My apologies for the lack of a spoiler warning, but DC has gone out of its way to let comics fans know that, if they pick up Grant Morrison's Batman, Inc. #8 this Wednesday, they will read about the death of Damian Wayne, Bruce Wayne's assassin-trained son and the current Robin. The news was announced earlier today in the N.Y. Post, under a headline that read: "DC killing off Batman's 'Boy Wonder' Damian Wayne in new comic book".
If you'd like to know exactly how he dies — which the Post also helpfully details in full — read on. Everyone else, consider this a spoiler alert:
"He saves the world. He does his job as Robin," writer Grant Morrison said. "He dies an absolute hero."
Robin - a k a Damian Wayne, the 10-year-old son of Bruce Wayne - is slain fighting a hulking assassin who happens to be, in true comic-book form, a "brother" cloned from his genetic material.
And - SPOILER ALERT ! - unlike all the times he has swooped in at the last minute, Batman arrives too late to save his protégé.
Personally, I'm kind of bummed — not because Robin dies, since you know his mother Talia al'Ghul is immediately going to stuff the kid in a resurrection-enabling Lazarus Pit for whenever another Bat-writer needs a shocker — but because under Grant Morrison, Damian Wayne was awesome. Giving Batman a son seems like such a bad idea on paper, but Morrison made it work, mostly because the Batman/Robin relationship has been so fraught with paternal subtext anyways, and partially because Damian was even more dour than Bruce, which forced Batman into new territory.
And that's not to mention Morrison's Batman and Robin run, where the first Robin Dick Grayson took the cowl while Batman was "dead" (comics, everybody!) and Damian first became Robin. Pairing a more light-hearted Batman with a cold, merciless Robin was a wonderful twist on the classic partnership, and was massively entertaining.
The Post — assuming you're not too upset at this whole thing being spoiled for you — has a 4-page preview of the issue here.