I think it had to do with the fact that Fables had just taken off in a pretty big way, but one day, out of the blue, one of the editors at DC invited me to take over writing the Robin series. There were a lot of pre-conditions. For example, the character Spoiler was already doomed to die and I couldn't change that. But one thing that wasn't required (for the very first time in my relationship with one of the larger publishers) were endless iterations of proposal documents. In fact, we spoke verbally over the phone as to what direction I might take the series and with that we were off to the races.
Of course the internet was in full bloom by that time. Not an issue of Robin was published without a cacophony of online critiques about how I was doing it all wrong, I didn't understand the character, I wasn't familiar with his previous adventures, and so on. Luckily the editors at DC were fine with ignoring the self-elected online experts (unlike my short time at IDW where the complaints of the four people commenting on each issue of Angel would coincidentally show up in the next round of editor's notes for the next issue).
During my run on Robin we killed Spoiler (editorial dictate), unmasked Robin's identity to his parents, had Tim Drake quit the job of being Robin, replaced him with Spoiler as the new Robin (she wasn't dead yet and I wanted her to have one glorious moment before doom came calling), killed off Robin's dad (sudden editorial dictate), got Tim a new girlfriend, got Tim back in the job of being Robin, killed off Robin's new girlfriend (by vote of the Batman: War Games planning team, in which I was outvoted by everyone to one), raised Tim's girlfriend from the dead, had Tim fake an uncle to avoid being adopted, had Batman find out and eventually adopt Tim (another editorial dictate), had Robin join the Army, had an informal crossover with Shadowpact (my other DC book at the time), and had Robin quit the army and move out of Gotham (editorial decision) to get Batman back to being more of a loner. Somewhere in there he may have fought a super villain or two.
When we introduced the new female Robin (under the strict condition that I had to get her fired from the job and back in the Spoiler costume before we killed her off, because we can't have another dead Robin on Batman's hands) we got a sharp jump in sales and lots of positive publicity. I naively thought that might be enough to save her. I asked the powers at DC if we couldn't cancel the plans for her death and have her continue to be Robin for a while. The answer was a firm no. Plans were already locked in.