Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Robin - Jason Todd

Jason Todd was introduced when Dick Grayson moved on after many years as Robin (more on that in a few days). Initially, he was practically a clone of Robin, growing up in a circus, his parents murdered (by Killer Croc), and Batman takes him on. In 1985, DC Comics "rebooted" their entire universe and revamped many of their characters, and Jason Todd was recreated as an orphan living on the streets, doing whatever it takes to make ends meet. Batman first meets the boy while he's trying to steal the tires off of the Batmobile.

Batman enrolls Jason in a school for troubled boys, but Ma Gunn, who runs the school, turns out to be a criminal herself. Jason helps Batman take her down, and that sets him on the path to becoming the next Robin.

While Batman and Dick Grayson endured single tragic events in their childhood, Jason's early years consisted of nothing but problems. As a result he was angry, moody, impulsive, and had trouble with authority. This was a stark contrast to Dick Grayson who was a little too much of a yes man for my tastes. But Jason Todd was not well received by fans, and in one of the strangest publicity stunts I know of, DC Comics opened up a 1-900 line for fans to vote on whether he should live or die. And you can probably guess how that went from the title of 1988's A Death in the Family.

Pros: I complained about Dick Grayson being a little too boring, and Jason certainly brings some conflict to the table.

Cons: He was obviously not popular. Casual fans only know Dick Grayson as Robin. Putting a kid in the line of fire is wildly irresponsible. Just like Dick Grayson, he wore the short shorts. And as I've mentioned many times before, Robin won't be happening no matter who he is.

How I'd do it: Still saving this for after I've covered the big 3 Robins.

Casting Guesses: Again, you'd have to do the legwork to find a kid who fits the part.

Verdict: No way. As much as I liked the effort to get away from Dick Grayson's Robin, Jason Todd was a mistake from start to finish.

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