In a sequence of events strangely similar to that of last week's "Batman Incorporated" #8, Buddy Baker's son Cliff dies at the end of "Animal Man" #18.
In the issue, Cliff dies of a stab wound to the chest, and the last scene is of Animal Man on his knees holding his dead son -- two elements almost exactly like that in "Batman Inc" #8 involving the late Damian Wayne.
What is up with all these Dead Kids?
Maybe it's just that if you are a superhero, KEEP KIDS AWAY FROM YOU. Seriously.
Look, I get that death is a part of life, and that Comics are supposed to reflect Real Life (you know, alongside flying people and guys who shoot lazer beams out of their eyes). But I would be lying if I didn't admit that the whole death tally regarding kids and teens in comic books lately ("Avengers Arena," anyone?) sorta creeps me out.
This isn't the first time Animal Man's son has died; in the pre-"New 52" universe, his entire family kicked the bucket during Grant Morrison's epic run on the title. Of course, in that highly "meta" story Buddy Baker eventually went on a vision quest, learned that reality is insane, met Grant Morrison, and then reversed his family's deaths.
You know, just like Real Life.