Jason Todd's personality & ethical guidelines/rules

#1 Posted by Sinestro2828 (1511 posts) - - Show Bio

I haven't collected many of Jason Todd's comics so I know him best from the "Batman: Under the Redhood" animated movie and from what I've read online. What I want to know however, is how would you best describe Jason Todd's personality and "moral guidelines." He's supposed to be an anti-hero protagonist in his new comic book series...And I've heard some questionable things about that series, but thats besides the point, what I want to know is what traits does he possess that could make him into a REAL anti-hero as opposed to being a psychotic bastard with a grudge against the Batman family and Joker?

From what I saw of him in the movie, Jason seemed sincere about cleaning up the streets of Gotham, only he was very violent about it and his ultimate goal was really forcing Bruce into a situation in which he had to choose between killing him or the Joker. In short, he came off as an angry mad man who's hatred toward Batman rendered him unable to become a true anti-hero, but rather a supervillain who deluded himself into thinking he could be a better Batman than Bruce. From what I've read online he seems to also be responsible for the deaths of police officers and anyone else who impeded his idea of justice, even targeting other members of the Batman family, particularly ex or current Robins. So basically what I want to know is....Does he have ANY redeeming qualities at all that could make him believable as an anti-hero that people could sympathize and root for in his own comic series? From what I've read and seen he makes a great bad guy but before I look into his new comic book series I'd like to know if he can make a decent, albeit violent, good guy?

For me, a good anti-hero is a good guy who walks the fine line between good and evil, going so far as to take out the bad guys rather than lock them up but at the same time looking out for the well being of innocent civilians (and not killing cops unless they're crooked or something XD). So tell me folks, has Jason displayed any tendencies or qualities in any of his past appearances that would make it possible for him to follow such guidelines or is he really just a rapid dog who's self-destructive nature will ultimately tear his new "Outlaws" team apart once his new friends realize how batshit crazy he is? Does he have any rules or codes of honor or morals that prevent him from going completely over the deep end into bad guy territory?

#2 Posted by Lion_Heart22 (446 posts) - - Show Bio

His portrayal has at times been inconsistent. I myself would prefer him to be an anti-hero who walks on the edge of the abyss, I think DC needs more interesting characters like that, and Todd's story would be fitting to that end. However he has at other times been portrayed as genuinely insane or psychotic. He even tried to kill Dick and Tim, something I think shouldn't really be in character for him. I see him as a guy that ultimately wants to rid the world of bad guys and isn't afraid of killing to accomplish this. Hence, he doesn't really have a reason to try and murder Drake or Grayson. Besides, it's completely off character for him: prior to Battle for the Cowl, he had already beaten Tim Drake to a pulp and didn't saw fit to kill him then, Why would he suddenly decide he deserves to die later on? He also shot Damian in that arc (which was awesome), and trying to kill a child doesn't seem like something Jason would do. Then again he might have been counting on Damian's body armor to save him. I think Jason would obviously resent Bruce and the bat-family, but would still respect them at some level while trying to prove he can be better than them.

Jason's code is like that of an anti hero, he isn't afraid to kill scumbags who really deserve it, but wouldn't kill innocent bystanders or guys that actually try to make the world a better place.

But then again, maybe I'm just talking about how I'd like to see Jason develop as a character instead of how he's been portrayed since the "red head-silly costume" change.

#3 Posted by daredevil21134 (11860 posts) - - Show Bio

@Lion_Heart22 said:

His portrayal has at times been inconsistent. I myself would prefer him to be an anti-hero who walks on the edge of the abyss, I think DC needs more interesting characters like that, and Todd's story would be fitting to that end. However he has at other times been portrayed as genuinely insane or psychotic. He even tried to kill Dick and Tim, something I think shouldn't really be in character for him. I see him as a guy that ultimately wants to rid the world of bad guys and isn't afraid of killing to accomplish this. Hence, he doesn't really have a reason to try and murder Drake or Grayson. Besides, it's completely off character for him: prior to Battle for the Cowl, he had already beaten Tim Drake to a pulp and didn't saw fit to kill him then, Why would he suddenly decide he deserves to die later on? He also shot Damian in that arc (which was awesome), and trying to kill a child doesn't seem like something Jason would do. Then again he might have been counting on Damian's body armor to save him. I think Jason would obviously resent Bruce and the bat-family, but would still respect them at some level while trying to prove he can be better than them.

