Wednesday, September 19, 2012

SPOILERS: Red Hood and the Outlaws #0

Jason Todd's life wasn't exactly a happy one. Nice girl gets mixed up with a bad boy, they have a kid, and life doesn't go all that well. As a young boy, Jason had to take care of his mother as best he could, given she developed an addiction to drugs. At the same time, his dirtbag father would try and "mentor" him in the ways of the street. That chapter of Jason's life all came to an end when his father was arrested, and later killed in jail, while his mother later OD'd.

Jason did what he had to do to survive, which mostly consisted of theft. One night he got caught, and beat up. He later woke up under the care of Leslie Thompkins, who despite her care for him, he repaid by stealing some drugs to sell, and dipping out in the middle of the night.j

Sure enough, Jason was caught... and while not stealing the wheels off the Batmobile, the end game is the same. Jason became Robin, and it was good for a bit, all up until the point he was sentenced to "monitor duty" in the batcave. This is where he would see a picture of his own mother, seemingly alive in the middle east... and do I really need to explain the rest? Let's just say there's a crowbar involved. The next thing he knows, he's waking up in a lazarus pit.

But that's not the end, there's a twist! According the Joker, he created Jason. Set up his whole life, just to have fun with him, as a game. Had his father go to jail, his mother "OD" on a drug laced with chemical that simulates death, and so on. Joker is quite proud of himself, as he created his own Robin. But as the Joker giveth, he taketh's away. But even Mr. J couldn't predict would would ultimately happen to Jason.


So, weird issue. I'm not sure what to think about it. I had no problem with the bulk of it, aside from Pasqual Ferry's art... wasn't a fan. But the Joker thing... I don't like that, not at all. To think that everything in Jason's life was orchestrated by the Joker, it's just too much. That being said... you could interpret it as Joker being Joker, and you don't know what story he tells is true. A lot like the origin story he gives in The Killing Joke, even he admits he doesn't know if it's true. Still... I don't like it. I'm on the edge with this issue. Some parts I liked, some parts I didn't. Thus:



  1. Hnn....Joker orchestrated everything in Jason becoming Robin? That just doesn't hold up as a story I believe. A little far fetched to me.

  2. But what does hold up is Joker saying that - even if it's not true. I took it as the result of the Joker's febrile imagination.

  3. Any thoughts on Jason's mom being pregnant when his father was being put in the police car?

  4. So what's next? Joker is his real father? It's too much. It makes everything empty for Jason and the reader. Beyond that, Joker would have to know who Batman is then... since Bruce Wayne adopted Jason. If Mr. J knows who Mr. B is, then it also makes everything kind of pointless. Yeah, I just don't like this.

  5. While it may be bad for Jason's story, it's good for the Joker's story. The impact of his two greatest (Worst) accomplishments; killing Robin and cripling Barbara, has now both been undone, taking lot of the 'wow factor' away from a character who is supposed to be Batman's greatest foe. Without those two things, what's he done? Escaped a lot, killed a lot of peope we don't care about. (Did he kill Gordon's wife in this continuity? Not sure, but I suspect not.) So while it is kind of cheesy and somewhat undermines Jason's history, I'll take it. The Joker should be capable of doing something like that.

    And I've thought he must know who Batman is at least since Jason's death. Bruce Wayne's kid dies in the same county around the same date? Not to mention in Knightfall when Batman was gassed by Scarecrow and beat Joker up while screaming "Jason!" the whole time. But that was then, this is now. Maybe they'll explain that in "Death of the Family".