Thursday, November 12, 2015

With Jason Todd... as the Beaver!

So, you non-comic nerdlingers may think that I was overselling what a disaster the introduction of Jason Todd was.  Challenge accepted.

In 1985, the DC Universe was basically re-booted again with a year-long maxi-series called Crisis on Infinite Earths.  This gave writers a chance to tweak characters in a new direction and gave them license to alter what wasn't working.  It was also hoped that this would be a good chance for new readers to jump on board from a new beginning.  These days, the big publishers just go full-blast on that idea and start new volumes of titles as their way of saying, "You don't have to know anything about the past 40-70 years of character backstory!  Please pay $3.99 for a comic book!"

So, the Jason Todd you saw yesterday was very briefly removed from the Batman universe.  And by "very briefly," I mean for the first few pages of Batman #408.  In that story, Dick Grayson was still Robin, Batman fired Dick when he was wounded in combat by the Joker (but gave him his blessings to still be a costumed hero... yeah, I didn't get the logic either), went off on his own...

and then this happened....

Yeah.  That's Batman laughing.  Welcome to the 80's, kids.

Yup.  That's Jason Todd now, impressing Batman with his larceny skills. Just go with it.

And take a moment to chuckle at the lofty ambition of writer Denny O'Neil from the letters page:

Yeah.  Jason Todd if firmly in the Batman mythos as the Robin, much like New Coke replaced Classic Coke.  Google that reference if you're less than 30 years old.

Anyhoo, let's begin watching this idea implode, shall we?  Here's his re-introduction as Robin from Batman #410.

You are waaaaaay overselling it, Bruce.

Here's the "tougher" Robin, post first-mission:

This is the new, tougher Robin?  He's more of suck-up than Dick Grayson was, and I'm including the Burt Ward version from the Batman TV series in 1966.  But keep in mind what a Theodore "Beaver" Cleaver clone this kid is as we go through future issues.

And no, we're not giving up on Superman.  I just came upon this run of Batman and I can't turn away from this train wreck.

See you tomorrow!


Aaron Carine said...

I'm confused. It seems that after Crisis, Jason Todd was retconned to a middle school kid. But when he was killed off a few years later, he looked like he was in his late teens. Can Adam clarify this for me?

The Killing Joke was one of the comparatively few bad Alan Moore tales. I would say REALLY bad.

Aaron Carine said...

I'm assuming that over those few years, Jason wasn't aging in real time, because it's comics.

Adam Barnett said...

Yeah, it's hard to tell what age Jason was supposed to be. As we will soon see, there is a shifting in creative teams by the time he meets his demise and his character was very inconsistent from the start.