Jason's code is like that of an anti hero, he isn't afraid to kill scumbags who really deserve it, but wouldn't kill innocent bystanders or guys that actually try to make the world a better place.

But then again, maybe I'm just talking about how I'd like to see Jason develop as a character instead of how he's been portrayed since the "red head-silly costume" change.

,You are absolutely right.

#4 Posted by Sinestro2828 (1511 posts) - - Show Bio

@Lion_Heart22: Thank you for that in depth analysis of Todd's character, I haven't seen enough of him to be a proper judge of him so I appreciate the intel. I agree that the idea of Todd being an anti-hero, a good guy who teeters on the edge between good and evil and crosses the line that most DC heroes don't, BUT, who doesn't loose himself to the beast within (i.e. doesn't murder cops, other heroes, or innocent bystanders). An anti-hero with somesort of honor code that ultimately keeps him on the side of good despite his extreme methods seems like a much more endearing character with alot more potential than an out of control psycho who wants Batman & the various Robins dead, ESPECIALLY if he is to be taken seriously as the main character of an ongoing comic series.

God knows I'd like to see a character who takes on and takes out the various big bads who inhabit the DC universe instead of sending them to a super jail that they always break out of, just to add variety to the franchise.

Marvel has the Punisher, I'd like DC to have the Redhood, but only if he's done right...and doesn't take advantage of amnesiac aliens for snooky >_<

#5 Posted by daredevil21134 (11860 posts) - - Show Bio

@Sinestro2828 said:

@Lion_Heart22: Thank you for that in depth analysis of Todd's character, I haven't seen enough of him to be a proper judge of him so I appreciate the intel. I agree that the idea of Todd being an anti-hero, a good guy who teeters on the edge between good and evil and crosses the line that most DC heroes don't, BUT, who doesn't loose himself to the beast within (i.e. doesn't murder cops, other heroes, or innocent bystanders). An anti-hero with somesort of honor code that ultimately keeps him on the side of good despite his extreme methods seems like a much more endearing character with alot more potential than an out of control psycho who wants Batman & the various Robins dead, ESPECIALLY if he is to be taken seriously as the main character of an ongoing comic series.

God knows I'd like to see a character who takes on and takes out the various big bads who inhabit the DC universe instead of sending them to a super jail that they always break out of, just to add variety to the franchise.

Marvel has the Punisher, I'd like DC to have the Redhood, but only if he's done right...and doesn't take advantage of amnesiac aliens for snooky >_<

Read Red Hood Lost Days if you haven't,its good stuff.

#6 Posted by primepower53 (5686 posts) - - Show Bio
@daredevil21134 said:

@Lion_Heart22 said:

His portrayal has at times been inconsistent. I myself would prefer him to be an anti-hero who walks on the edge of the abyss, I think DC needs more interesting characters like that, and Todd's story would be fitting to that end. However he has at other times been portrayed as genuinely insane or psychotic. He even tried to kill Dick and Tim, something I think shouldn't really be in character for him. I see him as a guy that ultimately wants to rid the world of bad guys and isn't afraid of killing to accomplish this. Hence, he doesn't really have a reason to try and murder Drake or Grayson. Besides, it's completely off character for him: prior to Battle for the Cowl, he had already beaten Tim Drake to a pulp and didn't saw fit to kill him then, Why would he suddenly decide he deserves to die later on? He also shot Damian in that arc (which was awesome), and trying to kill a child doesn't seem like something Jason would do. Then again he might have been counting on Damian's body armor to save him. I think Jason would obviously resent Bruce and the bat-family, but would still respect them at some level while trying to prove he can be better than them.

Jason's code is like that of an anti hero, he isn't afraid to kill scumbags who really deserve it, but wouldn't kill innocent bystanders or guys that actually try to make the world a better place.

But then again, maybe I'm just talking about how I'd like to see Jason develop as a character instead of how he's been portrayed since the "red head-silly costume" change.

