I think I finally managed to put my finger on why this specific part of Jason’s New 52 backstory bugs me so much (other than that it feels like Batman being pressured to take Jason on as Robin as a “charity case”).
(I cut out quite a few in-between panels but you get the gist.)
Compare it to his original post-crisis origin story:
Okay here are some important things
- Jason’s goblin face
- Jason’s quips
- Jason’s flipping
- Jason’s dislike of mimes
- Jason’s affinity for the word ‘dirtbag’
- Jason’s furniture-whispering
- Jason’s defending the innocent
- Jason’s not having none of your sexist bullshit
- Jason’s not having any particular relationship with bread
- Jason’s special brand of street justice
Recently, I’ve been randomly having Jason Todd feels and I realize that I visualize him quite differently from how he’s portrayed in fanfiction and fanart.
I’d like to know how YOU see Jason Todd. His personality, how he acts socially. What he likes, what he doesn’t like. The kind of people he’d want to associate with. His mentality. ANYTHING! Tell me how you feel about Jason Todd. And remember, there is no wrong answer(this is just me trying to get a feel of how people view him and it would be a lot of help to me). And hey, if you’re not a fan, do me a solid and pass this along to your friends. Tell them about it and ask them to share their opinions, headcanons, WHATEVER. :)
What is your perspective?
Okay, so. This is a tl;dr mess of feelings and introspection, and I don’t expect everyone to agree with it. It’s my interpretation, and I tried to include the panels and pages that influence how I see him. This really only focuses on post-Crisis Jason and his relationship with Bruce, and it’s still over 8k. If I delved into my take on his relationship with the other Robins, I’m pretty sure it would be too long for anyone to read.
You know why people tend to be intensely, defensively passionate about Jason Todd?
Because the hate for him has been overwhelming for years. His fans have seen him bashed over and over, both in fandom and canon.
Worthless, heartless, careless. A bad seed, a problem, a mistake.
The bad Robin.
Worthless, heartless, careless. A whiner, a villain, a nuisance.
Better off dead.
The scorn for Jason can be downright toxic, rife with classism and victim-blaming.
So if you get a bit overwhelmed with how earnest and protective his fans can be?
Stop. Think. Remember.
And wonder why, exactly, you’re so pissed off at an outpouring of love for something anyway.
Batman 713: A little nitpicking
Batman 713, written by Fabian Nicieza, came out today. There’s a half-page featuring Jason. And I’ve (that’s mod!Liz) got a bit of a problem with what the text is telling us about Jason.
Head under the cut for a page from the book and a bit of commentary.
Was curious if you or anyone you know called in to the hotline back in the ‘80’s to vote for Jason Todd to live or die. I myself wasn’t born yet when this happened, but I have talked to numerous older fans who all called it and voted for death. To be honest, I would have voted death as well as Todd was a crap Robin. That being said, his return as Red Hood, was excellent.
I loved that DC comics really brought in fan participation. It is something I would like to see from them again. I really scoured back issues of Batman to get a grasp on Jason Todd as Robin. Once I read them all, I really feel that Todd was put there just for the sake of having a Robin.
I felt that Jason Todd as Red Hood was amazing and very enjoyable, but as Robin, he deserved his fate.
when people say that jason “deserved his fate” or anything along those lines i wonder if they realize what they’re saying
a 15-year-old boy deserved to be brutally beaten and blown up because he wanted to save his mom from a criminal
i totally see your point
I really.. I just cannot fathom this. Dandizette, I agree with every single word you said so hardcore. He was just a child, and he was trying to save his mom (even after she betrayed him!) I mean, who deserves that kind of brutality when they’re just showing unselfish love and trying to save someone? Who deserves that at all?
ETA; Also, that link is a really good link to a really good article <3
Reblogging for commentary.
Common misconceptions about Jason
As a character, Jason has mostly been loved, hated and/or hotly debated. There are often common and continuing misconceptions about the character that are put out there by fans who have little knowledge of the character or dislike the character.
One such misconception about Jason is that as Robin or as his current post-resurrection persona, the Red Hood, that he was or is incompetent, unskilled or ineffectual.
