Thoughts On : DC re-Shuffling the Deck

Many people have been talking over the new titles DC has announced, picking out favorites before we even know what they're really going to be about ... but not many people have brought up the titles that are officially cancelled.

 
What I'm looking forward to:

Stormwatch - Apollo. Midnighter. Manhunter. Need I say more? Seriously. Get the hell out of my way, these babies are going to be mine! My eager anticipation for these will likely make for it's own post. Seriously though, F-yeah!

Demon Knights - Jason Blood/Etrigan the Demon is a very underrated character. The stories done in the 80s and 90s were way before their time, so I don't think they were properly appreciated. I'm glad to see this character get attention again, he deserves it!

Red Hood and the Outlaws - Or the Red-Headed League ... or ... the team of Dick Grayson's ex-boyfriends and ex-girlfriend (you know it's true). I assume there is going to be a great deal of crack to this. I am looking forward to it.

Batman - Given.

Detective Comics - Given.

Batman : The Dark Knight - Likely going to be one of the better Batman runs.

Batman and Robin - I have a love/hate with this one. I really don't see Bruce and Damian as being good partners (among other things, they are too much alike). Dick did not break Damian in for him to be Robin for Bruce's Batman. Personally, I would have preferred Dick and Damian to remain partners. After all, Bruce might be Damian's Father, but Dick is his Dad. I'll miss them together.

Nightwing - The originally Nightwing series only really got good near the end, so maybe they'll start off right from the beginning this time. Of all the new titles however, I am most cautiously pessimistic about this one ... after everything he's been through, I don't want anyone to ruin Dick Grayson's character.

Justice League International - The global approach is appreciated, but I don't understand the real difference between this and the regular Justice League ... don't they both work on international/global/inter galactic issues?

Justice League - Always a good stand-by.

Suicide Squad - In place of Gotham City Sirens, it will have to do.

Red Lanterns - The only spectrum of lanterns I have any interest in.

Superman - Given.

Action Comics - With little information, I'm worried about what are they going to do to Clark...

Supergirl - This has great potential. I'm not usually a fan of the girl-comics, but having a hero who doesn't necessarily like the people she's meant to save is good characterization! I like the potential stories that could come of it.

Superboy - Similar to above, though I hope to see Clark and Conner's initial relationship re-worked a little.

 

What I'm going to miss:

Superman/Batman - They're great together; it's how I prefer them. These stories are the best and always first (mandatory) on my pull list if funds are tight. Though I know some people don't like them, I am the sort of fan these stories are written for. I'm going to miss it a lot! I am hoping they will make up for it by interacting in one another's titles or for League events.

Gotham City Sirens - It was great giving these girls their own run. They are great characters, traditionally villains but often well-intentioned or reformable under the right circumstances. I enjoyed seeing things from their point of view.

Batman, Inc. - After getting off the Return of Bruce Wayne high, Batman Inc. was initially very disappointing. I've only started to like it after reading #6 ... but I do (now) like it. Even knowing it was doomed to fail from the beginning as a plot point, I will miss it. Then again, there are enough Batman titles to keep me busy.

 

What I'm not going to miss:

Adventure Comics - The (2009) beginning of these were good (the ones with Superboy/Conner Kent), but once it became all about the Legion of Super Heroes, I was bored out of my mind and turned off completely. Yes, I am one of those people simply not interested in Legion stories.

Batman Beyond - Never interested. Then again, I'm likely not the audience they were writing for to begin with. Still, Superman already had a clone, Batman didn't need one too (even if technically, Damian is one already). Terry, you will not be missed by me at all.

Red Robin - While I did my duty as a fan and read these stories, I didn't enjoy them all that much (except for Ra's kicking Tim's ass, that was great). Then again, Tim is also one of my least favorite characters, so I'm glad it's over.

Start the Conversation

Lazy Day Quiz : Job Fair


Take the Comic Vine Job Fair

Your Results:

Green Lantern Corps 100%
Welcome to the Green Lantern Corps! After some rigorous training, you will be given your own sector to patrol. Hope you really like the color green.
Batmen of All Nations
Every country should have its own Batman. Take your pick. You'll be re-located and get your own silly costume based on Batman. If you're lucky, you just might be able to meet the man himself.
72.5%
Mystery, Inc.
Time to celebrate. Break out the Scooby Snacks. You now get to be one of the "meddling kids" and help stop all those spooky dudes that like to play dress up. And just maybe they'll let you drive the Mystery Machine too.
70%
Gotham City Police Department
You've joined the proud men and women of the G.C.P.D. Those are some dirty streets that need some serious cleaning. Working together, you can help fight evil and write parking tickets. You also get your own gun! Just steer clear of any purple dressed clowns.
67.5%
Start the Conversation

Thoughts On : Jason Todd

At first, I did not think very much of Jason Todd. For a long time, I was on team "Get rid of him!" For me, Dick Grayson was the only Robin I wanted and severely disliked the idea of some other kid coming in to replace him.

It has taken me X-amount of years and five Robins later to finally come around regarding Jason.

