[identity profile] icon_uk.insanejournal.com posting in [community profile] scans_daily

Again from the archives, the start of a posting series I never got around to finishing, I hope this encourages me to keep going! :)

This is essentially, the introduction of Jason Todd to the Batverse, showcasing his introduction to the world of Robin-ness, reveal how pre- Crisis Batman handled so many things differently from his Post-Crisis, Frank Miller self, and also highlight the gorgeous, rich artwork of the late, great Don Newton (inked by Alfredo Alcala), one of the most under-appreciated Batman artists ever IMHO.

This sequence is the culmination of a long (for those days) story arc, about a new, super-smart, super-vicious crimelord rising in Gotham, determined to “break the Bat”.

No, not Bane, but the initial appearance of Killer Croc.. who was so much more than the mindless reptile man he later became. To finance his plans he's been extorting a couple of circuses (As a former sideshow freak, he has it in for circuses) and Batman asks Dick to check things out, using his circus contacts at the Sloan Circus, where his old childhood friend "Waldo the Clown" is still working

So, a brief intro to Jason from Detective 525;

Yes, Jason 1.0 (soon to be Robin 2.0) was indeed blond when introduced (And had fluffy 80's hair to boot!). I'm not sure whether to be impressed by Jason's powers of observation here, or worry about Dick's apparent unconcern about spooking an aerialist in mid performance, that's how accidents happen you know, and you weren't too pleased about the last one....

Isn't Jason just the cutest little thing? (And Giordano drawn Dick!Robin ain't bad either!) It's a nice little moment between them, but given events between Donna and Jason 2.0 in Countdown, slightly creepy perhaps... What the heck though, they've both been dead since then...

Ooooh.... Foreshadowing! That rarely ends well....

A short time thereafter (In the Batman issue between this Detective issue and the next one) Joe and Trina decide to surreptitiously follow someone they believe is Croc, but are discovered and... well, it doesn't end well for them....Most of this post though, comes from Detective Comics 526, the anniversary issue of Batman’s first appearance in the title.

I start with this lovely two page spread of Gotham’s LEAST finest… the line up here includes; Penguin, Gentleman Ghost, Two-Face, Captain Stingaree, Talia, Mad Hatter, Killer Moth, Mr Freeze, Clayface 2, Tweedldee and Tweedledum, Riddler, Scarecrow, Black Spider, The Spook, Catman and the Cavalier… Whew! I show it for no other reason than to showcase the lovely, lovely art.

The Joker is out in the audience, as he’s the one who called them there, as part of a plan to double cross Croc and take over from him once he’s dealt with Batman. I also show this next page for the art alone, that’s a lovely Batman training sequence right there. Newton always drew a terrific, dynamic Batman, solidly built, but never over-muscled. "Sleek" if you will.

The noise Alfred hears turns out to be Talia and Catwoman, both coming to warn Batman of the Joker’s scheme and some incidental sniping at each other.
Dick meets Waldo and Jason who chased after him with a bit of info that they felt he needed to know. Dick is worried, but leads them to Wayne Manor so they are at least not driving through the rain at night.

As it turns out it’s Batgirl, and it’s at this point that she reveals she again knows Batman and Robin’s ID, some time after they had removed that knowledge from her, with IIRC her sort of approval (Long story, don’t ask, it’s silly, and IIRC posted somwhere on here already)

This being the age of proper detective work… remember when they looked at clues and made deductions… They deduce the Penguin is involved too.

Meanwhile, back at the mansion, Jason is more than a little bored, and having weird dreams… so, since this is his first time ever in a mammoth mansion, he goes exploring.

And look what he finds! “Big trouble” indeed! I like the fact he doesn’t immediately think “Ohmygod! He’s Batman”, just “He’s a rich and very eccentric guy who keeps a robot dinosaur in his basement” and THEN finds the Batcloset!

Meanwhile, Robin and Batgirl track the suspicious car to the Zoo, and find a deeply nauseated Gordon waiting for them, the reason for his upset stomach is soon clear. The bodies of Joe and Trina Todd have been found dead in the Reptile House, and Gordon’s comment that he can only hope they were dead BEFORE Croc threw them to his friends is more disturbing than anything graphic they could possibly show now.

It's an odd moment to point it out, but I should also add that I love Newton's way with fabrics, he gives them a thickness, and a realistic drape, which is particularly noticeable on things like capes, and Robin's multi-layered costume. The tunic is distinct from the T-shirt and the cape is over that...

