Jason Todd Is an Angry Sweet Boy—Let Him Live, for Real
***SPOILERS FOR TITANS***
How many times will the public be responsible for the murder of Jason Todd? How many times will you crowbar this baby? Well, it seems for some, once is not enough.
Jason Todd has been elevated to a regular on Titans in this second season, with his darkness and bad behavior being highlighted because he’s the middle child of the Robins. The Jan Brady if you will. Recently, it became known that a fan poll has been put up to vote once per day on what they’d like to see happen to Todd after his little incident in the last episode. According to CBR, over 12,000 votes have been cast, and “Jason Dies” is ahead by a few hundred votes.
Now comic back fans are well aware that this is not the first time this has happened to the wee Robin. In fact, if there are two things you know about Jason Todd it’s that he was 1. murdered by the Joker, but it’s 2. the fans who truly held the crowbar.
Jason Todd was created to succeed Dick Grayson, the original Robin, as Batman’s vigilante partner once Dick decided he wanted to be his own bird-man and not a sidekick. Initially, Jason was very much a Dick 2.0, but slowly Todd was turned into an orphaned street delinquent, whom Batman attempts to reform and mentors him rigorously.
Jason has immense insecurity due to being the “replacement” Robin (he even dyes his hair to look more like Dick) and in attempts to make Jason more rough around the edges didn’t cover that well. Though initially popular while he was Robin, the character was not well received by fans following the revamping of his origin by Max Allan Collins.
This is when Jason became, well, let’s just say a douche-bag. He pretty much murders someone in what I like to call the Felipe incident.
There is this bad guy named Felipe, who is the son of a South American diplomat who’s heavily involved in the cocaine trade. Because of this, he has that Dr. Doom-style diplomatic immunity and even Batman can’t stop him because “reasons.” Jason says street justice because Felipe is not only a drug dealer, but he also beats his girlfriend and drives her to commit suicide.
Jason decides to confront Felipe himself, and Felipe just happens to end up falling from a skyscraper. Batman asks if Felipe fell or was pushed. They don’t confirm, but he totally did it.
Anyway, people were not really fans of this and the negative reception led to DC Comics holding a telephone poll in 1988’s “A Death in the Family” storyline to determine if Jason would die at the hands of … the Joker. The poll ended with a narrow majority in favor of killing Todd, resulting in his death.
For a long time Jason Todd became one of those characters in comics whose death was so important that he stayed dead. That is, until 2005.
Todd was resurrected in 2005’s “Under the Hood” story arc and became the new Red Hood, an antihero with a willingness to use lethal force and weapons. Since his return he has been a really great foil to Batman as his “failed” son besides his biological nuance Damien. I have always love Jason because he’s just such a little shit sometimes and I do love how his existence highlights flaws in Batman as a father figure and teacher.
All the Robins teach us something about Bruce and I think Jason taught us that Batman does have this depression to fix broken kids and that, for him, Jason was Bruce if Alfred hadn’t existed. Jason (much like my other sweet boy Tetsuo) was just a little too hardened to be molded into Dick 2.0.
As for Titans, leave my baby alone!
(via CBR, image: DC Universe)
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