Trauma and Child Abuse

First, we have to see things from Jason's point of view, by understanding the time-line of his life. As we learn from Battle For the Cowl #3, Jason has been the victim of some undisclosed "trauma" from his childhood.

Jason, by now you've been told of my death. And you're probably surprised o be invited back to the save. But like Tim and Dick, I'm leaving you with the one thing I can't give anymore. Advice.
 
Of all my failures, you have been my biggest. I take full responsibility for your wayward and self-destructive path in life.
    
You were broken, and I thought I could put the pieces back together. I thought I could do for you what could never be done for me. Make you whole.

What happened to you as a child ... the terror, the pain, the horrors. But that secret is one that neither of us should have kept. You needed repair, and instead I gave you an outlet to act out on. For that, I apologize. But it's not too late for you to get the proper healing you never received. It's not too late for me to help you. It's time for you to stop what you're doing. Alfred knows of a brilliant doctor who- 

This could mean many things, but let us for the moment assume that Jason was the subject of abuse. Be it physical or emotional or something darker, the subject of abuse so often seems to be underplayed. When someone says they were abused as a child, it is almost impossible (except for the professionally trained) to acknowledge properly what that child has been through. Unfortunately some people address the idea of abuse as something people should get over; suggesting it is not something important. But that is one of the reasons why abuse is so hurtful, the victim, in this case, the Jason Todd as a child would understand that the abuse he suffered isn't important, that he, isn't important.

And while I could go on regarding the subject of child abuse in general, until we know what exactly happened to Jason, it is best to move on to other points.

The Second Son

Whatever life Jason had before Bruce, was certainly a nasty one; it made him hardened from an early age. When he came into the Wayne household, he was being offered a new life, with wealth, resources and privileges he had never known before. Though what mattered most to Jason, was having Bruce in his life. Having an adult, a father figure, family care about him - love him - protect him. It makes sense that this would be something he would value more then money, if he came from an abusive family.

However the "every orphans dream" utopia of having a family that cared about him, came at a price. He would have to follow Bruce's rules, which at first was easy enough. Jason didn't want to disappoint Bruce, he (like those before, and after him) wanted to impress Bruce, impress Batman. But this was proved not only difficult, but impossible in some regards. Jason couldn't play upon his own strengths and talents while 1) following Bruce's rules or 2) acting as Dick Grayson's Robin.

Being the "replacement" to Dick Grayson, the golden son, was probably the most physiologically frustrating. Not only was Jason living in Batman's shadow, but also Dick Grayson's Robin. As a requirement to even join Batman as Robin meant Jason had to dye his red-hair, black. He was meant to be the Robin that Dick had created, rather then one of his own making.

Not only this, but Jason had little to no relationship with Dick (essentially his brother). It would be like going into work and being told you are replacing Mr. G, but you've never actually met the guy and don't know what his job responsibilities are. You are being set up for failure, just like Jason.

And so he is, in a family of black sheep, he is red. Jason has no connection to Dick at this point in his life, and later (after his resurrection) still has no ties to his other "brothers", Tim or Damian.

Loving Someone Who Hurts You
 
  • Mother

Regardless of past abuse, Jason still wants to go to his mother and save her. But the woman only cares about using him and though she gives him over to The Joker for his crowbar beating, Jason still manages to pull himself up, go to her side in attempts to set her free. She doesn't deserve a son as good as Jason, but Jason is also confused about love. It continues to support my argument of childhood abuse, as it is a classic example allowing your abuser to continue to hurt you in hopes that it will prove just how much you love them. A twisted and sad state of logic which Jason should have gotten help for, before now. But this is his struggle, because Jason wants to help his family, who in return, only want to hurt him.

  • Joker

Alright, so obviously Jason doesn't love The Joker. The psycho killed him after all, and yet at some point Jason decided to emulate The Joker by becoming the Red Hood. He made it into his own, but the underlying problem remains, Jason doesn't have an identity of his own, but rather adapts and adopts what is already around him (I'll get into this further on, later).

  • Bruce

Though physically abused or manipulated by his parents or The Joker, Jason has the biggest love-hate relationship with Bruce. His life with Bruce at the manor was a place of refuge. It was where he probably first felt safe in his life. It was also probably where he first dared to feel loved. This was no easy responsibility and Bruce should have known better then to put Jason in a situation where he falls back into old habits; being the subject of abuse and manipulation.

Medical Effects

It is a recurring theme and utter joy for The Joker to hurt children with excessive violence. We have since seen it time and time again, but in the day, seeing The Joker beat Jason with a crowbar is truly a horrific image (even though we never see it directly). Considering that a crowbar is mostly a blunt, but solidly made tool, we are left to imagine that being beaten with one would be an extremely painful experience. I cannot help but use the dialogue in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves for this analogy:

    Sheriff of Nottingham: Locksley! I'm gonna cut your heart out with a spoon.
    Guy of Gisbourne: Why a spoon cousin? Why not an axe?
    Sheriff of Nottingham: Because it's dull, you twit, it'll hurt more.

