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mygif

I couldnt agree more. They brought back Jason, but no-one seemed to be sure WHY they brought back Jason. Or if he was a villain or an anti-hero. There were good ideas in there somewhere, but the good ideas got lost in the shuffle (for example, at one point didnt he attack robin, giving the motivation that he was doing it to make robin a better crimefighter? Thats an idea/motivation that has potential, attacking teen heroes to force them to either improve or quit, either way saving them from being beaten to death by a man with a crowbar. Then they pretty much dropped that whole idea again)

Oh, and I think, but cant be sure that he got involved in countdown because he saw the jokers daughter being killed, and gave a damn for no clearly defined reason, but I could easily be wrong.

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Two-Face is the Best Batman Villain because he does get inside of Batman’s head. He’s precisely what Alfred is scared of, what Bruce in his heart of heart really worries about, and simply by existing challenges the entire Bruce/Batman project (this is part of why Hush is stupid and boring: he’s completely redundant.) In fact, his purely internal challenge to Batman is twofold: First, he is the synthesis of the Batman/Joker thesis/antithesis, and second, he is a dangerous what-might-have-been for Bruce.

Joker is so important to Batman because he is his perfect inversion. No real identity, no real origin, he is devoted to and emblematic of an unjust, meaningless world, directly opposed to the core Batman idea that the world can be “cleaned up”. Two-face, then, as the synthesis of the opposites, is even more of a challenge, arguably a better Batman than Batman in that he accepts that the world is fundamentally random and chaotic, that events occur without meaning, but that once chaos has had its say, in the best Two-Face stories, he works with that, either building the best world he can from the world that exists, or destroying it as best he can (my favorite Two-Face story remains the one in which he’s cured, is back to being Harvey full time, but then claws off half of his own face).

He’s also a challenge to Batman in that he evokes a hypothetical “Alleyman” or “Two-Gun”, a vigilante who just hangs around alleys and shoots people. If anything, Two-Face’s origin would be more, not less, likely to produce a hero rather than a madman.

And every time they fight, Bruce has to ask himself about that.

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Lister Sage said on July 29th, 2009 at 10:02 am

I don’t believe that Jason is either dead or that Morrison is that only person that can make him worth reading (partly because I think to many people put to much faith in Morrison). The only real reason Morrison should do it is because he’s writing the main Batman book, which is where this second resurrection and for him to get his mad hate on should be told. And really, having Jason become Dick’s arch-enemy works so much better then as a foil for Bruce. Because with Dick in the cape and cowl he is really fighting two foes at once, Bruce by proxy and Dick directly. He can still fight Bruce (when Bruce comes back), still be the antithesis for What Not to Become, but as a foe of Dick’s, especially Dick as Batman, is you can also introduce an inferiority complex to Jason’s character. Have Jason realize that no matter how bad he wants to there’s no way he could beat Bruce, but Dick? Oh, he can beat Dick, because Dick isn’t Bruce in the same way Jason isn’t Bruce. But deep down Jason knows he’s not at Dick’s level either and this bothers him even more. You could also introduce in the story that to push Jason in his training Bruce would compare him to Dick and no matter how encouraging Bruce intended this to be, to Jason it was always mean spirited and a constant reminder that he didn’t want this new kid around, but his “first son”. To sum this up, make Jason the middle child, ignored, looked down on and enraged that the older and youngest get all the attention.

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Sofa King said on July 29th, 2009 at 10:07 am

I liked the Robin series for a while (which may have had more to do with the Patrick Gleason art, which I like muchly) but I agree fully with the anti-Hood message. He stunk on ice.

But how can you not like Donna Troy? She was/is the bestest saintly geek-crush of DC! Or something. And they’re redrangs, I think.

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CandidGamera said on July 29th, 2009 at 10:34 am

Red Robin’s costume is so much better than that of Earth-2 Robin, though. The bar was set very low.

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I absolutely agree with this, entirely. It was a great concept that failed miserably in execution. Under the Hood started great, but had two things going against it:

1) The Superboy-Prime punch, as you stated.
2) No actual ending. The last issue took place at the same time as Infinite Crisis, so the ending was a building blows up with Batman, Jason and Joker inside…then we get that shot of multiple Batmen being split or…something. So, the ending was just an Infinite Crisis tease. Then, it was One Year Later and all was forgotten.

