So, I'm reading through the Jason Todd era of Batman. For several issues, the approach seemed to be minimizing Robin's involvement. For example, during the mulit-issue "Ten Nights of the Beast" storyline, Robin did naught but take down one suicidal bomber lackey. And those issues, written by Jim Starlin, were actually pretty decent.
And there's nothing wrong with that kind of determination. It's how we landed on the moon and perfected the seedless watermelon. But there comes a time where we should let go of this notion of "never give up." If I never gave up on some of my less-viable options, my life would not be nearly what is now. I'd still be pursuing my high school crush and trying to make it as a rock musician. But I let go of both of those things and I'm much better off for it.
But hubris is what it is, so they try and bring Jason Todd back to the forefront in Batman 422. How? Thusly:
Yes. Jason Todd beats up an abusive pimp. And if you complain about it, you must be an abusive pimp sympathizer.
Okay, that was totally Fun with Out-of-Context Dialogue (tm!), but that's not the point. Unable to simply give us a tolerable Jason Todd, they have to give us a tormented, ticked-off, extreme Jason Todd. Because everything back then had to be EXTREME! Or if was really extreme, it was XTREME!
I'm not the World's Greatest Detective, but I think it's pretty obvious that Jason Todd has gone back to being all grumpy.
And then it gets dumber. In Batman #424, we have the ultimate frustration plot device: A sadistic killer who is untouchable because of diplomatic immunity:
So what does Jason Todd do about it?
I'm not sure what they were thinking, but this is the problem: Robin is meant to bring a little light into Batman, not vice versa. We have Batman, who is a combination of Zorro and Dracula, with a partner wearing a festive red vest and bright yellow cape. Robin is supposed to reflect the wonder and optimism of youth. But as such, readers were totally turned off by him.
But, as we'll see in the days to come, them bridges be burned.
See you tomorrow!