Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Waste of Time

I haven't been reading Batman and Robin, but with issue 20: Batman and Red Hood, I figured I should take a look, given that I've become a big Red Hood and the Outlaws fan. I shouldn't have bothered.

After the first scene during which Bruce behaves like a complete dickhead to Carrie Kelley, we get to the actual story involving Jason Todd. I foolishly believed that, given the re-bonding Jason and Bruce had done in the aftermath of the Joker's attacks, that this story would further that, with Jason helping Bruce through the difficult time following Damian's death. And for a while, that seems to be the case. Until the stubborn nature of both takes over.

Not that they aren't in character. They are. Too much so. They're both very stubborn men. But recent developments in RHATO has shown a more mature, less angry Jason, one who is working through the pain in his life and I just don't buy that he and Bruce would still act like hurt children. The story read like its only intent was to reestablish Jason's anger toward Bruce and vice versa, rather than continue their character development/growth. Which makes me incredibly sad.

Yeah, Bruce misleads Jason re: his intent in asking for Jason's help, bringing him to the site of Jason's death, a very painful thing for Jason, something he doesn't want to remember, all in the hopes Jason will recall something of his resurrection that might help Bruce bring back Damian. And here's where things go awry, because IMO, Jason has gotten past his own pain to forgive. He might not be happy, but he'd understand why Bruce did it. He, too, would want to bring Damian back if he could. It's taking the easy way out, storywise, for them to duke it out like spoiled brats who aren't getting their way.

So we go through all that just to get back to an antagonistic relationship between Bruce and Jason and I'm going to choose to ignore it. Maybe it'll carry over into RHATO, and that will be annoying, but that can't be helped. I just don't want this waste of paper sitting in my comics collection. It added nothing beyond insulting my intelligence and compassion as a reader for these characters. If I felt this was a natural progression of their story, I could accept it, but it felt no way natural. It felt manipulative and nasty. Peter Tomasi is a writer I've mostly liked, but not this time.


  1. I love Tomasi, he has a pretty sure way with his characters, which rather makes me think that this particular development is probably editor-driven. At least that is what I tell myself.

    Jason isn't a favorite of mine, but dang it, I do feel sorry for him here. I feel a little sorry for Bruce too, but he's got to throttle it back a bit! He was mean to Tim too.

    1. I think you're right about editorial involvement, but damn it, I don't like them negating all the progress Bruce and Jason made in their relationship. I refuse to accept this setback.