What’s sad is that, in comparison, the return of Bucky has been nothing but perfection, as far as the execution of a story. Here’s Marvel continuing with that epic and saying, “See? THIS is how you bring back a sidekick properly.”

He kept in the Cap book for the most part and only made one appearance (that I know of) in an already forgetten Wolverine: Origins issue.

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mygif

This was understandable, but if you’re going to do something as major as bring Jason Todd back (and bringing him back was the Batman equivalent of dropping a nuclear bomb), you can’t give up on the Batman/Jason story and do something else without making it look like DC has a bad case of attention deficit disorder.

To be fair, I think the plan was to have Jason Todd become Nightwing, and most of the issues in that Nightwing run were meant to have Jason in Dick’s place.

Then they decided not to kill Dick as part of Infinite Crisis, and that whole plot line was rewritten in a fairly poor manner. Having Bruce Jones as the writer didn’t help.

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Actually, Donna Troy is a pretty good example of why bringing back Jason Todd was so difficult. Very few characters who get bumped out of one superhero identity are ever really popular again.

The exceptions are Dick Grayson becoming Nightwing, which happened at the height of popularity of the biggest book DC had going at the time. The other would be Wally West becoming the Flash, which was a “graduation up” and spun out the original Crisis. COIE had a big advantage in that fans had never dealt with a new status quo before.

Otherwise, I cannot think of an example of “old character, new suit” actually working. Hal Jordan as the Spectre was a flop. So was Alan Scott as Sentinel. Roy Harper was not exactly a sensation as Arsenal and the JLA has already dumped Red Arrow. I am pretty sure the list of cases of failed attempts at this gimmick is a long one.

It is an extremely difficult trick to pull off.

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mygif

Your central thesis is sound. This could have been good. Should have been better.

A lot of your asides are off-base. Your opinion and all, sure, but neither supporting or refuting your point.

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“Dick isn’t Bruce in the same way Jason isn’t Bruce.”

Yet. Well, actually you’re right, because of the whole comics as a static medium/permanent status quo/bla bla bla, Dick’ll never be as good as he should eventually be. Seriously, I love the character, he’s got this amazing potential to out-Batman Batman, he started much younger than Bruce, and was trained by the best and all that. I hope the whole cowl thing serves to finally crystallize the character, something that should have happened a long time ago, but for some reason he’s still sometimes a chump (see the whole thing with Vigilante in his own damn comic), he’s supposed to be I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-Batman-oh-shit-my-arm-at-least-it’s-not-my-kidneys (Batman always goes for the kidneys), he shouldn’t be unbeatable (that’s why Bruce is Batman) but it should take a Ra’s Al Ghul level of villain to play him, and with a fair amount of difficulty. That’s why I think your idea works so well, not only because of the nice contrast of the one who was always the heir against the one who fell off the wagon, but because Jason would never face Dick with less than his a-game, he knows he’s not as good as Dick, but he can challenge him (and maybe even win), as long as he goes all out. And it’s always nice when the bad guy makes an actual effort.

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The handling of Todd’s resurrection contrasted with that of Bucky Barnes’ is clear; the latter was supervised more or less entirely by a single writer, who clearly had a plan for what he was going to do with him over a period of years.

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Firstly, THANK GRODD someone else appreciates how truly horrible characters like Donna Troy, Tim Drake, and most if not all of Drake’s supporting cast truly are. If I never see another damn Spoiler story it’ll be too late because I’ve already lost interest.

Secondly, Morrison’s all-new-Red-Hood seems to be doing exactly the same thing Jason was in BFtC. It seems almost as if tie-ins like Countdown and BFtC are so generally shite because the authors know about Grant Morrison’s ideas and want to try them out in their own style.

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BitterCupOJoe said on July 29th, 2009 at 11:09 am

Re: Tim Drake, I didn’t get it for a while, either, until I realized that the vast majority of Robin fans are either teenaged girls or teenaged gays. And then it all clicks: Tim Drake is their Kitty Pryde. He’s nerdy, but kind of awkwardly charming. He’s the “smart Robin” as opposed to the “athletic Robin” or “dark Robin.” His sotires are much more likely to be about him outsmarting his enemies than outright beating them unconscious, and he seems, as with Kitty Pryde, enough out of his element to be someone they can identify with.

That’s my theory, anyways.