When Jason was killed, mainstream press reported on his death and the vote. Some fans reporters interviewed said they wanted Robin to die because he was a ‘”twerp,” ”wimp,” and a ”vindictive, vengeful little brat.”(see NY Times story). Letters received by DC’s editors said similar things, as well as called him a ‘punk.’ Wimp, of course, meaning a weak, cowardly and ineffectual person.
However, Jason was anything but weak, cowardly and ineffectual. There were times when he jumped the gun because he wanted to take down criminals immediately, rather than wait, which would suggest a personality trait of bravado over cowardice. We’ve actually begun a series on The Heroism of Jason Todd, which in our first installment shows how Jason in his post-Crisis Robin persona was skilled enough to help Batman take down villains like Two-Face, the Scarecrow, KG Beast and Deacon Blackfire.
Additionally, there are fans who claim Jason is weak or a failure because he died. This is unfortunate and is classic victim blaming language, putting the responsibility on the victim rather than the perpetrator. Few other heroes who have died seem to get this kind of victim blaming treatment, although fellow Even Robin Stephanie Brown has had her share of victim blaming, as well as complaints that she too is weak, ineffectual and incompetent. On top of that, just before Jason died, he tried to save his biological mother who had only just betrayed him to the Joker. In his final minutes of life, he crawled over to her and untied her to allow her to escape, showing strength, bravery, courage and even forgiving her, something that few people in reality would even do.
And lastly, Jason was trained by Batman to begin with, so there’s no reason why he would not be skilled, competent and good at what he does.
Jason’s death: according to Newsarama, it doesn’t quite matter anymore
Newsarama recently posted a Top Ten list of comic book deaths that mattered. You can check out that link. On the list include a number of deaths that incensed fans, including Kyle Rayner’s girlfriend, Alexandra DeWitt, who was stuffed in Kyle’s fridge in order to create angst and whose death spawned the ‘women in refrigerators’ trope, is listed, as well as is Stephanie Brown’s death*, which angered many fans as she was fridged to create angst for Tim Drake and Batman. (*Stephanie’s death was later retconned). These rightly deserve to be on the list, given the controversy they caused and how they were handled.
The list also has fellow sidekick, Bucky Barnes, on it, at no. 4. Interestingly, a well-known comic fan saying used to be, “The dead don’t stay dead in comics, except Bucky Barnes, Jason Todd and Uncle Ben.” As we know, both Bucky and Jason have returned from the grave.
It’s a little surprising not to see Jason’s name on the list. His death incensed not just fans, but also audiences outside of comics who learned that Robin had been killed in the comics. It even had fellow comic writer Frank Miller call the vote on his death the ‘ugliest and most cynical’ thing he’s seen in comics and mainstream newspapers had editorials decrying the vote and his death. Editor Len Wein called it a mistake and editor Denny O’Neil said the impact of the backlash changed his mind about what he was doing for a living. Fans wrote in many letters to the editor about his death, and one pastor even wrote a eulogy to Jason. The recent animated movie, Batman: Under the Red Hood, which deals with Jason’s death and resurrection, raked in more than $6.6 million in sales, making it the 5th highest grossing seller in DC’s direct-to-video animated movie line.
In the comics, Jason’s death/Robin suit is memorialized in a glass case (which is prone to being smashed). *Notably, the fact that Jason received a memorial, and Stephanie Brown, the only Girl Wonder, did not in light of her death, was a major controversy as it showed sexism in her not being treated the same as a male Robin who died.* He is constantly mentioned as a warning to others, as well as Bruce not only grieves over him for many years throughout the comics, but sees him in drug induced hallucinations or impersonations. Other characters, including Tim Drake, Alfred Pennyworth and Dick Grayson, see Jason as a ghost or hallucination figure as well during this time. His death made no. 8 in CBR’s Top 75 most memorable moments in comics. The weapon used in Jason’s death, the Crowbar, has had its own Comic Vine page, and its own iconic status.
In both the comic, Under the Hood, and the animated movie, Batman: Under the Red Hood, Jason’s death at the hands of the Joker continues to matter as it is the reason for the main conflict between Jason and Bruce, a conflict that continues in comics today because Jason feels that Bruce let the Joker get away with murdering him and did not avenge his death.
