Friday, November 13, 2015

Robin vs. a Giant Ball... Because It's Batman in the Jason Todd Years, THAT'S Why!

I didn't realize it until I read the letters pages in subsequent issues, but a lot of people hated Batman: Year One when it came out.  I think I read it once in the early 1990's.  The library had it and I didn't not like it but I don't recall loving it so much that I wanted my own copy.  It's just funny because you'd think that in the era it was first published, Batman: Year One would have stood out.

You know who stands out with me?  People who work counters in Gotham.  Check out this guy:

That bank teller has ice water in his veins.  Did you see how unaffected he was by having Two-Face waltz up to his window?  It wasn't until the guy had a gun pointed at him that he gave him a (dare I say it?) second look.

Anyway, Jason Todd is still stinking up Batman.  This is from issue #411.  It's not like Batman had been going through a Golden Age of Storytelling over the past several years, but this is the direction we're taking now:

Yes... we're devoting time to concerns over Jason's mood.

I'd better see another Gotham City counter worker:

I'm starting to wonder if the Gotham City workers are an exceptionally brave bunch, or whether Two-Face has just lost a lot of street cred over the years.  Check it out:

See?  I notice that people don't seem to trust Batman to handle the situation, either.  Maybe they're just fed up with all the nonsense and property damage.

Anyway, this is what we're reduced to:

Yeah.  That happened.

And, lest we forget, Jason's Mood! (tm!)

Yeah.  We have a broadly smiling Batman.  If Denny O'Neil had known that Jason was going to get killed, then this would be a great set-up for Batman's dark turn.  After all, he was sooooo happy with Jason around so losing him would have brought about all that dark moodiness that he had through the 90's and early aughts.  But no one had any idea.  There was a certain brilliance and credibility to having the character get all gloomy if he was this giddy, but this was after the fact.  At the time, this was how things were expected to go for the foreseeable future.

And just in case they weren't borrowing enough from the Silver Age, it's time for the return of the Oversized Gotham City Prop:

And since Robin was given a talking-to, he has now completely changed his attitude and goes out of his way to save Two-Face's life.  Because that's how teenagers operate:

Ha ha!  Two-Face murdered my father, but he's all nauseated so I'm going to stand here and just laugh because I'm all over that now!

Shut up, Jason Todd (tm!)

See you Monday!

1 comment:

Gene Phillips said...

It seems to me that O'Neil's stories in the early 1970s occasionally allowed Batman to smile a little bit from time to time, though he and his artists never overdid it the way Collins and Aparo do here. The only smile-example that comes to mind is that Batman Xmas tale by O'Neil and Adams, where the hero spends the whole story singing Christmas carols with Gordon and the cops, while the Christmas spirit prevents the spread of crime-- a bit of sentimental tosh that the collaborators swiped from Eisner's SPIRIT.

Boy, was Collins a terrible Batman scripter...