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BitterCupOJoe: you took the words right out of my mouth, and I was both a teenage girl and a teenage gay when I loved Tim Drake best. Plus, he’s competent — he’s quietly, seriously together, or rather he was when he was the darling of the DCU, and it’s so goddamn refreshing to read a comic book and not have to readjust for the fact that their motivation comes out of the Big Bag of Issues. I stopped fiercely projecting onto caring about Tim Drake when they killed his parents.

Totally agree with the original post. If the problem with his original reception was that he was the redundant, weird Robin, either use that or find him another role, don’t actually come up with new and exciting ways for him to be redundant and weird and not care about it.

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Tim Drake is popular as Robin because he’s easy to relate to for comics fans. He’s a smart kid who got picked on, has some generic angst, and finds himself swept up in an adventure. That’s a lot more identifiable than a highly skilled circus acrobat child prodigy or a street smart punk kid.

The initial error with Jason Todd was just that. He was an angry street punk who met batman stealing his hubcaps. He was supposed to be more accessible to urban kids, but he really just alienated geeks, as he had more in common with the bullies that tormented them than the geeks themselves. Tim is One Of Us. More skilled, more trained, smarter than many, but a fellow geek. He’s awkward with girls, he’s excited about gadgets and gizmos. The idea of Robin has always been a role that kids can imagine themselves in. Time Drake made it happen better than either Robin before him.

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There’s also the fact that the Robin solo title was in many ways, DC’s answer to spiderman. Robin was a street level, often wisecracking hero who had fun, and on top of all that, had an awesome mentor figure built in and access to comics greatest villains. It’s not hard to do good stuff with all those tools.

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Drmedula said on July 29th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

Well, Dick can never be as good as Bruce because Dick can never be as messed up and driven as Bruce- because Bruce MADE SURE THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN, by giving him the support and encouragement Bruce never had. Bruce is smart enough to recognise his own issues (even if he isn’t smart enough to resolve them), and one of his goals in training his apprentices has always been to give them a shot at a (somewhat) more normal, happier life- a life OUTSIDE of costume, which is something he’ll never have. (The 2 defining traits of Batman: A) He’s a brooding loner, aloof from all others; B) He’s had more partners and joined more teams than any other superhero in history.) Jason SHOULD represent Bruce’s ultimate failure- not just that he got killed; not just that he was a bad superhero; but that Bruce not only couldn’t help the kid resolve his issues, but actually MADE THEM WORSE. Jason should be handled as “ROBIN: Worst Case Scenario”.

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and Donna “I’m like a second-rate Wonder Woman” Troy,

Hey! Donna is Wonder Woman’s younger sister who compensates for being in WW’s shadow by being sluttier! (So she’s like Ashley Simpson, just way way hotter).

Dick’s problem is the same with any character who isn’t one of the “Trinity” (a term that expresses the whole problem, that DC is to busy praying to them for money then to tell good stories). Dick is Batman +….all the skills, but well adjusted. He should be portrayed as the best leader in the DC, Superman’s compassion and friendliness, with Batman’s master tactical sense…that’s the whole point of the name Nightwing…a tribute to his two mentors. BUT, because it makes Didio and Johns et al cry, Dick can never be better. The Nightwing solo book should have been about the globe trotting sexy adventures of the James Bond (the martini swilling, lady having one..not the “MY GIRLFRIEND’S DEAD WAH!!!” one)of the DCU. Instead it was Dick turned into Batman light fighting Blockbuster for 10 years.

The entire exercise in futility that is Batdick is to lead up to him being brutally murdered…by..i dunno…Killer Moth, so Bruce can return and show why he’s so teh awesome!

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@Emma: ‘Weird Robin’ just makes me think of him as an embodiment of the creepy pervy fetishistic side of the Batman mythos, running around in his old suit that doesn’t fit anymore and dressing up stolen mannequins in leather Bat-Cowls.

Hell, they could still do that. Who knows what being dropped in a river will do for the memory?

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ps238principal said on July 29th, 2009 at 12:49 pm

“3. Plus, Barry Ween. [↩]”

What’s wrong with Barry Ween?

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Rob Leifeild said on July 29th, 2009 at 12:54 pm

there are not enough pouches on that Red Robin costume.

