In a recent twitter response from Scott Snyder regarding the DC team killing off a major character in the Death of the Family storyline, he said “Who said it’s just one?” Which makes us all wonder, is he bluffing? Or will he do the unthinkable and kill off not one, but more than one character before this storyline is over and done with? Recent crossovers have proven that no one is safe, whether they are a “family” member, a police officer, a former inmate at Arkham Asylum, or just a citizen of Gotham City. Who will die? Who will live? Here is a list of my predictions.
BATMAN / BRUCE WAYNE – 0% CHANCE
They’re not going to kill him. Think about it. But what if the Joker put him in a situation where he had to be Batman forever? Hear me out. What if the death of the “family” is something along the lines of literal, rather than physical? This could mean a number of things. Maybe Bruce Wayne “dies” or disappears, making Bruce Batman full-time. Imagine the ramifications of that on Gotham City, not to mention Bruce’s own sanity. Or maybe someone (or multiple someones) is killed by the Joker, making Bruce abolish the Batman family, forcing all of his sidekicks, protégés, and friends into early retirement?
NIGHTWING / DICK GRAYSON – 10% CHANCE
Rumor has it, DC had plans to kill off Dick way back in Infinite Crisis, but negative fan backlash and internet outcry prevented them from doing so. Good plan. Let’s keep it that way. Mainly because Dick is the heart and soul not only of the Bat family, but of the DC Universe. I mean, come on. He’s Robin, the boy wonder. But grown up. And let’s face it, there’s never been a more likeable or relatable character in DC’s long (or newly shortened) history. But it is the Joker we’re talking about here. After all, if Scott Snyder or any of the other creators killed him off and there was a less-than-stellar response, he could always blame the Joker. It’s not the writer’s fault he’s a psychopathic killer, right?
ROBIN / DAMIAN WAYNE – 80% CHANCE
I’m thinking it’s time for Damian’s story to end. And how fitting would it be for the Batman’s greatest enemy to kill his son? You know, the one who is destined to become Batman, sell his soul to the Devil, and destroy Gotham City? Yeah. That one. The one who’s not afraid of Joker. The one who has openly called him a has-been. The annoying (yet very amusing) and naïve protégé of the Bat who desperately needs to be put in his place. And who better to do that than the man who reportedly loves killing off Robins?
RED ROBIN / TIM DRAKE – 50% CHANCE
The one Bat family member who had his origin altered (some argue slightly, some argue drastically) by the reboot could be up on the chopping block. But there hasn’t exactly been a clear tie to family other than a few cameos here and there and a strong desire from fans for him to be a traditional Robin. But he’s not. Or maybe he is. We’re not sure. Hell, the DC editorial staff might not be sure entirely. And that’s reason enough to kill him off, isn’t it? Or maybe they’ll go the opposite route, even though it’s more difficult. Maybe they’ll actually develop him more as a character and make him into the Robin we all know he was and can be again. But what better way to make a character more interesting than to add tragedy to his life? Maybe the Joker will kill off a few of his teammates. Those pesky Teen Titans don’t really seem to be much more than one-dimensional versions of their former (pre-reboot) selves at this point, so who would honestly miss Wonder Girl, Superboy, or Kid Flash? Or how about any of the new teammates like Bunker or Skitter or any of those Ravagers? Or maybe I’m completely off and Joker is just going to kill Tim Drake’s mother and father who are currently in witness protection due to their son’s meddling in the Penguin’s affairs years ago.
RED HOOD / JASON TODD – 30% CHANCE
But the Joker already killed Jason! That wouldn’t even be creative! Which is exactly what would make this a good shock. Jason’s teammates might also be in danger. The Outlaws, more specifically Starfire and Arsenal, have pretty much been turned from tragic to pathetic (and often times just plain stupid) after their reboot in favor of making the Red Hood look more like a badass. I’d be okay with them dying, especially if the Joker makes the Robin he killed take the blame for his crimes, either legally or emotionally.
