The Top Jason Todd Moments In Comics
By Sylvester P Barzey
So, 2016 is finally here and for most that means, new workout programs, tax return blow outs, and a countdown to summer vacation. However, for a selected group of amazing souls, 2016 means, amazing comic book movies! Yes, 2016 is the year of the geek and for this geek it’s all about, God vs. Man, Strength vs. Heart, and Badass Ninja vs. Last Survivor Of An Alien Race.
Okay in short it’s all about Zack Snyder’s "Batman Vs. Superman" in 2016. Now this movie has been surrounded by rumors, from Lex (Played by Jesse Eisenberg) being the real Lex Luthor’s son, to my favorite wild rumor that Batman (Played by Ben Affleck) is really Slade Wilson(Deathstroke for those not in the know) who is undercover as Bruce Wayne, for some reason that was far too crazy for me to begin to understand.
The latest rumor on the other hand is far more believable and has to do with one of my favorite DC Comics topics in the world, Robin The Boy Wonder. There have been reports that the movie will have a subplot focusing on the death of Batman’s sidekick Robin, and that the Robin in question will be none other than Jason Todd, the very same Robin who died in the comics (Yes you Grayson lovers, the prodigal son is safe).
For most fans it’s good to hear that they’re trying to stay true to the comics. The rumors state that Jason is the late Robin and that he's also the second, meaning that Dick Grayson is running about somewhere in Snyder’s world. Now we’re not sure if we’ll see Dick in the movie at all, but reports say we will be getting a name drop in this year’s blockbuster.
Now with all that said you might be wondering just who is this Jason Todd and why should we care? Well for one he’s a young sidekick that you know is about to die, I mean have a heart, and two he has played a big role in shaping Batman’s world in the comics. So, today let’s take a look at some of Jason Todd’s best Comic Book moments to get an idea of just who this lost soul is.
(Warning, this list contains spoilers for a few comics in which Jason has been in. So read at your own risk!)
Stealing The Wheels Off The Batmobile:
Batman is a dark force that guards the streets of Gotham. Some people don’t even believe he's real, which is fine by the Dark Knight, because not knowing builds more fear in the hearts of the wicked. More or less Batman is the wrong dude to mess with, so for someone to look at Batman’s Batmobile and say “I’m gonna steal his tires” Is not only crazy, it’s down right insane.
Well that’s just what a young Jason Todd did. In his pre-52 backstory, Jason was a homeless teen who happened across the Dark Knight’s ride and saw dollar signs. Batman caught the boy in the act and decides to overlook his grand theft auto moment (I mean really, how much do you think those wheels are worth? In real life Jason would be in jail so long, that his son would have to finish out his time) and take him under his wing as the second Robin! Someone might have been desperate for a partner, I’m just saying.
Crawling Out His Grave:
Now the New 52 backstory for Jason has him dying at the hands of the Joker, only to be returned to the land of the living by Talia Al Ghul and the magic of the Lazarus Pit.
Which is a very clean and easy way to bring back the Ex-boy wonder, but fans of the Bat family might remember Jason’s pre-52 return which was a little more confusing, with Superboy prime banging on the barrier between the worlds causing shifts in time and altering reality all together. This gave us a new backstory for Donny Tory and many other awesome things, but above all it gave us that awesome Jason Todd moment, when he’s crawling out of his own grave. I’ll take grave crawling over a dip in a magic spa any day.
Gun Wielding Batman:
Another great Jason Todd moment happens during the Battle For The Cowl Storyline, in which Batman is believed to be dead, but those he lead and even those he has battled refuse to let The Batman die. Batman’s death leads to an odd battle for who should be the new Batman, which includes Tim Drake in a late 80ish Batman outfit, Dick Grayson dawning his own set of Bat wings and even Two Face got in on the action. Yet, the best Batman surprise would have to be Jason Todd, in his battle ready Batman Suit equipped with pistols and other deadly force weapons. The best way of describing it is if Batman and Punisher had a little psycho baby. He's so cute, go on little psycho Batman, go and punish the wicked.
Laying The Smackdown On Tim Drake:
Now I’m not 100% sure what Jason’s problem is with Tim, maybe he’s mad that Tim replaced him as Robin (to be fair, you were dead Jason. Dead! It’s not like you and Batman were on a break), but Mr. Drake and Mr. Todd have had some pretty memorable battles over the years. From Young Batman Vs. Psycho Batman, to Robin Vs. Psycho Robin.
Now maybe I’m being unfair by calling Jason a Psycho but let’s take a look at the facts. He broke into Titan Tower, attacked and subdued all the members in hopes of getting Tim alone for a battle of the Robins to see who is the best robin of them all. Oh and did I mention he did all this in his old Robin outfit which was clearly too damn small for him. I mean really, what were you thinking Jason “This is skin tight, but he’ll get the point” No, No, Bad Jason.
Death Of Todd:
New 52 or Pre-52 it really doesn’t matter because Jason’s death is heartbreaking, laughable, and haunting in both versions. To have a young boy go across the world to find his mother only to find out that he was being lured into a trap by The Clown Prince Of Crime, The Joker, is just good storytelling no matter the time period. Having to face the Joker one on one is a scary thought, but what made it worse was to know that the Pre-52 fans of the late 80's voted for Jason to die via a 900 number. Jason was killed off by the fans, let that sink in. However, he rose like the phoenix to be loved once more, well that’s not really true but I like him more than Damian that’s for sure.
Now I’ve never been a fan of the Nightwing comics, he was always going from girl to girl and having some internal battle about how he isn’t Bruce, but he wishes he was or something like that. But, when there was a crazy Nightwing running around New York City killing people you know I had to pick that comic up.
Jason Todd decides during the period in comics, that he was gonna be a killer Nightwing and bring Justice and Fear to New York City. Even after Dick Grayson shows up he still refused to give up his copycat ways. It took a kidnapping by mobsters, an Ex-sidekick team up, and some choice words from Dick for Jason to leave town. To be honest I think he was just bored of the outfit. Nightwing didn’t have much when it came to style, or places to put your guns for that matter.
Those Father Son Moments:
Now this really isn’t exclusive to Jason (I mean Bruce has a real son who is a Robin after all and a demon, sorry I just don’t like him too much. Hmm I wonder if this is how fans felt when Jason became Robin?), but it’s worth putting on the list. For nothing drives home the point of Batman’s battle against evil than seeing him react in a family moment, be it reading a letter from his earth two father, carrying a dead Nightwing in his arms in Injustice, or sitting down and having popcorn with Jason on their night off.
Nothing really helps you understand why Batman is doing all this than seeing how much he cares for his Bat family. His battle started with the death of his parents, but it turned into the need to ensure no one ever feels his pain. He takes in the broken and builds them up to be strong or in the case of Jason a strong, crazy ass, costume stealing killer.
Hope you enjoyed my list, let me know what some of your favorite Jason Todd moments are and what you hope to see him bring to the big screen in the future.