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I do think Bat!Dick can be a great story, the son holding the fort until the father comes back and finally getting out of his shadow, to be an equal. And it could be great for Dick, maybe finally showing the whole ‘natural leader of the DCU’ thing that has been teased over and over (I remember cruel, cruel Obsidian League).
But it won’t. Bats’ll come back just in time to save the day with a big dramatic entrance, and the status quo will return, albeit with Dick now in Gotham and maybe annoying Damian staying for a while. I just hope Dick is shown at least as proficient in his mentor’s role as Bucky was as Cap (which admittedly isn’t much). Seriously, after Supes, Bats and (maybe if we are being generous) Wondy, Dick is one of the few DC characters known by non-geeks (walk up to someone and ask about Hal Jordan, Aquaman or Black Canary, see how many is familiar with ’em)

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I can only assume that the “Red Robin” (YUM!) restaurant ads never aired in NY, otherwise DC would have realized quickly that the name was a bad idea.

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Oh, whatever. They’ll just say this Jason Todd wasn’t the REAL Jason Todd, either, or some other nonsense. Hell, I’ll put money on Todd turning out to be a key figure in Blackest Night, because that would be just stupid enough for someone to think it’s a good idea.

As a friend put it to me recently: There’s no use in investing in a continuity, because some writer or editorial mandate is going to ruin it for you. See “Cassandra can talk now! Now she a villain! Nope, it was all drugs!” You just have to learn to check out and wait for a good writer to get them back. This is why I tend to enjoy out-of-continuity stuff more than the main titles, anyway.

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For me, there are two particularly notable Tim Drake moments, neither of them action bits. One was the “Truth or Dare” game issue of Young Justice, and the other the “You lied to Starfire.” “I lie to Batman.” bit in Teen Titans.

Both of those sum up what I like about the character. And I’m an old straight guy.

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I would’ve killed to have written Jason Todd after Under The Hood (hell even after Countdown since he was largely the same character after it).

I thought it was painfully obvious that Jason belonged in a Secret Six-esque book where he can play anti-hero and they can have him come to terms with his death, subsequent resurrection, and his relationship with Bruce.

Apparently, DC didn’t agree.

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Theron, those are both great Tim moments– I really enjoy him throughout Young Justice, actually.

The other thing I really appreciate about Tim is his completely ludicrous origin story. He worked out Batman and Robin’s secret identites at the age of NINE, you guys. And, having done that, his response was to stalk the shit of them until Bruce had a job opening. I don’t know why, but that really makes me like Tim.

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Scavenger: Come to think of it, that would be an awesome idea for what to do with Bruce when he returns: have Dick be Batman, and Bruce the Bond-esque globetrotter fighting crime in various forms outside of his identity of Batmen, but using those skills. He could be a sort of contractor for superheroes too.

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What’s wrong with Barry Ween?

Nothing. I think it’s brilliant. It’s proof that Winick can actually write great comics. When Randy “Something Positive” Milholland took a few shots at Judd Winick, my first response was “write something even half as good as Barry Ween and then you can talk, buddy.”

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For the record, Kyle had lost his Ion powers; “Sinestro Corps War” came before Countdown. I liked the Red Robin costume in Kingdom Come. And you didn’t mention the time Jason beat the crap out of Tim in Teen Titans while wearing his old Robin costume. A grown man wearing that stuff? Now that’s a lowlight.

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Uhm, Milholland has written something as good as Barry Ween. Its Something Positive

But beyond that your post makes some excellent points and makes me wish you were writing or even editing comics for either of the Big Two…

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ps238principal said on July 29th, 2009 at 5:23 pm

I think it’s brilliant. It’s proof that Winick can actually write great comics.

Ah, I hadn’t grokked your intent. And I agree, ’tis a lovely bundle of humor and profanity.

I bought the single issues as well, and my favorite letter was from a dad reading it with his 10-year-old son, saying something to the effect of, “if my kid’s going to learn how to swear, this is how I want him to learn.”

I suppose it’s good he’s taking an interest.

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Uhm, Milholland has written something as good as Barry Ween. Its Something Positive…

I think SP is one of the truly overrated webcomics – tonally monotonous and too in love with snark, and it’s not really that funny either. So no, it’s nowhere near as good as Barry Ween.

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When Jason Todd died, Batman went off the deep end. I remember an issue (Alan Davis did the art) where Batman became reckless, almost as if he had a death wish.

Maybe he realized a kid who stole his hubcaps wasn’t the best Robin material.

