Thursday, November 10, 2016

Jason Todd and How Women have Affected him

There have been essays on how Jason Todd is a feminist and while I won't get quite that in depth I still think it's worth noting. This isn't to say that the other Robins don't care about women but Jason has definitely been affected by them more. He has the strongest relationships with women while he doesn't have that many close male bonds

I bring this up now because it occurs to me that most writers--including Judd Winick--have missed a crucial part of Jason's character. Many of these writers assume Jason is/was angry and/or violent just because he has a bad temper. Winick had Alfred call it a "mean streak." That's not why he lashed out at bad guys. Since he lived in Crime Alley he witnessed and suffered a lot. As such he empathized with many victims and got upset on their behalf when there was injustice.

One of Jason's most well known stories as Robin deals with him hearing a scream and finding Gloria Stanson. She was sexually assaulted and naturally he wanted to help her. Only the man who has repeatedly abused her was a diplomats' son who escapes justice. This leads to a frightened Gloria taking her own life...Jason find  her body. Whether or not Jason killed her attacker isn't known to this day. Jason denied it saying Felipe got spooked then fell and to his credit that is possible. Earlier on Felipe was scared of him.

Women have generally been positive influences on Jason's life that were usually more supportive than men. Catherine (either his mom or stepmom depending on canon), Koriand'r, Talia Al Ghul who took care of him after his resurrection, Ducra his teacher, etc. In volume 2 of Red Hood and the Outlaws he tells Artemis that he doesn't like fighting women. I've seen some comments that a few people didn't like this statement. That some thought it was out of character since he fought women before or saw it as a "weaker sex/wouldn't hit a girl" view. It's not.

Will Jason fight a woman? Yes, that doesn't mean he likes it. He's seen Catherine hurt all throughout his childhood not to mentions others he might have seen. It's not something he wants to do if he can help it. Does he see women as less than him? No. During the fight with Artemis he knows that as an Amazon she's a huge threat. He doesn't think he can hit her if he tries but at the same time he doesn't want to shoot her. Eventually she noticed this as he never took the chance to kill her when she was vulnerable.

While Lobdell is expanding on this it's not the first time he's shown Jason seeing women as equals. He had Jason tell Roy off when Roy commented on Starfire saving them being emasculating. Despite Ma Gunn wanting to use Jason for criminal purposes he still feels protective of her.

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