Jason Todd has had a huge run as Robin but many may have forgotten that in 1988, fans voted to have him killed. And he was. And he might be about to get killed again. In the same manner.
Dick Grayson aged out of Batman comics in the early 1980’s and went his own way as Nightwing. Writers then introduced Jason Todd in 1983 to fill the void. At first he was a circus kid but after Crisis on Infinite Earths, he was re-introduced as a rebellious kid who Bruce mentors into Robin. A few years later, DC placed Robin’s fate in the hands of loyal readers who were allowed to vote to determine whether Todd was fit for Robin’s shoes.
In DC’s 1988 arc, A Death in the Family (Batman #426 thru #429), DC wrote two endings to the storyline. In one ending, the controversial Jason Todd’s version of the Robin character lived, but in the other, alternate ending, he died at the hands of Joker. DC used a new innovative phone system and fans were given two phone numbers to call. Readers could dial (900) 720-2660 to set the finale to “The Joker fails and Robin lives” or (900) 720-2666 for “The Joker succeeds and Robin will not survive”. 10,614 readers paid 50 cents each to vote (legend says one geek programmed his computer to call the “die” number every 90 seconds for 8 hours). By a meager margin of 72 votes, readers said Robin should die. And thus Jason Todd ceased to exist.
Robin’s story, of course, did not end there. Todd was replaced six months later by Tim Drake as Robin. Drake wore the cape for 20 years until Bruce Wayne’s son, Damian, took the helm.
Fast forward to today – DC Universe Animated Originals is releasing Batman: Death in the Family, based on the original storyline. As with the 1988 version, fans will get to choose whether Robin lives or dies. This time however, interactive elements and a branching storyline will allow readers to control the fate of Jason Todd in realtime like we saw with Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.
The interactive storyline will also be a prequel to Batman: Under the Red Hood, one of the most successful comic adaptations in the DC Animated line.
Batman: Death in the Family will arrive on Blue-ray and Digital HD in Fall 2020.
What is Danny the Street? Danny the Street is one of the most innovative characters to come out of DC Comics. Oh, let’s just say it. Danny the Street is the most imaginative comic book character, ever. Created by legendary Grant Morrison of course, Danny the Street is a sentient piece of land, with feelings, thoughts, and emotions. To add to the mystique, Danny can transport himself anywhere he wants, slotting the “street” into a piece of existing property without disturbing a single thing. Oh, and Danny can time-travel too.
But that’s not all. Danny the Street character sheet gets much weirder. Danny communicates with others in a variety of forms – words formed with vapor rising from a manhole, morphing signs in a store window, through rearranged pieces of broken glass, via text messages on a teletype machine, or any other facility within the city that is Danny. And Danny is – hold on to your hats for this one – a cross-dressing gender non-conforming transvestite genderqueer gay man that expresses his flamboyancy through gun shops decorated with neon pink hearts or sporting goods stores decorated with frilly laced doors. Yes, Danny is hard to characterize.
Danny hopes around the world (and beyond), shirking enemies who seek his destruction while offering a safe place for all outsiders seeking shelter, safety, and community to live free from judgement or persecution. You may see Danny in the middle of a desert or at the end of a street you thought you knew well. Step into Danny’s travelling city and you’ll be greeted with “Bona to vada” (Polari slang) in the form of smoke signal or animated banner flinging open above a storefront. You see, Danny is light-hearted, kind, and humorous – but don’t make him mad. Danny can turn villainous and change the surroundings to place anyone within his borders in a nightmarish, bewildering maze if they cross him.
Where did Danny the Street come from?
Perhaps the easiest way to define Danny the Street is by examining his past. Danny the Street first appeared in Doom Patrol #35 (Down Paradise Way, 1990). He later led major story arcs in Teen Titans: It’s Our Right To Fight and Teen Titans #10. Flex Mentallo lived there for a while as did Crazy Jane. Crazy Jane was living in Danny the Street when, in Doom Patrol Vol 5 #7, Mister Somebody Enterprises practically destroyed Danny. Had it not been for Crazy Jane, Danny would have likely perished. Jane escaped the destruction carrying Danny the Street’s sentience in a single brick from one of his buildings. In a most bizarre twist (even in Danny the Street terms), Danny the Street became Danny the Brick (humorously inscribed with the words, “Danny Brick Co.”.
In the New 52 reboot of DC’s continuity, Danny appears in Teen Titans #3 and becomes a member of the team. During “The Culling”, Danny is killed. Or was he? It is hinted that Danny the Street survived as “Danny the Alley”.
In DC Rebirth, Danny the Brick is carried and protected throughout the universe by Crazy Jane. After being used to kill a God, Danny becomes an amusement park called “Dannyland” and ultimately “Danny the World” where he becomes so powerful, he can create his own inhabitants. It is there that he creates a comic book character named Casey “Space Case” Brink, then accidentally brings Casey Brink to life. Casey never knows she is the creation of Danny the Street until she is returned to him.
So, who is Danny the Street? He is (or has been) Danny The World, Danny the Brick, Danny the Bungalow, Danny the Island, Danny the Alley, Danny Comics, Dannyman, Dannyland, Danny the Meat, Tales from the Danny, Uncanny Danny, Incredible Danny, and Spider-Dan. The last we saw of Danny, he was incarnated as “Danny the Ambulance” but by the time you read this, there is no telling who, where, or what Danny the Street will be. He is everything all rolled into one.
Danny the Street filming location in TV’s Doom Patrol
In Season One of DC Universe’s Doom Patrol series, Danny the Street was a prominent character. We dug around and found that Doom Patrol used a quaint southern town near Stone Mountain for the backdrop. It was filmed on Main Street in Lithonia, Georgia. Below is the opening shot of Danny the Street and a Google Maps picture of the actual location.
Check out the gallery below. Arrows point to the location where the shots were taken.
Here’s a clip that shows how Danny the Street was introduced on Doom Patrol.
It’s finally happening! DC announced today that they will work with Spotify and Warner Bros in a multi-year deal to produce and distribute an original slate of narrative scripted DC podcasts.
Spotify, the world’s leading audio streaming subscription service, is committed to an annual slate of new dramatic and comedic podcasts that Warner Bros. will develop and produce. Under terms of the deal, Spotify will have a first look at original scripted narrative DC podcasts, including new shows based on the vast universe of premier, iconic DC characters.
The initial slate of projects under the partnership will also tap into Warner Bros.’ broader collection of timeless titles for additional series. In addition to producing narratives based on existing characters and established franchises from across Warner Bros. and DC, the companies will also collaborate to create new programming from original intellectual property.
“Warner Bros. has been synonymous with compelling and unforgettable storytelling for nearly a century, and we’re continuing to expand that legacy across all types of media platforms for our fans. Spotify’s deep engagement with its consumers and commitment to prioritizing their podcast vertical makes them an ideal partner in this endeavor. We’re excited to bring beloved characters and franchises from DC and Warner Bros. into this new world and to use our storytelling prowess to redefine what’s possible in the scripted audio space.”
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