It’s no secret that many fans dislike the character, dislike the way he was brought back and feel that because he was brought back from the dead, that lessens the impact of his death or feel that because they believe he is inconsistently characterized by writers other than Judd Winick that lessens the impact of his death. However, the history and impact of Jason’s death did and still does matter. It’s too bad this Newsarama Top Ten did not reflect that.
Bucky and Jason by Todd Nauck
Tell me about your feelings for Jason!
OH LORD JASON.
- How I FEEEEEL about this character
When I came into DC fandom, I already knew Jason Todd as ‘the bad Robin’, the unpopular one. So, being the contrary person I am, I immediately resolved to give him a chance. And I’m so glad I did, because now he is my favourite Robin.
He had my heart from his origin story. He had this blend of toughness and vulnerability that I just love, especially in child characters. He had the guts to steal from the Batmobile and lie to Batman about it! He had the skill to fight off Ma Gunn’s boys and the morality to refuse to be a part of them! (I love that panel where Jason says he doesn’t want to be a crook, he just steals to survive. That’s a nuance you don’t usually see in the Bat books.)
Jason questioning Bruce’s stance on questioning didn’t for a moment make me question that morality, because it came from a place of compassion - Jason knows firsthand the effect brutal crime has, and how much of it goes unpunished, how often the system fails. He’s so very passionate about the people they save and the people they can’t - that’s why he gets so reckless, so angry.
Of course he’s also just brash and fearless, that’s just who he is, and I love him for it. I love him for being a wild card from the beginning - not doomed, not “a bad seed”, but unpredictable, unrestrained.
He was just - so fun and great and interesting and will always mourn the fact that we only had him for a short time. (Not that I don’t love precious sassy Pre-Crisis Jay, too, but I love Post-Crisis Jay more.)
Honestly, the best way to give me FEELINGS in older comics is for characters to mourn Jason (unless there is victim-blaming involved then I’m just pissed). One of my favourite moments ever is Dick LOSING HIS SHIT when the Joker says Jason’s name, and being pulled out of his brooding by a picture of them together.
And Bruce - okay, Robins make Bruce a better person, and a better character, and Jason is no exception. Bruce loved him so much, and Jason loved him, they were family, and Bruce sucks at being family but watching him try makes me like him more. I don’t think he ever recovered from losing Jason and I don’t think he ever will.
Of course, Jason is back now, and oh I love him as the Red Hood to. He is so full of conflict and contradictions, so lost and angry and alone, and there are so many empty avenues with him because people just don’t care enough to understand and explore him properly. He is tragic and hilarious and fascinating. I could read him just taunting people for pages.
And I will always prefer morally ambiguous antagonists to outright villains, and that’s what Jason is, when at his best. He doesn’t kill just for the thrill of it, he does it because he genuinely believes it’s the best way to protect Gotham. It would be easier for him to stop, in so many ways, but he won’t because he thinks he’s doing more good this way, and I find that admirable in its way.
And, you know, you ever want me to get my GUH on, show me a picture of Jasmine Todd.
- All the people I ship romantically with this character
Stephanie Brown, because they have so much in common. I don’t think it’d be an easy relationship, but that’s part of the fun. Oh, and I love those fics where they’re both dead and haunting the Bats.
Cassandra Cain, because I love the contrast between the true, Cass’s devoted pragmatism and Jason’s passionate abandon, her quiet wryness and his dramatic sarkiness. Cassandra believes in redemption more than anyone else, and her chosen family is so important to her, and if Jason ever tried to kill anyone in front of her she’d have him on his face in five seconds. (Of course, you could also interpret the end of her series as accepting the idea that killing can be necessary.)
Both of them at once. You can blame this awesome fic for that.
Barbara Gordon. I think it’d take her a while to stop seeing him as the little brother in short shorts, but she had to do that with Dick too.
Tim, depending on how much I like him in that point in time. I hate it when people - and writers - forget that Tim looked up to Jason, too.
Dick, but then again I ship everyone with Dick.
Helena. Helena is like an Even Robin except she was Batman instead.
