Friday, August 14, 2015

Roy Harpers' Behavior Part 2

Where Roy gets a bit reckless, thoughtless and one has to wonder what's going on.

I covered his behavior from issue #2 here but Roy has managed to be...well kinda an ass. In all fairness the first thing I'm calling attention to isn't quite his fault. At least not the part where Jason falls from a building (okay we never saw how that happened) which leads to Roy saving him in a painful manner. Via shooting an arrow through his best friends' chest to make sure he climbs up with the rope that was attached. Right after wincing at the sight the first thing that struck me about this was what happened last issue. Remember Roy going on about him being the one to see the big picture and inventing ways to protect them from their enemies? Roy was so busy coming up with elaborate defenses for threats that were unlikely to occur that he never considered something useful for the field. Something that has happened in the past and was likely to happen again.

Namely falling which didn't use to be a big deal since they had Kori around. To Roys' credit he does realize he wasn't prepared and needs to be in the future. Despite being a little upset that he was shot Jason mentally admits he trusts Roy more than he's ever trusted anyone else. Which is a problem in this set up since Roys' current mental state doesn't have him entirely focused, at least not on the important things. He apparently never considered the problems that could come with giving out their number. Roys' once again used all of their money on something else he never asked Jason about. At first the plan was to go legit by working for Battleworth which Jason reluctantly agree with. Now Roys' ruined that by calling too much attention to them. He already knew she wanted secrecy because she yelled at him over it in #2.

The Outlaws moved around a lot during their time together but where they stayed said something about them. The island was mostly peaceful with plenty of space on the ship. Jasons' safehouses were neat and well stocked with any equipment he'd need. The warehouse their in now is definitely Roys' place. It was his idea and from what we've seen of it so far it mostly reflects his work space. Very little of Jason is seen in it with stretches of bat symbols and maybe a few guns.

Plans have escalated since last issue to the point Roy has devised ad campaigns for a heroes for hire type of business. Jason wasn't informed of any of this until the ads were already running. What really struck me about the ads was the fact it focuses so much on Jason. He's the only one seen, it's call Rent-A-Bat and Arsenal only is an abbreviation in the embarrassing Red Arse number. Now we know that Roy has issues with not being an equal in a partnership. There were problems with Ollie keeping secrets and calling the shots to the point he realized they couldn't be partners.

Roy Harper: You never wanted a partner, O. All you ever wanted was an arsenal.

In #1 Roy isn't taken seriously by Battleworth or her men without Red Hood--who she assumes is his boss. I'm not sure if the focus on Red Hood in the ads was his idea. Either way it's exploiting his buddy because he's the one that gets noticed.

In #3 Jason still gets all the attention with Roy often ignored. The crowd cheer for Red Hood, Underbellys' assistant interrupts Roy to comment on how much he admires Jason, Underbelly even targets him as the biggest threat. I'm not sure if Jasons' aware of any of this when this bit happens:

Jason Todd: I don't work for just anyone.
Roy Harper: We don't.

Jason gives Roy too much leeway and Roy--for all his talk of being partners--makes far too many choices without getting consent. Roy is the one that wants to be part of something bigger and this need seems to be consuming him to the point he's using his buddy. He's making these plans simply because it's what he wants. Sure he's talked Jason into things he's reluctant to do but he's also doing things behind his back. I've been trying to think of why Jason puts up with this. He has spoken up though he's still dealing with a lot of crap due to Roys' recent behavior. Yes it's partly because he's trying to help his friend deal with heartache and I think part of him might be wary of losing the best buddy he ever had. But it reminds me of other unpleasant behavior Jason had to put up with.

Like his mom. Despite canon changing he still had to go through a lot. Whether it was Shelia selling him out or Catherine apparently ditching him to go to Africa (this version is vague) he still tried to look after his mom. Growing up he likely had to go through Catherine giving many promises of overcoming her addiction. He admitted last issue that the fact Roy overcame his past is one of the reasons he admires him. Then there's Batman who rarely opens up and tends to act coldly towards others more often than not. Roy hasn't been too emotionally distant so there's a bigger hope of talking sense into him. The question is how long will it take to get through to him?


  1. While I find Roy's current behavior to be irrating, it can't be denied that is a somewhat realistic depiction of someone going through a difficult break up. I've seen too many people indulging on reckles (and often) self destructive behavior to cope with a broken heart. The issue now is what is needed for Roy to finally get over it. Putting Jason on a very serious problem? A pep talk with an older hero/character? (GordoBats?)

    Whatever it is I hope is soon, because the dynamic is starting to get old.

    You do raise an interestng point about Jason, we haven't seen him interacting that often with people he truly cares about so it might be true that he's the kind to spoil them rotten

  2. I do wonder if it's more to it. The break up is the main reason but maybe it reopened other issues he has? Because the Outlaws were all partners yet Kori left and he feels abandoned much like he was with Ollie. Lobdell has said Roy is reckless/self-destructive by himself so he needs Jason to rein him in more.

    I can't see Gordon doing that but if they were on better terms maybe Ollie. I'd love if we got to see Roys' relationship with Croc.

    I didn't have a problem with it until this issue. Roys' going too far and isn't just putting himself at risk. He's endangering Jason and I think if he realized that it would get him to shape up. He almost does here before Jason decides to go along with it to lure more bad guys in.

    I think that it's so rare for him to find people that care for him/treat him right that he might try too hard to make them happy. Like the versions of his Robin days when he tries to be someone else for Batman until it make him miserable. Although I don't think this would apply to Chris who Tynion had treating Jason like crap.

  3. Something I just thought, what if Roy's carelessnes with their money is a calcaulated move to get Jason on board with his ideas? Were not the threat of eviction Jason would've never considered going with Tara.

  4. I think we talked about this for #2 (or maybe I'm thinking of another conversation) so it has crossed my mind. But that would be a major jackass thing for Roy to do. I'm talking Batman level manipulation and dickery.