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When Randy “Something Positive” Milholland took a few shots at Judd Winick, my first response was “write something even half as good as Barry Ween and then you can talk, buddy.”

My response to that is this.

“Create a comic that is read by millions of people daily and then find a way to make enough money to quit your day job and work as a full-time independent comic creator for over five years, even while giving away your most popular work for free every day”, and then YOU can talk smack about Randy Milholland.

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“… but for some reason he’s still sometimes a chump (see the whole thing with Vigilante in his own damn comic)…”

I think Chuck Dixon has a lot to answer for. For whatever reason, he decided to change Nightwing from being “almost as good as Batman at a lot of things, plus a better personality” to “Daredevil with less angst.”

Never mind that Nightwing can still take down thirty ninjas armed with chainsaws by himself, jump around like he’s Spider-Man and dodge lasers. He gets written in a slightly more plausible way than the rest of the Batman family and he suffers realistic injuries sometimes, so this results in fans of the Morrison-style Batman thinking he kind of sucks.

At the same time, Chuck Dixon did just about everything he could to convince people that Tim Drake is better than Dick Grayson at practically everything except acrobatics. He did a lot to Mary Sue the guy into being (allegedly) a better choice for the next Batman, and fans on message boards ate that stuff up.

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Ya know, “Read by millions” isn’t a very good qualification. Garfield was and is still read by millions, as is Ctrl+Alt+Del. It’s actually a trend that the lesser known Webcomics like The The Battle of Dovecote Crest, Raymondo Person and Dar!; A Top Secret Super Girly Comic Diary are of better quality than the ultra-popular monstrosities such as Least I Could Do, Wapsi Square and PVP.

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mygif

I think CAD would be in the tens of thounds, maybe 50k at the very, VERY most. But it sure as hell isn’t millions. Neither are the majority of webstrips. I really doubt Penny Arcade has a million readers.

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You know, if you try to diminish the accomplishments of professional web comic creators by saying their audience isn’t all that big… it actually makes their accomplishments all the more impressive.

Think about it – instead of getting a salary in the tens of thousands of dollars from millions of readers… you’re getting that salary from thousands of readers.

Of course all of this is a moot point, becuase I doubt we can convince MGK that “Super Stupor” is the equal of Barry Ween and MGK is likewise incapable of convincing anyone who has read Green Arrow/Black Canary or Titans that Judd Winick has any idea what quality work is.

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I mostly agree with you, Stig. I maintain that Penny Arcade is one of the finest examples of webcomics, but it’s in the minority of mega-popular comics that are still great.

But Erfworld is that rare treasure, a fantasy comic I thoroughly enjoy. Haven’t really been able to say that since…Bone, I think.

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Oh, believe me, I’m not diminishing a webcomic creator’s success at all. Scott Kurtz has been published with Image. Order of the Stick’s audience is growing more and more. Penny Arcade now funds not only fundraisers, but their own small (or is it pretty big?) gaming convention. As a writer, myself, I’ve always wanted to do a webcomic, but I can’t draw worth a crap.

I just don’t think their audiences are in the millions, that’s all. For Penny Arcade, I could believe maybe less than 500k, and even then, that’s being generous. I don’t think even Homestar Runner gets a million hits, but I could be very wrong on that.

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@Nick
Homestar definitely does not get a million hits. It’s not even close to the popularity it enjoyed when the site was all fresh and minty smelling.

But yeah, the Penny Arcade Expo is bigger and better than E3, and they’ve raised millions for the Child’s Play charity.

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ps238principal said on July 29th, 2009 at 7:41 pm

I believe P-A’s creators are millionaires in their own right already. They get loads from advertisers and charge tens of thousands of dollars to do those multi-page comic features (like the one for Gears of War and the more recent Fallout 3 strips).

It helps that they employ an actual marketing/sales guy (possibly guys) who help them maximize their revenue streams.

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malakim2099 said on July 29th, 2009 at 7:57 pm

What little I remember of Countdown (before the electroshock therapy), involves major disappointment at the hands of Jason Todd.

See, Jason Todd was harboring the “you didn’t avenge me” grudge towards Bruce. So what happens? He runs into an Earth (#51 or whatever), where Batman killed Joker. And then took out all the other supervillains, Punisher style.

Jason’s reaction? A suitably grown up “are you fucking nuts?!?” reaction. Of course, after he says that, the very next issue Batman-51 offers Jason the Red Robin duds, and he’s like “OMG SQUEE!”

