Gotham City is a busy place, with a lot going down each and every week. In this monthly column, Joshua Lapin-Bertone helps you stay on top of it all by letting you know what you should be paying attention to within the Bat-Family…and why.

Batman #149 is a big turning point for the Dark Knight. The epilogue to Chip Zdarsky’s “Dark Prisons” storyline contains some major plot developments, setting up an interesting future for Gotham. For starters, Bruce Wayne is rich again. It turns out that Batman’s alternate personality Zur-En-Arrh was really good at bookkeeping. While he was in control of Bruce’s body, he set up a few offshore accounts, and those accounts total over $3 billion. So yeah, it’s fair to say Batman will be financially comfortable going forward.

We also set up Batman’s relationship with Gotham’s new commissioner, Vandal Savage. It’s…uh…not a great one. In fact, Batman punches Commissioner Savage in the face. Bruce has had bad relationships with some of Gotham’s commissioners in the past (they can’t all be Gordon), but I can’t recall another one that’s gotten off to this bad a start.

Using his new funds, Bruce buys a rundown mansion and invites the Bat-Family to move in with him. It’s a great step in mending the relationships that were fractured during Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War. Speaking of that storyline, Batman #149 also includes a sweet reunion between Bruce and Selina. It was nice to see them on good terms after everything that went down.

However, perhaps most shocking and unexpected of all is that the most recent issue of Batman also includes the death of another Robin. Don’t worry Gothamites, Dick, Jason, Tim, Stephanie and Damian are all safe. (Although Jason did die again in Batman #148, but he’s better now. It’s…complicated.)

Perhaps it’s best if I rewind.

Years ago, Bruce Wayne created an alternate persona called the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh. That persona built an android called Failsafe, who was designed to take Batman down if he ever went rogue. However, it was Zur and Failsafe who went rogue instead and Zur eventually uploaded his consciousness into Failsafe’s body.

But Failsafe needed a Robin of his own. The android grew a Bruce Wayne clone, but conditioned his mind to be obedient to Failsafe and partitioned off any memories that would cause the clone to develop independent thoughts. The clone fought as Failsafe’s Robin, but when the android was defeated, the new Boy Wonder disappeared.

By the way, the comics refer to the Bruce clone as “Robin,” “Bruce” or “the clone” throughout the storyline. To avoid confusion, I will be calling him B2 throughout this article.

We catch up with B2 in Batman #149, and he’s a mess. Failsafe’s mental conditioning has fractured his mind, leaving his memories scattered and overwhelming. B2 finds himself drawn to Crime Alley, where he lashes out at criminals until Batman shows up.

What follows is one of the most emotional Batman sequences that I’ve ever read. The Dark Knight helps B2 break through his mental conditioning and put his mind back together, but in the process, he discovers that the clone is dying. Failsafe genetically engineered B2 to rapidly age, since he didn’t want to wait fourteen years to have his own Robin. B2 will die of old age in a matter of weeks.

This puts Batman in a situation he isn’t used to. B2 is dying, and Bruce can’t do anything to stop it. Batman saves people, yet he’s forced to spend weeks watching someone slowly die and there’s nothing he can do. If you know Batman, then you know that he’s used to being in control. He always has a plan.

Obviously, this isn’t the first time Bruce has watched a Robin die. However, Jason’s death was the result of an explosion. Tim and Damian were seemingly killed in the heat of battle. They all got better, but those deaths still had an effect on Bruce.

Things are different with B2 because this is a prolonged death that occurs over the course of a few weeks. It forces Bruce to let go and accept the fact that he can’t fight death. This isn’t easy for the Dark Knight. The fact that B2 is a clone of Bruce only makes it more complicated. Bruce is essentially watching himself die, forcing him to confront his own mortality. He also feels responsible for B2. If he hadn’t created Failsafe and Zur, then they never would’ve created B2.

B2 accepts his fate far sooner than Bruce does. While he’s initially fearful, as he grows older, he realizes the inevitability of his demise. In that way, B2 helps Bruce find acceptance, which isn’t an easy concept for Batman.

Since B2 has Bruce’s memories, he helps the Dark Knight see his life through new eyes. During B2’s final moment, they have a sweet conversation about their shared memories. “It would have been nice to have made some new memories with you all, but I’m grateful I have yours,” B2 says. “Opening your home and heart to the boys…trading barbs with Alfred…Mom sneaking us treats after’s a good life…a life of helping and being helped.”

“It really is, isn’t it?” Bruce replies with tears in his eyes. If you look at Bruce’s face during this moment, you can tell that the words are really sinking in. B2 has given him a whole new perspective on his place in the world and the life he’s led. He’s crying for the dying Robin, but he’s also crying because of his new perspective.

Despite Bruce trying everything he could to reverse the rapid aging process, B2 peacefully dies of old age. When the moment comes, Bruce is sad, but he’s accepted the fact.

This is different from every other Robin death Bruce has experienced. B2 taught Bruce that he can’t be in control of everything, and there is value in letting go. Batman’s life has been filled with tragedy, but B2 reminded him that at the end of the day, it was a life of helping and being helped. A life of love.

Batman #149 by Chip Zdarsky, Michele Bandini, Steve Lieber and Nick Filardi is now available in print and as a digital comic book.

Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, "Gotham Gazette." Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Joshua Lapin-Bertone and do not necessarily reflect those of DC or Warner Bros. Discovery, nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.