian Wayne was almost just as bad for him. The loss of this Robin pushed Batman to new dark lengths that he had never gone to before, but thankfully in the end he was able to bring his son back.