BATGIRL / BARBARA GORDON – 10% CHANCE
He’s not going to kill her. Let’s be honest, that would just piss everyone off even more than they already were after they magically made Babs walk again (without explanation, I might add). But what if he put her back into that wheelchair? That would be so cruel, but Barbara Gordon’s life is nothing without the constant fear of the Joker and to be quite honest, the most interesting thing about her for the better part of the last three decades has been her triumph over her handicap. Now she’s just kind of, well… Boring. But maybe he’ll go after her father, mother, brother, or teammates. The Birds of Prey don’t have a crossover event with the Joker, but they’re still most likely in his sights. They wouldn’t kill of Katana before giving her own title. And Black Canary’s got so many ties to other books that it would be too ridiculous to kill her off. Right?
CATWOMAN / SELINA KYLE – 0% CHANCE
She had her part already. Spoiler alert: She lived. And didn’t really learn anything other than what we already knew. She’s in love with Batman and that is making him weak. And Joker is in love with Batman and Selina is making him jealous. Maybe she’ll show up again in the storyline, but I highly doubt it will hold any significance beyond maybe a kiss or snarky comment at an inappropriate time.
ALFRED PENNYWORTH – 90% CHANCE
The faithful butler has seen better days. Scott Snyder just must not like him. He didn’t do to well in the Court of Owls crossover and he’s been kidnapped, tortured, and possibly even blinded by the Joker already. And we still have months left in the story. As much as I love good old Alfred, it makes perfect sense. What better way to shatter Bruce Wayne’s humanity and disassemble the Batman family than to kill their father figure? If they don’t kill Alfred, I will honestly be shocked. Pleased, but still very shocked.
HARLEY QUINN / DR. HARLEEN QUINZEL – 50% CHANCE
The Joker has revealed his love for the Batman. He’s off the deep end. Even Harley’s afraid of him… So unless they redeem her and make her a hero (or, more realistically, an anti-hero), she serves no more purpose. It would be sad and a lot of fans would be upset, but it would be a true sign that Mr. J is back and worse than ever if he killed his on-again off-again lover.
COMMISSIONER JIM GORDON – 40% CHANCE
The Joker’s been sleeping under his bed at night. He’s already put him in the hospital. He’s killed his wife. He’s threatening to kill his ex. He’s put his daughter in a wheelchair. And he’s basically just been an all-around stinker to Gotham’s top cop over the years. How fitting would it be for him to finally just end the Commissioner’s suffering? I certainly would hope that this wouldn’t happen, but with this creative team, we would all eventually get over the death of James Gordon. Reason number one: His death would have meaning. It would impact the entire city. Reason number two: His death would have a significant impact on the vigilantes of the city, especially Batman. He’s almost as much of a father figure to Bruce as Alfred. He is one of the family, so to speak. And reason number three: His death would be epic. He wouldn’t go out without a fight. He’d go out a hero. And he’d go out doing the right thing.
PENGUIN / OSWALD COBBLEPOT – 50% CHANCE
The rogue’s gallery isn’t safe this time. And I personally think it’s time for the biggest joke of the Batman villains roster to go. This is part wishful thinking and part foreshadowing, but Oswald Cobblepot’s dirty dealings have to catch up with him sooner or later. And how great would it be if he died while someone called him fat and ugly? We all know Joker has poor timing for most of his jokes, and it certainly would be great to see the Penguin go out on a sad and pathetic note.
OTHER CHARACTERS – 100% CHANCE
There are some that haven’t shown up yet or have just had minor roles thus far in the storyline, but that doesn’t keep them off the list. In fact, I’d argue that at least one of these is certainly going down before the Joker’s done. So who will it be? How about Amanda Waller, or even possibly her entire Suicide Squad? Or that little sicko who’s been sending his sister on missions to face the Joker, James Gordon Jr.? Or those classic fan favorite villains, like the Riddler, Clayface, or Poison Ivy? We haven’t seen them yet, but there’s always a chance that Scarecrow, Bane, Two-Face, Lady Shiva, Talia, or even Ra’s al Ghul himself could show up just in time to get offed by the Joker. Not to mention all of the supporting cast members of the Batman family books, like the newly introduced and equally mysterious Harper Row, Sergeant Harvey Bullock and anyone else on the GCPD, Lucius Fox or anyone on the Wayne Enterprises team, or maybe even a past or current love interest or two from Dick’s or Bruce’s revolving door that is their respective love lives.
I wish all of these characters well, and will be back to eulogize them when the Joker sends them to the afterlife. But more importantly, what do you think? I want to know what some of your theories could be. Please feel free to sound off, rant, and argue below…