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With The Joker’s plan laid bare in Batman #16 and only one issue left in the Death Of The Family arc, speculation on how the story will end is at fever pitch. Spoilers ahead.

Mr J. has the Dark Knight exactly where he wants him at Arkham Asylum and has the rest of the Bat-family captive, leaving Bruce no option but to play his role in the ‘royal dance macabre’ set up by the Clown Prince of Crime and his attending Rogues Gallery.

But with one issue left in the DOTF arc, what does it mean for Batman to take his throne in Joker’s Castle of Cards? What fate will befall Jason, Damian, Tim, Dick and Barbara? And, most importantly, WHAT’S ON JOKER’S PLATE?!!

Let the speculation begin. Here’s five ways Death Of The Family could end.

5. A Robin Will Die

robin kill

Fans have been speculating that one of the Robins, or even Nightwing or Batgirl, could be killed off since the very start of the arc. While I don’t particularly see it happening, Joker does have a penchant for offing Robins since he beat Jason Todd to death.

We saw in Batman #16 that Joker has each of the Bat-family members in a precarious situation. Can Bruce really manage to save them all? The entire arc has been Bruce’s fear of losing one of the them because of what he’s exposed them to, so it would be logical for one of them to die.

On the other hand, if they were to each get themselves out of their individual predicaments, Bruce could learn a valuable lesson to trust that Dick, Damian, Tim, Jason and Barbara are capable enough to look after themselves.

The death of a Robin would have (and has had) a devastating effect on Bruce. Given the synopsis of Batman #18, set directly after the end of DOTF, things certainly sound ominous: “In the wake of unspeakable tragedy, Batman is in danger of losing his humanity!”

Unspeakable tragedy? Losing his humanity? Sounds like a death in the family to me – but it doesn’t necessarily need to be a costumed sidekick….

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This article was first posted on January 18, 2013