whitesycamore: (Robin noir)
[personal profile] whitesycamore posting in [community profile] scans_daily
I wasn't all that enthused for the new DC retroactive series, but the description for this one caught my eye.

Mike W. Barr did some wonderful work with Jason, and I hope this new comic will remind us that, once upon a time, Jason DID have some upbeat moments and he did have a good relationship with Bruce. Quite apart from my affection for the character, I think painting him as such an obvious bad seed right from the start makes Bruce look like a damn fool for not spotting that. I also prefer characters to be multi-faceted - it's not fun OR realistic to paint Jason as never having known a happy moment or a friendly relationship with anyone in the world ever...



After Jason is shot by the Mad Hatter, Bruce explains to Dr Thompkins why he decided to make Jason Robin.





Bruce tentatively suggests that possible death is better than growing up lonely... (not sure I'm with him on this one, but still very touching in context).








And Jason affirms that being Robin is still what he wants, more than anything.





(I'm not really sure what the significance of the Walt Whitman quote is, other than that the human body is pretty awesome and it's cool that Jason didn't get broken beyond all repair).

I love this comic for being a rare, positive take on Jason-as-Robin that still stays true to his post-crisis origin. It's dark in tone without being gritty, and acknowledges the potentially destructive side of Jason's anger without making anger *all* that he is.

Still, we all know what Jason's direction is right now. Personally, I feel there'll be nothing clever or interesting in constantly dropping anvillicious hints about his dark future, although it wouldn't surprise me if editorial have decided to swing it that way. :/ However, if Barr stays true to his original depiction of both Jason and Bruce then this (56 page! :D) one-shot issue of DC Retroactive: Batman - the 80's should be a delight.

Date: 2011-04-27 10:52 am (UTC)
kamino_neko: Kamino Neko's mildly shocked icon. (Mild shock)
From: [personal profile] kamino_neko
My main thought 'wow, they're really de-aged Leslie lately, haven't they?' She looks 10-20 years older than she generally does now.

(Jason, conversely, seems to have gained a decade and change, despite his era only being probably 5-7 years ago, and his being dead for most of that.)

Date: 2011-04-27 12:22 pm (UTC)
wizardru: Hellboy (Default)
From: [personal profile] wizardru
This was a running gag in John Byrne's version of She-Hulk. One of the supporting cast was the original Blonde Phantom, who wanted Jen to work at the DA's office so she could become a recurring character again, granting her effective immortality. A few issues after she joined the cast, she de-aged into her younger, much hotter self from the 40s.

Date: 2011-04-27 11:27 am (UTC)
blackruzsa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blackruzsa
All the hope they put into Jason's character and BAM, death,
isn't a nice thing to think about.

Date: 2011-04-27 02:27 pm (UTC)
heckfire: (Default)
From: [personal profile] heckfire
Much as I scream about DCU editorial messing things up, Jason's death WAS the result of a fan poll, remember.

Date: 2011-04-27 02:52 pm (UTC)
blackruzsa: (Default)
From: [personal profile] blackruzsa
Yup,
and I wonder what those fans were thinking D:<
It made a good story, sure, but still.

Date: 2011-04-27 03:40 pm (UTC)
benicio127: (Default)
From: [personal profile] benicio127
I still think the idea of a company that is trying to produce literary works using a poll to decide the outcome of a character is actually the most ludicrous. On top of that, a number of people wrote in to DC following the vote to say they voted for Jason to die just to see what DC would do.

And I hate how fans claim that the fan vote is what "seals the deal" about Jason's death: "Well, the fans wanted it!" Frankly, Jim Starlin wanted it and he made Jason to be so unlikeable that fans would want it. Even if the vote hadn't happened, Starlin would have found a way for Jason to die.

Date: 2011-04-27 04:48 pm (UTC)
ext_197528: (Default)
From: [identity profile] kurenai-tenka.livejournal.com
Similarly, some people voted that way because they thought it would lead to the death of the Joker.

Funny how Jason's expectation of that is now portrayed as being ludicrous, huh?

Date: 2011-04-27 05:48 pm (UTC)
benicio127: (Default)
From: [personal profile] benicio127
Ha, that is true!
Like, on the one hand I still think Jason's death is incredibly important to the Batman mythos, but on the other hand, I just hate the manipulation by the writers and I hate that he was literally in SO few comics as his post-Crisis incarnation and wasn't even actually given the chance to evolve or grow like, say, Damian was. Initially, people haaaaaated Damian. And some people still really dislike him. But he has at least been given the chance to grow as a character.
And Jason's growth as a character has become basically.... costume changes. Because somehow the idea of a grey character in the Batverse is a bad idea to some??? (side-eying you, Tony "villains should be villains and I don't like the idea of redemption" Daniel and Dan "He's crossed the line therefore he's a villain now and forever more" Didio)

Whups, I just went to that cynical bad place again....