So yeah, Jason Todd sucks. More to the point, Countdown sucks.

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BSD:

Since no one else apparently sees fit to comment, I should like to offer a hearty and wholehearted WORD to every damn thing you said. Mind if I quote you in my LJ?

Also, “Eye of the Beholder” is my favorite Harvey story as well. Great call!

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Rob Brown said on July 30th, 2009 at 1:58 am

Tony Daniel’s quoted as saying:

At this point [Jason] is beyond the point of no return in terms of ever being considered even remotely a hero. What I wanted to do here is put him in a place that he can’t come back from. The things that he does here in Battle for the Cowl are things that can never really be forgiven. The only outcome would have to be imprisonment or something worse. But from this point on for Jason the gray area between good and bad has disappeared. It’s crystal clear now that he is on the dark side.

From what I’ve read in the summary of BFtC, Jason hasn’t done anything truly unforgivable. He’s killed people, tried to kill Tim Drake and Dick Grayson, but while those things certainly make him an asshole they are not unforgivable. Two-Face has certainly done worse than that, and Batman didn’t consider Harvey a lost cause…hell, Batman trusted Harvey enough to ask HIM to be his replacement when he thought Harvery had been cured for good! Many of Batman’s villains are of the “they do bad things because they’re batshit crazy” variety, rather than the “they’re perfectly sane, they just do bad things because they are just pure fucking evil” variety. If there’s hope for a Harley Quinn or a Poison Ivy, there’s hope for Jason Todd.

But even if Daniel wanted to make the character unsalvageable, the question is “Why?” Comics history is full of characters who’ve been written off as lost causes and killed off or kept in limbo, sure, but there are also plenty of cases where lame characters are dusted off and written in a way that makes them good.

…it’s hard to buy Jason as a serious antagonist now

I haven’t read any Batman comics yet, and what I do know comes from looking up summaries and such online, so I’m having trouble understanding why that is. Reading the history here, there’s no denying that the character has been made to look pretty bad in the past. But in BFtC, he beat Tim. And while Tim might not be the most interesting of characters, from what I know he is not an easy guy to defeat.

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Kelberon said on July 30th, 2009 at 9:17 am

I think Jason Todd could have worked well if they’d given him to a writer who was enthusiastic about the idea, and then let them go forward with the focus entirely on Batman versus Todd, leaving out any confrontations with other Batman characters (possibly with the exception of Alfred, who might have some interesting things to say about Jason Todd) until we’d gotten at least two of those big confrontations.

That’s not to say that Jason Todd becoming some kind of nemesis to Dick Grayson or Tim Drake couldn’t have worked well, but I think that would have given him a better introduction. Though I also feel that part of the problem with Jason Todd is that the Batman characters are dangerously overstaffed right now, and removing Batman himself didn’t really address the issue. How valid can the complaint about “there’s so much crime” be when you have not one, not two, but 4 (possibly 5 if you include Spoiler, but I tend not to) masked vigilantes to throw at them? In that light, the idea of an opposing vigilante like Todd becomes much less intimidating, at least in theory, since you could basically throw 15 Batarangs a second until you knock him out.

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@Kelberon – 4-5 sub-Batman Vigilantes, but how many criminals on the loose? If they all teamed up to take on Todd, who’s dealing with the Joker across town?

I do agree that Todd would have worked best as the “Punisher” of the Batman family for want of a better term.

The Bats would have the dual problems of stopping the criminals and stopping Jason from stopping them permanently. And sure, they could lock him up, but the cells in Gotham can’t hold the normal criminals, let alone the ones trained by Batman.

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So, having just checked out “Something Positive” after seeing it mentioned here, I have to ask: did this guy originate what I think of as “Generic Web Comic Drawing Style A (Humour Division)” and thus deserve the blame, or not, thus deserving scorn for unoriginality/poor taste in influences?
Plus, do you need to read like a three month block of this strip and get to know the characters super-well in order for it to start getting funny?

Also, quick fact: Everyone is free to like or dislike, and to praise or dis, whatever they like, and how much someone you don’t care for earns is a complete and total non-argument.

