Per Popverse, DC announced what it’s calling a “faux-simile” edition of Batman #428 at New York Comic Con 2023. Set to hit comic shops in December, this alternate cut of the notorious issue sees Batman successfully rescue his young ward following a fateful encounter with the Joker. Over the years, DC has offered glimpses at the unreleased version of Batman #428 where Jason lives. However, this marks the first time the scrapped comic has been released in its entirety.
Robin’s death in Batman #428 was controversial
Jason Todd became Robin in 1983, succeeding Dick Grayson as Batman’s sidekick. Within a few years, however, the new Boy Wonder had become increasingly unpopular with readers due to his rebellious and impulsive nature. Unsure what to do with the character, DC decided to put it to a vote. Readers were able to call one of two 900 numbers depending on whether they wanted Jason to live or die.
In total, 10,614 votes were cast. Ultimately, those in favor of killing Jason outnumbered those if favor of keeping him alive by a slim margin of 72 votes. Notably, DC editor Dennis O’Neil suspected that many of the votes in favor of Jason’s death actually came from one person. However, he was unable to prove this.
Jason met his demise at the hands of the Clown Prince of Crime in Batman #428 — which released in October 1988 as the penultimate entry in the “A Death in the Family” story arc. Due to the nature of the poll, however, two versions of the book were produced. As previously mentioned, the version where Jason lives has long gone unreleased — until now, that is.
At any rate, the death of Jason Todd proved to be highly controversial. Despite how unpopular Jason was, DC received widespread backlash for killing such an iconic character like Robin. Nevertheless, Jason’s death set the stage for his eventual resurrection as the vigilante known as Red Hood.
The alternate version of Batman #428 goes on sale Tuesday, December 12 from DC.