Friday, May 13, 2016

A Matter of Trust and Communication

There was this bit in Red Hood/Arsenal #12 that really stuck out, probably not a line many noticed. Regardless it made me think of this problem within the bat family.

Barbara Gordon: "Dammit, Jason--when are you ever going to ask for help?" Red Hood/Arsenal #12

Now this line stood out for a couple reasons, Barbara herself hasn't been that great in her treatment of Jason. Last time Lobdell wrote her was the Night of the Owls tie in when she told him to leave or she'd throw him out. The negative reactions towards him within the bat family have come from others too. She thinks that he's the only one to blame for not "ask(ing) for help"? The family hasn't done much to prove they will be there for him.

How about the time Jason helped Bruce out and was taken to the place he died? Then everyone acted like it wasn't worse than Bruce simply yelling at the others? Jason has been there for Bruce every time he asked for help. No one has ever come to Jason's aid when he needed it. If Tynion's run is still canon then all of them ignored the fact he had a hit out on him (by two separate groups) and was missing for months. That the League of Assassins had taken him. Remember these facts were very well known since they were used to get Green Arrow to track them down. None of the bats bothered to look for him.

Tim has been the only one that--so far?--hasn't screwed him over or treated him badly. Even Alfred kept him out of the loop not thinking he should inform Jason that Bruce was alive. Dick used all of them for ridiculous reasons in Robin War. Damian keeps treating Jason and Tim like crap. During the DOTF tie in Jason doubted any of them would return the favor when he goes to their aid:

Jason Todd: "Not that the lot of them ever lifted a finger for me--" Red Hood and the Outlaws VOL. 1 Issue #15

In RHA #12 Jason thinks that he can't get the bats involved because this isn't a bat issue but rather a personal matter. The separation of his family and friends--as well as his own personal problems with assistance--also came up in RHATO #9 :

Mr. Freeze: "It is not like I am some defenseless idiot who needs the protection of Batman!"
Jason Todd: "Is he just being arrogant--or just trying to push my buttons?"

The example with Mr. Freeze is Jason getting affected by what the villain is saying which relates to him dying. He doesn't want to be weak especially since he was let down when he did rely on the family. RHA #12 does bring back a lot of memories of Jasons' death:

Jason Todd: "I know first hand what it's like to die. How you feel waiting for you partner--your friend--to appear out of no where and save you... ...And dying alone when you realize he's not coming. I'll be damned before I let Roy down like..." 

Because Jason was let down by Batman not being able to save him. Part of him might not trust Bruce or the rest of the family to be there for him or his friends when their really needed.

Roy Harper: "Shouldn't we all go in together?"
Jason Todd: "No, because we're not "together." I am here on family business and you two tagged along."  RHATO #9

By the same token Jason doesn't want to involve his friends in family business and is reluctant to let them work with him on other personal matters. They do get involved although he has some resistance against the idea. Keeping outsiders out of family affairs is something he also shares with Batman.

Alfred Pennyworth: "Perhaps if we consulted with Dr. Thompkins and--"
Bruce Wayne: "No. This is a family matter." RHATO #18

At the moment it seems to be a combination of problems. The trust he has with both are/were fragile because of being let down. Both need to be built up and so far only his friendships have been. Although he still has a sense of family duty to keep others out, maybe something Bruce taught him? Jason might also feel the need to do things by himself. To prove he can do it or simply an after effect of his death. This is another line of thought that's been played with that intrigues me.

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