Dick REALLY freaks out, these aren’t only civilians, but personal friends that HE asked to help Batman. He is NOT a happy pixie boot wearing sidekick by any means…

Another brief interlude showing Croc (in the nude in a steamroom) confronting the Joker. I love the interaction here as the Joker runs the emotional gamut without meaning any of them other than “Scheming bastard” in the last panel.

Jason meanwhile has found the costume chest in the Batcave… why there IS one there is a question for the ages. He also uses the costumes to make the assumption that Bruce is Batman, rather than just assuming he’s rich, weird and kinky as heck… Ah, such naivete…

At any rate he decides “What the heck, if he can wear freaky costumes, so can I dammit.“ and spontaneously puts together a revamp of the Robin costume that actually looks not bad at all. Long leggings, colour variation from the original (sort of) long sleeves and a Kid Flash style cowl to differentiate him from the original. It also suits his blonde hair.

Disturbed by the arrival of the Batmobile, and not wanting to get into THAT much trouble, he hides, but can’t resist the urge to sneak into the trunk of the Batmobile and be killed by carbon monoxide fumes go on an adventure!

Next time; Jason 1.0's baptism of fire... and Croc and Joker's schemes come to fruition... or not...

Same Robin-time (kinda), same Robin channel..

Date: 2009-03-30 07:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] interrobamf.insanejournal.com
Jason's introductory panel makes it seem as if puberty skipped over him. The pink leotard isn't helping.

And goddamnit, tag makers. Barbara wasn't the first Batgirl. Stop using Roman numberals.

Date: 2009-03-30 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blake_reitz.insanejournal.com
The Robin costume isn't bad. I'm kind of shocked no one went back to it for inspiration in giving evil zombie Jason Todd a new costume (since the poor guy keeps trying new outfits).

Date: 2009-03-30 07:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sistermagpie.insanejournal.com
I feel so badly for Jason I. Because he's a nice kid, but I can't ever get over the do-over of Dick's origin.

Date: 2009-03-30 07:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mysteryfan.insanejournal.com
God I love this Batman, this Dick, this Babs.
Excellent post, my favorite version of this big three. (Characterwise, not name or even costume-wise. There's only two I want back in original costume, and only one in original name.)

I'm suddenly wondering if maybe Dick has suffered the least, in some ways. I mean from the lasting character damage? Maybe. Oh, and then there's Jason, too.

Love the story, that reveal in the reptile house is truly disturbing to me, the art is absolutely gorgeous. I will say, though, that on that last page, where Batman's typing? He always makes me think of Mr. Burns. It's just the posture and those little grinchy fingers.

Gorgeous though, and perfect. And the above is my very favorite Babs moment ever, when she shows up at the house, freaking out Dick a little, (and I love watching Alfred run with Dick to the veranda) then calmly revealing she's known all along, and being an awesome detective. Best ever Babs!

Date: 2009-03-30 07:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mysteryfan.insanejournal.com
Hmm? Oh! The firing?

*is confused*

Date: 2009-03-30 08:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sistermagpie.insanejournal.com
I mean the whole "OMG, you grew up as the child part of a family trapeze act and then your parents got murdered? Me too!"

Date: 2009-03-30 11:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] superfan1.insanejournal.com
I know what you mean like, even through it's cute too much of a redux.

Date: 2009-03-30 11:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mysteryfan.insanejournal.com
Oh, that!


I have contsructs in place. But I hear you.

Date: 2009-03-30 11:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mysteryfan.insanejournal.com
Gah. I cannot spell tonight. Constructs. If that's even a vaguely applicable word.

:backs away from the keyboard:

Date: 2009-03-30 11:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] superfan1.insanejournal.com
Ah it happens and easy of a word to misspell. ;)

Date: 2009-03-31 10:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lyraeinne.insanejournal.com
I've always wondered what the rationale was behind slapping that particular origin onto pre-crisis Jason. I mean, I get the feeling the similarity is supposed to feel interesting and coincidental rather than painful, but the story itself really doesn't do enough to make it work, I think. And it really does beg the question of what they were hoping to gain in replacing Dick with a kid who essentially IS Dick. Hmm.

That said though, OMG the art is gorgeous. Especially Dick. Gah.


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