December 2018 marked the 30th anniversary of the legendary Batman story arc A Death in the Family. The storyline featured one of the most innovative comic book marketing decisions of all-time. In a move that predated American Idol's phone voting and present day's social media voting contests, DC Comics decided to leave the fate of Batman's second Robin, Jason Todd, in the hands of their readers.
At the end of Batman #427, DC placed a massive ad that proclaimed the following in all-caps: "Robin will die because the Joker wants revenge, but you can prevent it with a telephone call.” The ad featured an illustration of Batman holding a badly injured Todd along with two phone numbers — one printed on each side of Batman's head.
The phone number on the left said: "The Joker fails and Robin lives." The phone number on the right said: "The Joker succeeds and Robin will not survive."
The 30th Anniversary of Batman: A Death in the Family takes a look at this controversial story arc, that started with Batman #426 and ended in Batman #429. Learn, from Glen Weldon's interview with Denny O'Neil, the editor of Batman in 1988, the details of how the "Death in the Family" storyline was conceived and how one decision can change the course of comic book history and impact the real lives of human beings in the process.