Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Roy Harpers' Behavior Part 4

Things took a turn in Titans Hunt but I don't think it was due to poor research or simply not caring what Red Hood/Arsenal were doing. At least not if I was picking this up right. I think this is something Lobdell has been planning since at least the second issue of RHA to connect with TH.

I mentioned this in previous entries but it's obvious Roys' been more clingy than usual with Jason. He's taken control of the money (*1), been promoting Jason without his consent, testing out his inventions on his buddy and making them heroes for hire. His behavior has been noticeably different and he's kept at it despite Jasons' protest. That in it's self was a warning sign although we the audience assumed, as did Jason, that Roy is struggling to get over his break up with Kori. I thought it might have to do with his fear of losing Jason like Ollie, his friends and his girlfriend. That might come into play a little bit but what if it's more ?

What if Roy wanted to keep busy because he felt like he was falling apart due to his suppressed memories popping up ?

Jason Todd: Just. Tell. Me. Why is it so important to you that we make more money ? 

Roy spends the money from both of their Battleworth jobs on parts for inventions and the ads. He never asks Jason for his input despite the fact it's half his money. In fact Jason never spends a cent of it and Roy claimed they needed their rent paid which was supposed to be where the second check went. Jason seemed to be the only one we knew for sure had money in RHATO and this was never a problem before. Even if Roy is upset about Kori leaving it seems a little extreme.

Another warning sign comes up in RHA #2 when Jason sees Roy with two drinks. I did wonder why there's two drinks since I don't see Jason drinking in front of Roy (*2) or leaving one with him. Anyway, Roy explains he orders a drink for his sobriety once in awhile but doesn't touch it. This comes back in RHA #4 when Roy admits to Croc that he's afraid of relapsing due to feeling like "I'm not all there" which we've learned connects to Titans Hunt. Which means Roy ordering the drinks was done because of this fear/temptation. He makes sure to order them when Jasons' up but still around. Maybe acting clingy around Jason and dragging him around was an attempt to prevent himself from doing something he'd regret without telling Jason why.

With someone else around it forces Roy to stay sober and maybe get some validation (showing off his inventions for example.) From this point of view the plane scene from #2 is Roy trying to convince both of them that everything is okay. Now if this is true it means a couple of things. First and foremost it means that random memories upset Roy to the point he left Jason to fall off the wagon. He can't do it with Jason around and he's unable/unwilling to explain what's bothering him. Thus TH #1 happens. Memories he can't connect with rip him apart to the point he can't handle it. But he doesn't seem to consider how this could blow up in his face. Since he isn't doing this around Jason it's easy to assume he doesn't want him to know. Only going back to drinking will take it's toll and won't be easy to hide.

Another thing I can see Lobdell building up is the break of trust between the guys. Jason thinks Roy remaining sober for so long is his most admirable feature. He even feels guilty for asking if he was drinking again.

Roy Harper: Bro, we have to trust each other with our lives every day. You've got every reason in the world to ask.

This comes back later on when Roy shot Jason in the chest which saves his life.

Jason Todd: But most importantly...know your partner. That's the one I've never been very good at. Until now. Until Arsenal. AKA Roy Harper. We've been buds for awhile. Partners. Outlaws. And most recently, freelance vigilantes for hire. Don't ever tell him this, but--I never trusted anyone as much as I do Roy Harper.

This is despite all the things Roy has done in this series. Jason has opened up to the point he truly trusts and admires Roy. This is a kid that's mother could never kick her addiction so this is pretty big. If you recall he doesn't really feel he can rely on many people and rarely gets along with men. Roy has made the effort to know him and become his best friend. Has been dependable, loyal and understanding in a way arguably only Kori matched. This change wouldn't go over well. I think what will hurt the most is the fact Roy never told him the truth which led to this happening.

What if he walks in on a drunk Roy or Roys' intoxicated state gets Jason hurt ? That's assuming Lilth, Dick and the others don't do something about this first. Lobdell has set up things before like Tynions' run which changed thus didn't follow the Slade or the face melt plot. I know he said that he likes how Roy has stayed strong against his addiction in the past but he can be flexible with including plots from others, Harris' Starfire plot comes to mind. Roy can overcome this and I hope it's touched upon in the RHA series in great depth. The saddest thing about this is how many people were touched by the Roy/Croc scene in issue #4. People related their experiences to Roys' and had someone to root for that was a reflection of themselves.

This storyline can get worse if Roys' problem started because of the memory loss. That makes it less of a personal flaw than a result of something that at the moment seems beyond his control.

*1 At least that's the impression Jason gives but he has a wad of hundreds to give Gabby despite claiming Roy spent all of "their" money. I took this as him still having money hidden away.

*2 Since RHATO #4 when Jason went to the bar to lure a cop and Roy decided to come along for back up.


  1. Lobdell's writing seems to me that he's just acknowledgeing Titan's Hunt rather than setting something up. Not different to what he did with Wingman during DOTF. The fact the team on Titan's Hun didn't even bothered to use Roy's current look is to me the clearest sign they don't care about what's happening on RH/A right now, in a shocking contrast with the Bat Office and Jason's appearances on their books (Tynion's messes aside)

  2. The Wingman thing was only mentioned after the fact. Having Roy express concern over relapsing and his memories happened before TH even came out. TH also had a problem figuring out which Robin had what costume so I don't think it has to necessarily do with the writing.

    Keeping up with looks seems to be a problem for the artists lately. The new RHA cover has him in his old look while Sinsetro of all books has it right. Medri had Jason wearing Dick's Robin costume and the colorist tried to correct it.