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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Second Wind?

I've been thinking about Jason Todd. Specifically why I'm so "meh" about his resurrection, especially in contrast with Marvel counterpart Bucky. I was really excited by his initial pre-OYL unveiling as the Red Hood, but ever since, I've found him somewhat disappointing.

I liked the initial idea of Jason-as-Red-Hood because it seemed like they were going beyond a simple raving villain antagonist, to someone very ends-justifies-the-means. I've always found that sort of villain interesting. The ones with the goals that may not be all that bad. "Clean up the streets", or the Glasses-Man from Heroes's single minded protectiveness over his daughter. Of course, the fun is that they still go to questionable and extreme methods to get what they want.

I thought it'd be interesting in particular to have a character like that tied so closely with the Batclan. Batman would never be able to ignore the Red Hood's actions now that he knows the truth and it'd make for some awesome interaction.

Unfortunately, OYL, I kind of felt like the potential fell a bit short.

Especially since Jason didn't really seem the same in any book he was in. Though I suppose ignoring Bruce Jones's Nightwing is probably the best notion in general there. Creative ideas, I suppose, but a very poor fit for the series/characters in question.

The Red Hood as written by Winick is still pretty interesting. But he seems a lot more cartoony as a villain to me now. I suppose I was hoping he'd end up a bit more "amoral" rather than "immoral" if that makes sense.

Actually my favorite Jason Todd, I'm not even sure counts as Jason Todd (I've not read it in a while) but it was Nightwing in Outsiders. I'd heard rumors that the initial plan was for that Nightwing to be Jason in disguise, but the actual survival of Dick threw it through the loop. Really though, it's impossible to imagine Dick Grayson condoning the sorts of means that the Outsiders used.

However Jason Todd...makes perfect sense. I admit, sadly, I haven't read Outsiders in ages...I had to trim my pull list for financial reasons and that one, fence-sitter that it was, went pretty quick. So I don't know if he was ever revealed to be Dick or not.

It'd be cool if he isn't. That gives lots of potential for later conflict. And as far as I remember, the only guy who knew Dick beneath the mask on that team is now busy with bigger things.

I don't think Jason's a bad character right now. Certainly it wouldn't take much to make him cool. Hey. If BUCKY can be cool... :-)

8 Comments:

  • At January 30, 2007 7:38 AM, Anonymous elias A said…

    I think the problem with the Red Hood arc was Black Mask. He is an entertaining villain, sure, but a bad choice as the villain in the Jason/Batman conflict.
    Either, Bruce should be worried Jason is in over his head and will be killed, or he should start wondering if Jason's method really works better. But as far as I remember, Winick did neither of this.

    Jason seems so unbeatable and superior that we just don't see why he does not take down Black mask right away. Instead he just annoys him, again and again - boring.

    How can a vigilante who kills work in Batman's world? Obviously, he will editorially not be allowed to kill the Joker. And Batman would want to stop him, and will look incompetent if he does not manage this.

    The only solution I see is to show Jason's and Batman's different approaches in small, everyday murder cases, where Jason could execute the murderer, but maybe discovers he has a small kid or something like this to show Jason still has a conscience. (Has he?) But Winick's story was not working for me.

     
  • At January 30, 2007 8:38 AM, Blogger Mr. Allison Blaire said…

    It's weird I always hated Jason Todd and loved Bucky. Now I like Winter Soldier a lot and don't care too much for Red Hood. Maybe I'm not reading the right comics but I don't understand his whole motivation. Is he proving himself to Batman or hates Batman or what ? Does he really want to accomplish good or is he just looney ? I like the helmet and jacket and stuff though, if that counts for anything. Was he getting training or something during the years he was supposed to be dead ?Maybe I'd like him more if he wasn't such a brat when he kicked Tim Drake's ass. I think Bruce needs to read Dr. Spock or something.

     
  • At January 30, 2007 10:13 AM, Blogger Julio said…

    On Outsiders was revealed that was Dick Grayson, but they are telling right now that the reason they faked their deaths and are running for the authorities is the Red Hood fault. (They didn't explained what he did yet, but already blamed him). Is just a mess, really.

     
  • At January 30, 2007 10:53 AM, Blogger Flidget said…

    The thing is there's nothing similar about them except they're sidekicks who 'died'. Jason's a lot like Mar'vell, he's mostly iconic because he died . . .

    And now he's not dead anymore.

    Bucky has a lot more going for him. He was Marvel's first kid sidekick, he wasn't a screw-up like Jason was, his 'death' was heroic and even though he's killed people he's done it as a soldier under orders, not as a murderer. The issues between him and Cap are mostly in his head and could pretty much be solved with a hug.

    The issues between Jason and Batman are a mile-long and keep getting more complicated and then you have to add his issues with Dick and his issues with Tim. The thing with every writer portraying him completely differently isn't helping either.

    Maybe we can blame it all on Jason-clones.

     
  • At January 30, 2007 1:50 PM, Blogger Laura said…

    Bucky has a lot more going for him. He was Marvel's first kid sidekick, he wasn't a screw-up like Jason was, his 'death' was heroic and even though he's killed people he's done it as a soldier under orders, not as a murderer. The issues between him and Cap are mostly in his head and could pretty much be solved with a hug.

    Really, I'd go so far as to say they are all in his head. That is not to say that makes them invalid, but Cap doesn't blame Bucky for what he did as Winter Soldier (as he should not.) And even though Bucky was a teenager, he wasn't that much younger at 16 than other soldiers; my oldest uncle lied about his age to enlist and was 17 when he parachuted into France on D-day. So Cap doesn't really have any weird "recruited a child to the Mission and got him killed" hangups. Just a more normal grief and guilt over the loss (and now, over what Bucky endured.)

    Bucky's thing, I think, is that he's screwed in the head and knows it, and doesn't want to deal with Cap while he's fucked up.

     
  • At January 30, 2007 2:12 PM, Blogger Doc Hall said…

    Like Julio says, so far Outsiders Nightwing is Dick Grayson.

    I did hear a rumour to the effect that it was originally supposed to be Jason, but was changed to Dick in the mad scramble following the decision to reverse his death in IC.

    I suppose it's best to see how the getting to OYL story pans out before passign judgement on the whole thing. Sweeping things under the carpet and hoping the fans forget about it seems more like Marvel's style than DC's. DC is all about the retcon.

     
  • At January 31, 2007 10:30 AM, Blogger Marionette said…

    I'm mostly about the principle of the thing. There should be some heroes that stay dead, and not just the unpopular ones that nobody was interested in. It doesn't matter how well the resurrection is done, it should be a surprise, not an expectation.

    Plus Jason Todd was a git before and death hasn't improved him.

     
  • At January 31, 2007 5:06 PM, Blogger Bill D. said…

    I think a lot of the problem with Jason Todd is that the shock of his return was ruined by the false reveal in Hush. If Hush had actually been Jason Todd, now that would've been something special, because that moment had "Holy S---!" value up the wazoo. But nope, it's actually Clayface. Then, Jason comes back for real, and everything's all "Didn't we just read this story?"

    You'd have to think that Batman would start wondering if every new villain he encountered was going to end up being Jason Todd, though.

     

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