Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Batman and Robin #11 preview review

This "review" is only based on the preview since I heard that it's the only time Jason and Damian interact. Since Robins are the main reason I was getting Batman and Robin I'll just sum my thoughts up here. A bit long.

Having read the new interview with Tomasi I have a little more insight into how he writes Jason Todd. He doesn't say much but he has one major misconsception of the character. Jason doesn't have "supreme self-confidence." This is the Robin that had Bruce repeatedly compare him to Dick, that put the simple hope that Bruce did care for him above Bruces' fault for not saving him. Who broke down in UTH because he KNEW Bruce would never pick him. That said Tomasi gets more than one detail wrong.

Why the hell would Jason stay in Gotham? Jason has made a break from the bat family and only visited it in his own series when: a.) the issue was forced by a bad guy with a grudge and b.) because Tim asked him to help. He wanted to leave ASAP both times. Jason knows this whole thing is about Damian trying to inflate his own ego, that it's pointless and is wasting all of their time. He said so himself last issue. Jason has no reason to stay much less loudly proclaim that this is his safe house and greeting the bed. (Seriously WTH was with that?) If he knows Damian is there he should say that but then again why would he play along? This is just painfully forced.

How the hell does Damian even know where Jasons' safe house is? While I hated Winicks' last Red Hood arc it showed that Dick and Damian were truly shocked to discover that Jason had a warehouse of supplies hidden in Gotham. But like last issue the other bat boys talents are nothing compared to the Robin who's Batmans' son by blood. It's obnoxious that he can not only hack Tims' computers but figure out Jasons' safe house. Out of all the Robins Jason is the most unknown to him thus he should be the one he has the hardest time figuring out. Sure Jason Todd haters will love this but honestly has Jason ever been written as much of a smug self righteous bastard as Damian is here? Yeah Jason has been written bad but that was when they were trying to make him a crazy villain, Damian is supposed to be the hero. He's far more annoying than Jason could ever hope to be.

I'm honestly disgusted with Damian at this point. It was tasteless and sick to leave a crowbar out like that. It's like going up to Barbara, showing her a gun and saying it was her own fault for getting shot. I hate victim blaming with a passion. Also Damian? I think you're leaving out all the times you had your ass handed to you by other people, including the Joker and oh yeah, Tim. From the looks of it Damian triggered Jasons' Post-Traumatic Stress. (*1) I'm glad I don't follow this title on a normal basis because this right here deserves punishment but I doubt Bruce would do anything if he knew. Damian mocked Tim for a girls' death now does worse with Jason. Others would be benched or fired for far less but not Bruces' bio kid.

Am I supposed to feel for Damian here? Because I still don't. Nor do I understand why Jason is going along even if he does so reluctantly. Again he should have simply left. I'm not even surprised that Jason was the one to figure out the truth about Damian killing No Body. I do find it interesting that despite the fact Damian did more horrible things to Jason, Tim was the one who quickly lost his temper. Jason--the guy known for being hot tempered--holds back because he's fighting a 10 year old. Points to Tomasi for at least showing Jason being mature and following the belief system set up in UTH. (The one when he's against hurting kids.)

No Damian, Jason didn't fail himself. He stayed true to his beliefs and tried to save the woman who betrayed him. His mother. Something any of the Robins and Batman himself would do. Hell Cass' series ended with her going after her own mother which led to her own downfall (a.k.a. the brainwashing crap.) Once again Damians' arugment is full of more holes than swiss cheese. To Jasons' credit he sees what they have in common. They both seem to ignore what the other says but I get the impression that Jason hits the mark far more than Damian does. Not just because Jason is making improvements in his own series but because Damian seems to be losing his cool while Jason holds back.

But how does Damian know Shelia betrayed Jason? She didn't tell Bruce, the Joker never mentioned it to Batman (he didn't know Shelia was related to Jason at the time) and Jason sure as hell didn't tell anyone. Bruce honestly thought she was a loving woman because he buried her next to Jason! I have to ask, again, what Damian is trying to prove? I know what he said last issue but his actions aren't the same. He hasn't beaten any of them at what their best at. At most this is a stand still since Jason refuses to take it seriously. Damian runs as soon as Jason is willing to truly defend himself acting like he did something amazing. He stole the helmet as soon as Jason looked away and ran. Not that impressive. Did he steal part of Tims' costume because this seems a little random. But it should be noted that Jason has rigged his helmets with explosives in the past. Just saying.

Did you notice?: I don't read this title beyond this arc but I looked online for pictures of the bat boys unmasked. Why? Because a detail popped out at me. All of them have blue eyes but the coloring always has them with black or dark blue eyes in this title. Jasons' are bright blue here. It's hard to miss. I don't think it was on purpose but I love that detail. See back in DITF Bruce knew Shelia was Jasons' mother because he had her eyes. To me that meant his eyes had to be different, so much so that even Batman would instantly think a stranger must be related to Jason.

Say What?: Actually Jason wiped a smile off of Jokers' face in UTH by revealing a secret about the Joker. He also beat the crap out of the Joker in UTH. Normally I'd expect Damians' taunt to come back to haunt him when he encounters the Joker but given how he's the flawless prince? Seems unlikely.

I'm guessing (hoping) that the lack of mentions to past meetings and the Talia thing means that those aren't canon anymore. Although Jason could be mature enough not to mention the Talia bit or defeating Damian in the past, I'm still hoping their not canon.

*1. While not outright called PTS Jason has all the signs of it. When he first confronted the Joker in Lost Days he couldn't kill the clown because seeing him triggered flashbacks of his death. Tim has alluded to this in RHATO #8 by stating that he understands that dealing with his murder and return to life was a lot to handle.

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