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Kelberon said on July 31st, 2009 at 12:25 am

@Paul-That does make Todd a more credible threat, but from what I’ve seen, he’s mostly been presented as a solo threat-in other words, that he’s the only one attacking at the moment. In that light, 4-5 fellow vigilantes with Batman training (and possibly clearer thinking) are enough to take him down pretty easily. And if that shouldn’t be the case, I’d say it’s more evidence that he has been badly handled.

It might also make Todd more of a threat if he was more willing to bend or break other rules Batman has to get ahead, such as using superhuman enhancements, either biological or technological-though I’d go with technological ones over biological, since I wouldn’t want to see him turned into a laughable version of the Hulk. And while it might be cathartic to see him dress up in another version of the BatAzreal armor, that doesn’t mean it would be worth seeing that show up again.

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Paul Wilson said on July 31st, 2009 at 2:20 am

@Kelberon This is the point though, showing him as a solo threat vs 2 or more Bat-trained vigilantes is absolutely the wrong way to do him.

Have him fight a guerilla-style war in Gotham, hacking the Bat-Family communicators so he knows where they aren’t at any given time. And then have him show up there putting crooks in the ground rather than in Arkham for a bit until the Bats are forced to make him the main priority.

And then when they finally do capture him, have him walk out of Arkham/Prison a week later as a final indictment (in his eyes) that Batman’s way doesn’t work.

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Edgewood Dirk said on July 31st, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Jack Norris –

Randy Milholland’s humor is an aquired taste. I will grant you that it’s not for everyone. But in all honesty, I tend to view his strip as less being a comedy strip, and more of a drama strip, with dark humor thrown in.

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[…] Jason Todd post had me thinking: Does this DC Universe need a […]

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Evil Abraham Lincoln said on August 3rd, 2009 at 8:06 pm

I already typed up my idea on 4th Letter, but I’ll try to chop it down to size. Bottom line (at least until DC made a few changes), the Birds Of Prey has it’s own opposite number in the DCU

Red Hood, Azrael, Anarky and Batgirl (token female, a la Savant). Four peripheral Batcharacters, each rejected by their mentor in one way or another (once again, until the writers caved in and made Batgirl a hero), deciding to get back into Batman’s good graces by picking up where he left off. Namely, by fucking up peoples’ shit so thoroughly that (due to the fact that they’re too unstable/uncontrollable to be of use to *Batman*) they often leave piles of dead and/or broken bodies in their wake.

Anarky as Oracle, the rest of them as warped depictions of mainstays of the BoP, traveling the U.S. destroying crackhouses/meth labs, infiltrating and decimating mob families, committing acts of “corporate espionage” (read: terrorism) against major businesses, lots of street level “rob an old lady, get both of your arms broken” vigilantism and copious levels of moral ambiguity laced within. After all, thanks to all of the crises/Countdowns/big-name drama that’s been taking place, the rogue members of his family are just doing “what they’ve been trained to do: to defend the weak and powerless, to strike fear in the hearts of evildoers, etc.’ It’s just that they go a little too far in their dealings, the stereotypical “We did what we had to do!”, mindset that formulates the uneasy line between the anti-hero and the outright villain.

Red Hood would have been the field leader, dragging a recalcitrant/recuperating Batgirl and overzealous Azrael into battle. And as the series went along, he would have used his mantra of “I did what I had to do”, to ensnare other left-behinds like Creeper, Harley Quinn, Risk (LOL not anymore, bastards…) Connor Hawke, Ravager, Bombshell (another turd in my punchbowl) etc, until he had a veritable army of inbetweeners under his command. He would have been the morality pet of the group, the commander and warning, a living example of what happens when people abandon their responsibilities to the people who “create them” (Yeah, it was going to be pretty fucked up). And in the end, as the mainstream heroes finally turned their eyes downward from the stars, they’d notice the piles of devastation left behind by the {insert kewl name here} and spring into action. Final battlesite: Bludhaven, the Coast City of the new millennium. The players: {insert kewl name here} versus the united JLA, JSA, Teen Titans and Birds of Prey. Jason Todd/Red Hood on one side, Batman/Dick Grayson on the other.

But that would never happen.

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The reason I like Tim is because at a time when Batman was one greatbi angstfest, we got a sidekick that humanised him again,if only by not being Emoman.

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[…] lore is indisputable. In fact, the death of Jason Todd – the second Robin – ranks among a small number of events in the DCU that had become sacred to many fans. Todd’s resurrection in 2005′s […]

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