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Robin Lives in a new DC comic series that revisits an alternate part of real comic history

The all-new four-part series will follow up on last year's 'faux-simile' printing of 1988's Batman #428

From the DC Vault: Death in the Family: Robin Lives #1
Image credit: Rick Leonardi/DC

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The concept of superhero multiverses got its start at DC, with 1961’s ‘The Flash of Two Worlds’ — a story that established that comic books were an integral way of communicating between parallel Earths. This July, DC takes that idea one step further, with the release of a comic book seemingly from an alternate version of its own comic book history — an issue of Batman from a reality where Jason Todd was never killed.

That’s perhaps overstating it, but the upcoming From the DC Vault: Death in the Family: Robin Lives! is a four-issue miniseries following up on last year’s ”faux-simile” edition of 1988’s Batman #428, which published (for the first time in our reality, at least) the alternate version of the issue in which Jason Todd wasn’t murdered by the Joker, as seen in the originally published edition.

Even better, the creators for the new release are period appropriate, as both J.M. DeMatteis and Rick Leonardi were working in comics in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which is the era in which the “real” issues would have been published.

Related: Jason Todd lives on in an alternate version of Batman history coming soon from DC

“Continuing this classic, and controversial, story and following in the footsteps of [Batman #428 creators] Jim Starlin and Jim Aparo, two creators I greatly admire, has been both a challenge and a joy,” DeMatteis said in a statement from the publisher. “This is a great opportunity to tell a story that’s big on action, but also takes a very deep dive into the heads of our main characters as we ponder what would have happened if Jason Todd had survived The Joker’s brutal attack. And having a master like Rick Leonardi bringing it to life visually? I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Leonardi, no stranger to DC’s Batman line with work on both Birds of Prey and Nightwing in his back catalog, added, “I’m hoping this series will give readers a look down the path not chosen; a glimpse of the alternative to the original fallout from Batman #428. After people read it, maybe this choice made back in the day will seem vindicated, or maybe we’ll see that it was a poor choice after all.”

As well as interiors, Leonardi is also drawing the main cover for the issue, with a variant from an unexpected artist: Mike Mignola. The series will launch July 10, and be available to pre-order from comic stores April 19. For now, enjoy the gallery of interior pencils and covers below.

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Graeme McMillan

Staff Writer

Popverse staff writer Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.