,You are absolutely right.

#7 Posted by ThexX (1570 posts) - - Show Bio

Jason Todd is a anti hero. He is just like the Punisher from Marvel in some ways. And please to other fans out their please let the writers develop the comic Red Hood & The Outlaws before jumping to conclusion when its the FRIST ISSUE

#8 Posted by Rabbit_May_Cry (303 posts) - - Show Bio

To me personally, Jason has been a character with the most hurtful background. His family died, forcin' him to become a thief to survive. He was then taken in by Bruce...(the only good thing to ever happen to him)...and became Robin. But what people didn't expect was that Jason's street life was harder to shake than anyone expected, as he didn't care if bad people died...or if he severally injured one of them. With this happenin' none of the people around him cared to take the time to help him...(except for Bruce, and Alfred)...which caused him to distance himself from everyone he knew...(he WAS a titan after all).

Which was then followed by the realization of him bein' adopted...(before Bruce adopted him)...and tryin' to find his birth mother who he thought would be the only person who could understand and care for him. But more tragedy struck, as his birth mother betrayed him to help the Joker kill him. In the end, he still tried to save his mother, but failed as they both died by the explosion.

Followin' his resurrection, Jason learns that NO-ONE cared that he died...they all just went on with their lives. He learns that he was replaced by Tim as Robin, and that all of the titans excepted Tim, noticin' that Tim actually had...friends. Then he learns that the titans cared so little for him that he didn't even get a statue when he died. This forced Jason to confront Tim to see if he was worthy enough to replace him, and ended with Jason knockin' Tim out, and snatchin' off the "R" on his Robin costume.

But things didn't end their, as he learned that neither Bruce nor Dick seemed to care that he died either. And these were people who were suppose to be family to him. He also learned that the Joker was still alive...even though he was the person who killed him. So he set-up a plan for Bruce to do what he felt should be done. Either Bruce was goin' to kill the Joker for killin' Jason, or Bruce was goin' to kill Jason because he really didn't care for him to begin with.

You know the rest of what happened...so I don't have to say anything else about his life.

So to me Jason has had problems with feelin' unloved, and unwanted...betrayed, and easily forgotten, by EVERY person he's grown to care for. It's not that he wants the Bat-family dead, but that he wants them to care. Even if they hate him, it's still a carin' feelin' to him. He just wanted SOME kind of connection to his family. But some writers do write him as psychopathic, with the only objective to kill...which is wrong to his entire character. Although, the writer of his new book...(Scott Lobdell)...has already stated that Jason doesn't want a family of any kind right now. And that he's tryin' to keep the Bat-family away from Jason because he wants people to see who Jason is without bein' "obsessed" with the Bat-family. I've read it, enjoyed it, and suggest it to you as well.

Also, Jason has had some hero adventures...like when he teamed up with Donna Troy. And when he teamed up with Nightwing. Of course these are team-ups because Red Hood and the Outlaws is the first comic where he takes center stage as the main character.

#9 Posted by ComicStooge (12902 posts) - - Show Bio
@Rabbit_May_Cry
 
I agree with everything you said, except the part about Bruce not caring that Jason had died.
#10 Posted by Doveland (132 posts) - - Show Bio
@Rabbit_May_Cry said:

To me personally, Jason has been a character with the most hurtful background. His family died, forcin' him to become a thief to survive. He was then taken in by Bruce...(the only good thing to ever happen to him)...and became Robin. But what people didn't expect was that Jason's street life was harder to shake than anyone expected, as he didn't care if bad people died...or if he severally injured one of them. With this happenin' none of the people around him cared to take the time to help him...(except for Bruce, and Alfred)...which caused him to distance himself from everyone he knew...(he WAS a titan after all).

Which was then followed by the realization of him bein' adopted...(before Bruce adopted him)...and tryin' to find his birth mother who he thought would be the only person who could understand and care for him. But more tragedy struck, as his birth mother betrayed him to help the Joker kill him. In the end, he still tried to save his mother, but failed as they both died by the explosion.