Date: 2011-04-27 03:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] screamsheet.wordpress.com
It's worth noting that the fan poll had about 10,000 call-ins with a difference of only 72 votes in the final outcome. So if the poll had a margin of error of even 1%, then the results are in doubt.

Date: 2011-04-27 12:05 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Sigh... [personal profile] whitesycamore ol' buddy, we may disagree about many things... many many things... many many MANY thi... (Okay, you get the idea! ;) ) but as regards to the awesomeness which was the Barr/Davis teams' take on the Batverse (and Jason in particular, he's just so damnably CUTE (and I mean that in a completely non-pervy way, he's just adorable)) in those sadly too few Detective issues, we speak with one voice.

I can only hope that the Retroactive issue ignores the present and stays happily in the past.

Date: 2011-04-27 01:17 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
I think the Dick and Jason Robins being impulsive, and a little reckless and overconfident in their outlook and style, is part of their innate charm. They're kids after all, this should be an adventure to them (as horrifying as that might be to us looking at it from a safe distance)

Tim's more cautious approach as Robin was deliberate and built up well, since the Robin who came AFTER the one the Joker killed probably would be a little more cautious. (The Tim!Robin meets Dick!Robin Zero Hour issue highlights that nicely)

What Barr does, and which pretty much no one else did, or has since, is show that being Robin WAS good for Jason, he got to be a kid, to have a life as Jason Todd AND adventure as Robin.

Yes, his past was pretty miserable, but that WAS the past, and thanks to Bruce his (then) present was positive and upbeat (Chronic injuries to one side). Jason sulking a bit I don't have a problem with, most kids do, but Jason being sullen as an apparently major personality just plain doesn't work for me. ("Sullen" clashes with the outlook on life of someone who wears pixie boots as work clothes IMHO)

Date: 2011-04-27 01:52 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
I think the issues some of us old fogies have is that so much of Jason's current history as Robin was added after his death.

Jason 2.0 was barely around for a year and a half before he was killed (debuted in comic dated June 1988, died in an issue dated December 1989) and that was basically it. (I also think this issue of Detective is the only one which makes it clear that Barr had been writing Jason 2.0 as opposed to Jason 1.0, as it was sort of in flux around then over in Detective), so a lot of material has been retconned/inserted (depending on how you define retcon). Things like Jason smoking as Robin has been added in, when the Jason at the time smoked before Batman took him in, but we never saw him do it afterwards, so to me it comes across as trying too hard to make him seem edgy and rebellious all along, but after the fact.

I'm also don't think that Starlin aged Jason 2.0 to post-adolescence particularly, he always seemed to be about his usual 14 to 15 (tops) age, but these things are rather flexible depending on the whim of the writer and the style of the artist.

Date: 2011-04-27 02:47 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Oh there's a chronic disconnect, that's for sure. I love my Davis/Barr page from Detective like few others in my collection, but I don't think I'd want a page from the Starlin run.

I can't think of the exact scene your recalling there (Nightwing Year One?) so I'm probably missing context, but I can see Dick's "sneaky, mean little punk" being meant as a sort of compliment from a former Robin to a new one.

"Sneaky" is a good thing to be when you're a sidekick since deception will be one of your primary tools, the whole "But I'm just a kid, what damage could little ol' me do to big thugs like you... oops, sorry, was that your kneecap? AND your skull? Clumsy me..."

"mean" I think is meant to imply that he's a scrappy so-and-so who fights to win and doesn't mess around. Also a good thing when you're a Robin and half the bodymass of most of your opponents, it's no job for a fighter who stretches things out too long.

"little punk" is probably more about attitude, and Jason had been kind of in Dick's face, which Dick wasn't keen on, but had to admit worked (If it was that effective against HIM, imagine what it would do to the bad guys)

Imagine it said with venom and it's unpleasant (and a very un-Dick Grayson thing to say to boot). Imagine said with (somewhat grudging) respect and it comes across better I think.

Date: 2011-04-27 06:57 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Micro Robin BatPalm)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Yeah, that was indeed Nightwing Year One, and I recall that line, which I think was meant as some sort of grim-humour foreshadowing (No, I didn't really find it funny either)

I can (If I squint my eyes really tightly) sort of see where it's coming from in intent (if not execution) with Dick immediately noticing that one of the things about the new Robin (which Jason 2.0 set up from the start back in 1988) was that he would fight a lot more quickly than his previous self or Dick.

