Jim Starlin explained why he wrote the death of Robin Jason Todd for Batman, which saw fans phone in their votes, stating it all started as a result of DC asking writers which character should die from AIDS.
“I got that because I thought that going out and fighting crime in a grey and black outfit while you send out a kid in primary colors was kind of like child abuse,” Starlin said to the laughter of the crowd. “So when I started working on Batman, I was always leaving Robin out of the stories, and Denny O’Neil who is the editor finally said, ‘You gotta put [Robin] in.'”
CM Punk then chimed in, “You were like, ‘I’m going to kill him!” — referencing how Starlin likes to write about death in his comics.
“It’s even weirder than that,” Starlin replied. “It was at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. DC had this great idea, and they put in a suggestion box, and said, ‘Which character should we give AIDS to, and we’ll do a special story?’ I stuffed it with Robins. Every day I was sticking Robins in there. But they recognized my handwriting, and they threw all the Robins out. And Jimmy Olsen won. And then they found out the actor who plays Jimmy Olsen in the Superman movies was gay, and they abandoned the whole project. That’s the origin of that particular tale.”
Starlin’s Jason Todd Robin story, Batman: A Death In The Family, can be picked up on Amazon.