Roy, which is this fic’s fault.
Rena. I’ve been trying to work out how they’d work Post-Crisis because goddamn Jason needed some non-Bat friends.
- My non-romantic OTP for this character
I’d take any of those as platonic relationships, too.
Also, Bruce. Alfred. Selina.
- My unpopular opinion about this character
HE WAS A GOOD ROBIN DAMMIT. And, you know, if he happened to kill a rapist who tormented his victim into suicide and wasn’t going to see any justice, um. And?
Oh oh, and if Bruce didn’t find him I really don’t think he’d have become a hardcore criminal. I think he’d have protected the children of Crime Alley at any cost. (I am reading a great fic where he’s doing just that and Tim is smitten.)
- One thing I wish would happen / had happened with this character in canon.
I really, really want to see him reconnect with Barbara. If anyone could understand - and she probably has the grayest morality of the Bats. Oracle first flourished with the Suicide Squad, remember. She’s also seriously considered killing the Joker.
Ahhhh I had to use the reblog asks hack for this, but I just love this post so much.
shobogan tells us why she loves Jason and who she’d like to see him interact with.
The heroism of Jason Todd: Part One: post-Crisis Robin
There are fans who point to Jason Todd and say his time as Robin was simply that he was angry and reckless, or that now as the resurrected Red Hood, he only commits bad deeds.
When Jason took on the role of Robin, he too became a hero and a role model to young kids around the world. You can see a few themes running through Jason’s heroic acts, and those are that he wants to protect innocent and he is willing to die to save others.
Here, we chronicle his heroic deeds:
- Detective Comics 574: Jason has gotten injured helping Batman take down the Mad Hatter.
- Legends mini-series: Jason desperately wants to fight and help take down crime despite his broken leg, arm and head injuries. Even with all of those injuries, he still puts on his Robin suit and begs citizens to listen to the heroes.
- Batman 409: Jason helps Batman to take down Ma Gunn and her band of thugs while they are attempting a jewellery heist. Jason showed up at the museum on his own in hopes of thwarting the burglary attempt.
- Batman 410: Jason offers to be Two-Face’s hostage and convinces him by telling the villain that he’s the second Robin. Two-Face gives up his hostage, a woman, for Jason.
- Batman 411: Jason saves Two-Face from a giant rolling ball on a giant roulette wheel. This is after Jason has learned that Two-Face murdered his father, Willis Todd.
- Batman 412: Jason helps Batman take down a killer themed as a mime.
- Batman 413: Jason enjoys doing his homework and smiles. He helps Batman take down a ghost that is haunting a Gotham City museum.
- Batman 415: Jason single-handedly takes down the Scarecrow. He is initially reprimanded by Batman for going out on his own, but Bruce then uses the Scarecrow’s costume to infiltrate Arkham Asylum. Jason ends up being the one to take down the fake Commissioner Gordon, a machine alien type creature known as the man hunter.
- Batman 416: Jason meets Nightwing for the first time. Jason tries to take down a cocaine lab on his own and Nightwing stops him because there isn’t enough evidence. Dick later gives Jason his old Robin costume.
- Batman 417-420: Jason helps Batman take down the KGBeast. (Jason does not appear in all four parts of this arc, however)
- Batman 422: Jason saves a woman from a violent assailant.
- Batman 424: The infamous Felipe Garzonas issue. (Trigger warning for discussion of rape, scenes of abuse and suicide in that link) Jason only cares about bringing Garzonas, a serial rapist to justice, for the harm he has committed against women, including Gloria Stanson.
- Batman: The Cult: Jason rescues Batman from Deacon Blackfire and is willing to put his life on the line to save the city.
- Batman Annual 12: Robin’s story: Jason attempts to stop some school kids from cheating.
- Gotham Knights 43: Jason works with Barbara and saves her from an assailant.
- Nightwing Year One: Jason works with Nightwing to save Alfred.
- Batman: A Death in the Family: While in the Middle East, Jason helps Batman take down some bad guys. He also goes to save his biological mother, Sheila Haywood, from the Joker. Even after she has betrayed him to the Joker, he still attempts to save her life.