Followin' his resurrection, Jason learns that NO-ONE cared that he died...they all just went on with their lives. He learns that he was replaced by Tim as Robin, and that all of the titans excepted Tim, noticin' that Tim actually had...friends. Then he learns that the titans cared so little for him that he didn't even get a statue when he died. This forced Jason to confront Tim to see if he was worthy enough to replace him, and ended with Jason knockin' Tim out, and snatchin' off the "R" on his Robin costume.

But things didn't end their, as he learned that neither Bruce nor Dick seemed to care that he died either. And these were people who were suppose to be family to him. He also learned that the Joker was still alive...even though he was the person who killed him. So he set-up a plan for Bruce to do what he felt should be done. Either Bruce was goin' to kill the Joker for killin' Jason, or Bruce was goin' to kill Jason because he really didn't care for him to begin with.

You know the rest of what happened...so I don't have to say anything else about his life.

So to me Jason has had problems with feelin' unloved, and unwanted...betrayed, and easily forgotten, by EVERY person he's grown to care for. It's not that he wants the Bat-family dead, but that he wants them to care. Even if they hate him, it's still a carin' feelin' to him. He just wanted SOME kind of connection to his family. But some writers do write him as psychopathic, with the only objective to kill...which is wrong to his entire character. Although, the writer of his new book...(Scott Lobdell)...has already stated that Jason doesn't want a family of any kind right now. And that he's tryin' to keep the Bat-family away from Jason because he wants people to see who Jason is without bein' "obsessed" with the Bat-family. I've read it, enjoyed it, and suggest it to you as well.

Also, Jason has had some hero adventures...like when he teamed up with Donna Troy. And when he teamed up with Nightwing. Of course these are team-ups because Red Hood and the Outlaws is the first comic where he takes center stage as the main character.

Amazing explanation! It would have been PERFECT except for the part that 'no-one cared he died'. Bruce took it PRETTY hard when he died and I remember reading Talia al Ghul's opinion of it in the Lost Days; she thought it would drive him over the edge. 
 
Bruce is just that emotionless Dad who can't hug his boy, or he just doesn't know HOW to.
#11 Posted by ComicStooge (12902 posts) - - Show Bio
@Doveland
 
 

 
 
#12 Posted by Rabbit_May_Cry (303 posts) - - Show Bio

@ComicStooge: @Doveland:I was speakin' from Jason's point of view. I know that Bruce cared...but Jason doesn't FEEL that he cared. That's why I wrote that he didn't, because Jason feels that he didn't.

#13 Posted by ComicStooge (12902 posts) - - Show Bio
@Rabbit_May_Cry
 
Fair enough.
#14 Posted by Rabbit_May_Cry (303 posts) - - Show Bio

@ComicStooge: Thank you.

#15 Posted by Nathaniel_Christopher (1656 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah, the fact Jason never got that Titan statue always seemed incredibly disrespectful and wrong to me. He wasn't a Titan for long, but really its simply about respect. I wouldn't say that neither Bruce or Dick cared though. When Dick found out he died he was really broken up about it and felt like he'd failed Jason in a way. That's why he's made sure to be such a big part of Tim's life. And Bruce obviously cared lol to say he didn't is blatantly wrong. As Tim pointed out to Jason during their first fight in Titan's Tower, he's spent his entire career in Jason's shadow. Everything Bruce has done with Tim has been to make sure he didn't end up with the same fate as Jason. I do think that Jason Thinks that Bruce didn't care or that he didn't care enough. The reason I listed above aren't enough for him. And that's a combination of his past, what went down with his mom and an inferiority complex when it comes to Dick Grayson and partially Tim Drake.

#16 Edited by Shotgun (900 posts) - - Show Bio

Why is it that everyone always forgets that Jason also has a nice sense of humor? Pre-crisis and post-crises Jaybird was so hilarious, before the DCU decided to get darker and writers decided to write Jason into a grittier/'bad' robin.

#17 Edited by htb106 (1641 posts) - - Show Bio

He was a funny Robin in the first place, I've even got some comics where he jokes about stuff.

Now he's moody.

Lighten up Jay.

Edit: I've realised that the comment I made above isn't true after I read more of the current series.

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