Dick and Jason 1.0 weren't fighters at the outset, they were acrobats, and they had to be taught how to use those skills to fight as Robin. Jason 2.0 was a fighter who had to be taught acrobatics to move like Robin.

I have to say I actually liked that as a mindset if they wanted a different sort of Robin, one that Batman had to restrain from fighting first, detecting later and sort of rein in until he could be taught to fight more effectively. Sadly the first run of Jason 2.0 never really addressed that (to my satisfaction at any rate).

Date: 2013-03-18 01:30 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] lego_joker
As an admitted Dixon fanboy, I don't think that Dixon was an overt Jason-basher - the line about the Joker struck me as Dick being bitter toward Bruce, not Jason.

And though I might be in the minority on this, I didn't have a problem with Jason's portrayal in Nightwing: YO. The last issue was all about Dick sympathizing with Jason as they face down (a thankfully intelligent and interesting) Killer Croc, noting that he knows Jason acts impulsive and rude to hide his fear of not being good enough.

Date: 2011-04-27 01:49 pm (UTC)
retro_nouveau: AARP Bruce (31)
From: [personal profile] retro_nouveau
... Robins being impulsive, and a little reckless and overconfident in their outlook and style, is part of their innate charm.

Agreed! I love people like that.

Date: 2011-04-27 03:49 pm (UTC)
benicio127: (Default)
From: [personal profile] benicio127
No, I don't want Jason to be innocent/naive, either (was it Barr who wrote the Tec issue with Rhonda where they're at a bar and Jason asks for a glass of milk?) I LIKE his post-Crisis personality.

But I also don't want the Dixoned version where it's suggested that he deserves what he got. Something like Gotham Knights 43-45, I'd be quite happy with.

I was thinking about posting this here, haha, I'm glad you did :D

Date: 2011-04-27 04:50 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
I like to think that Jason in the scene with Rhonda (Which was indeed from the Barr/Davis run) was a sort of last gasp continuity-wise of the less streetwise Jason 1.0 before he was wiped away by Jason 2.0. (And I think a little naivete is also a useful part of being a Robin (so Batman can explain things properly).

Though he patrolled the streets with Batman, Jason 1.0 wouldn't have had much experience in socialising with ladies of Rhonda's profession so may have had some unfortunate preconceptions which Rhonda didn't gel with. (And as Batman notes firmly, when Jason puts 2 and 2 together after the fact, it doesn't matter what she does for a living, she should always be regarded first and foremost as a lady. Now, there's someone raised by Alfred talking!)

I always liked Rhonda, she was fun. I hope we see her in the Retroactive issue!

Date: 2011-04-27 05:36 pm (UTC)
benicio127: (Default)
From: [personal profile] benicio127
I always liked Rhonda, she was fun. I hope we see her in the Retroactive issue!

I do, too, actually! Haha, I hope she has upgraded her style from Pat Benetar to maybe at least Gaga.

Yeah, I think one of the problems with the Tec issues written by Barr where they were moving from Jason 1.0 to 2.0 is that he was still being written as Jason 1.0 in personality for the most part. I'm not sure if that's why he wasn't used much after Tec 580, but there was almost a black out on Robin in Tec after that. Which is kind of sad in that it meant that Jason 2.0 was just in fewer issues. And he wasn't in very many Batman issues between 408-430. All together, Jason 2.0 didn't have very much screen time. :'(

Date: 2011-04-27 06:59 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
She appeared in the Barr/Davis "Black and White" story in her usual seat at McSurly's bar, having to explain to a crook (who, as it turns out, was a kidnapper) who wanted a teddybear fixed so his hostage would calm down that when people says she was "good with her hands" that's not quite what they meant...