Except that crowbars also have a hooked end, similar to hammers. On hammers, it is meant to pull nails out of walls. On crowbars, it is meant to peel back metal or wood. But on a boy? It would likely have pulled back skin and muscle, breaking bones and causing unfathomable amount of damage. I say unfathomable, because honestly, I don't want to think about it. My wife often works in the ER and comes home with some horrific stories; imaging real-life medical effects to this sort of beating it simply horrific.

Not Avenged

This seems to be Jason's biggest disappointment in Bruce. Not that he died in the first place, but that he was not avenged. From his point of view, he was "saved" by the enemy when he was resorted to life, when Talia put him in the Lazarus pit. I think t is when Talia tells Jason that The Joker, his murderer, still lives, Jason felt truly betrayed. Like companions to The Doctor, in Doctor Who, Jason thought he was special. Instead, Jason feels displaced, rejected by Bruce, not important enough. So he does not return to Bruce after his resurrection. He tries to go his own way, but as he discovers, he cannot overcome the need to bring justice to the world. However now that he has the freedom to do so 1) no longer following Bruce's rules and 2) no longer playing the part of Robin, Jason is able to cultivate his own brand of justice.

And yet he is still living in the shadow of those who came before him. Jason cannot make an identity for himself, only adopt ones already in existence. As seen by his becoming Red Hood (formerly Joker), Nightwing (formerly Dick Grayson), or Batman (formerly Bruce Wayne). Over the years Jason experiments with these costumes and personas, trying to figure out who he is. And yet it appears he is still very much defined by his relationship with Bruce. He is still trying to be a hero. Though no longer follows Bruce's code when it comes to killing. Just as Dexter is a serial killer who kills other serial killers, Jason kills other killers. For his logic, this is justice.

The Future of Jason Todd

I have come around in regards to Jason Todd. He is a fantastic character and I am looking forward to following him as he continues to make guest appearances in Batman & Robin, Detective Comics, Batman, Red Robin, Gotham City Sirens, or his own spin-off, Red Hood.

While Dick Grayson will always be Bruce's golden son and favorite, I am very pleased to see Jason Todd written with depth and internal conflict. He has become an interesting character that after X-amount of years, I am finally invested in!

Good luck Jason Todd. We'll be watching.
5 Comments

Recruiting Experienced RPers

Looking to recruit experienced RPers with a strong sense of canon characterization.

It is a forum/thread based RP, with many fandoms represented.

Ideally, we're looking for some one to write for one of the following:

  • Jim Gordon
  • Lex Luthor
  • Bane
  • Jim Gordon
  • Connor Kent
  • General Zod
  • Ursa
  • Oliver Queen
  • Barry Allen
  • Martian Manhunter
  • Zatanna
  • Wonder Woman

Some Elseworld canon version may be accepted as well, but we'll talk about that in person if that is the direction you want to go.
 
More information about the game will be given once you express interest.

But for now I leave you with this teaser:

Characters from all fandoms are invited to play.

Imagine it, Oliver Queen gets to meet Robin Hood. Martian Manhunter meets Spock. Or Zatanna teaches Morgana a few tricks.
 
Though fair warning:

Please note that ALL GENRES are accepted: Het, slash, and femshlash are all welcome here. There are no restrictions on that sort of thing, though anything deemed NWS must be moved to personal journals. 

Start the Conversation

Fandoms

Former Fandoms*
*I could still have a meaningful conversation about these fandoms, but I no longer actively follow

Television
 
  • Xena
  • X-Files
  • Highlander
  • Sliders
  • MacGyver
  • Babylon 5
  • Farscape
  • Firefly
  • Lois & Clark : The New Adventures of Superman
  • Early Edition
  • Dark Angel
  • Torchwood
  • Third Rock From The Sun
  • Frasier
  • Star Trek, ST: TNG, ST: DS9, ST: Voyager
  • Stargate SG1
  • (Derek Jacobi) Cadfael
  • The Avengers
  • Get Smart
  • BATMAN The Animated Series
  • SUPERMAN The Animated Series
  • (animated series) Justice League/Justice League Unlimted
  • MST3000
  • Monty Python

Movies
 
  • Flash Gordon
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • The Boondock Saints
  • (Peter Jackson's) Lord of the Rings

Novels/Comics
 
  • WildC.A.T.s
  • Green Arrow
  • (Frank Herbert novels or SciFi mini-series) Dune
  • (Arthur Conan Doyle novels, Jeremy Brett) Sherlock Holmes
  • (C. S. Lewis novels or Walt Disney Pictures) The Chronicles of Narnia
  • Sandman
  • Death

Other
 
  • Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog

Current Fandoms*
*Open to debate, theorizing, or general fan-appreciation regarding these fandoms, as they are ones I actively follow

Television
 
  • (Jeff Lindsay novels or Showtime) Dexter
  • Doctor Who

Movies
 
  • (Robert Downey Jr) Sherlock Holmes

Novels/Comics
 
  • (J. K. Rowling novels or Warner Brothers Pictures) Harry Potter
  • Batman/Detective Comics
  • Batman & Robin
  • Streets of Gotham
  • Red Robin
  • Gotham City Sirens
  • Superman-Batman : World's Finest
Start the Conversation