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‘A Death in the Family’ Gets the ‘Batman: The Brave and the Bold’ Treatment

While ostensibly aimed at the younger set, Batman: The Brave and the Bold is using its second season to explore the darker chapters of the Batman mythos. First up was Chill of the Night, an episode which delved into Batman’s violent origin and (adorably) featured Adam West and Julie Newmar as Thomas and Martha Wayne.

Now you can add Batman cradling a dead Robin just like he did in the ultra-grim Death in the Family storyline to the list of Brave and the Bold moments that likely inspired some awkward post-show conversations between parents and kids.
The homage to the classic Batman story by Jim Starlin and Jim Aparo — where readers ultimately voted by phone to have the current Robin, Jason Todd, beaten to death with a crowbar by Joker — came during last week’s episode, “Emperor Joker.” It takes place during a sequence in which the fourth-wall breaking Bat-Mite rattles off some classic Batman/Joker moments.

While Bat-Mite makes reference to fans deciding the fate of Jason Todd, he thankfully stops short of explaining the whole 900-number voting system. And it’s not even the craziest moment in an episode that features an extended Joker musical number, Rainbow Batman taking down Firefly, and an appearance from obscure Rogues Gallery member Ten-Eyed Man.

While Bat-Mite (or possibly Cartoon Network) has made embedding the video impossible, you can check out Brave and the Bold”s homage to Jim Starlin and Jim Aparo’s classic story here. (Skip to the 5:40 mark for Bat-Mite implying that he voted “die” way back in 1988.) Also look for nods to Joker’s utility belt and the “Laughing Fish” story, just a few of the many references in an episode rife with Bat-minutiae.

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