Date: 2011-04-27 11:52 pm (UTC)
benicio127: (Heh)
From: [personal profile] benicio127
Ahahahah I remember that, actually! Awww maybe she will be brought back in? *Blue Lantern ring*

Date: 2011-04-27 11:51 pm (UTC)
benicio127: (Default)
From: [personal profile] benicio127
IDK, though... I still don't think I'd be a fan of a naive, innocent kid who came from the streets? Like... it just wouldn't make sense in my mind. Like it's one thing for him to be like: "Whoa, a baseball game, I've never been to one, I've only tried to get in to them or got the chance to watch it on TV! This is the best ever, thanks Bruce!" but for him to not clue in that Rhonda was a sex worker* or not be wary of shady areas of the city or not be more street-wise, I wouldn't be happy about that because it's not post-Crisis Jason. The former is an innocence I can buy, the latter examples aren't, do you know what I'm saying? I'm definitely not saying I'd want him to be written as angry/obnoxious/stealing cars to prove a point (lol, Dixon), but just at the very least be aware of his surroundings. One of post-Crisis Jason's characteristics was that he had street smarts. I also wouldn't have a problem with him smoking, even, because that's actually not a retcon, even though people think it is because it was in Gotham Knights 43, but he was seen smoking in Batman 408.

(*which is the way that Barr portrayed Jason 1.0 and interestingly, DC received letters about how naive he seemed, lol, it's like they couldn't win one way or the other with the kid)

But I'm so worried that DC will swoop in and announce that no one will accept/recognise a Jason who's written that way, and that he should be a snotty problem kid to the MAX! Because that's in character!!!

Ugh, fuck, they let Morrison write him as a red head and someone who is suddenly quoting Milton so who knows what's considered in-character.... (See the cynicism is rubbing off on me aaaaaahhhhhh)

Date: 2011-04-28 10:01 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Breathe OUT the Starlin/Dixon/Morrison, breathe IN the Barr... Breathe OUT the Starlin/Dixon/Morrison, breathe IN the Barr... :)

And surely cynicism cannot withstand Alan Davis Jason of any iteration? See that smile!

Date: 2011-04-28 12:57 pm (UTC)
benicio127: (Jay rawr)
From: [personal profile] benicio127
xD!!!

That does help... :)

Date: 2011-04-28 10:09 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Oh and Jason smoking before Bruce took him in certainly isn't a retcon, but Jason smoking as Robin is.

As his parent/in loco parentis I can't imagine Bruce or Alfred would have allowed that to continue.

Date: 2011-04-28 12:35 pm (UTC)
benicio127: (Default)
From: [personal profile] benicio127
Oh they definitely wouldn't have approved, but I don't doubt he would have snuck around them!

Date: 2011-04-28 12:56 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
He'd have tried at any rate.

I'm actually more amused than I should be by the thought of Jason guiltily sucking mints whilst sitting in the Batmobile, praying that Batman can't smell the ciggies on his breath or on his costume (and wondering if he can concoct a story about saving a puppy from a burning building to explain the smokiness).

Alfred being Alfred, of course, can doubtless identify 74 different kinds of cigarette, cigar and pipe tobacco by lingering smell alone, and I would NOT want to be the Robin who thought he could get away with smoking on Mr Pennyworth's watch.

Date: 2011-04-27 01:31 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] omgwtflolbbqbye
I guess this would be a good time to ask if anyone could post scans from Leslie's debut in DC 457.

I've never ever seen anything from that story before and I don't know any tpb that reprinted it.

Date: 2011-04-28 10:11 am (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
We've never had "There is No Hope in Crime Alley" posted on s_d? Wow! I'll see if I can dig out my copy for scanning.

Date: 2011-04-27 01:45 pm (UTC)
retro_nouveau: (50)
From: [personal profile] retro_nouveau
That's awesome. Bruce, Jay and Leslie completely from another universe time.

"Anvillicious" is a great word. I see "anvil" + "vicious", and it fits perfectly in your context.

Date: 2011-04-27 03:17 pm (UTC)
wonderwomanhero: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wonderwomanhero
Leslie Tompkins....wasn't she directly responsible for Steph's death during War Games? And then she was banished or something?

Date: 2011-04-27 03:59 pm (UTC)
benicio127: (Gah!)
From: [personal profile] benicio127
War Games wasn't exactly the best portrayal of um, any character. It kind of ranks up there with Battle for the Cowl and Cry for Justice in terms of terribleness... (It just had the added coup of ruining Leslie's character and the overtly sexualized torture of Stephanie Brown!)

Date: 2011-04-27 04:23 pm (UTC)
retro_nouveau: AARP Bruce (11)
From: [personal profile] retro_nouveau
What? Stephanie Brown never died. And Leslie Thompkins is an honorable physician dedicated to preserving life. And "War Games" was just a Matthew Broderick movie. These aren't the droids, move along, la la la. :)

Date: 2011-04-27 07:00 pm (UTC)
icon_uk: (Default)
From: [personal profile] icon_uk
Very much a case of "When previous writers give you lemons, make as close to lemonade as you can without anything like actual sugar to hand."

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