Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Red Hood and the Outlaws #18

How can Jason Todd have a Requiem issue? Hasn't he forgotten who Damian Wayne was?

According to the beginning of this issue, Jason Todd did not lose his memories from the Joker trapped Red Hood Mask. Even though The Joker's super technological hologram trap (when did The Joker begin using high tech gadgets?) supposedly started Jason off with "a clean slate", Jason Todd begins this issue lying on a slab remembering his past.

Perhaps Lobdell realized if Todd had no memory, Lobdell couldn't fill up the pages with tons of Narration Boxes.

The explanation for the non-blank slate Jason Todd still gracing the pages of this comic book is this: Jason Todd has retreated into his memories to hide from the pain of The Joker's attack. I get the feeling Scott Lobdell didn't have any idea what he was going to do with Jason Todd after last issue. And then he probably sat down to write Jason Todd without having access to any of Jason Todd's memories and he was dumbstruck. How do you write Jason Todd's voice if it isn't Jason Todd's voice? Can you still make him a snarky jerk with a crappy attitude? Or has he forgotten even how to act like that? But if Lobdell sent Jason Todd back into his past, he can have it both ways! Jason Todd's mind has retreated into his past to deal with whatever issues Todd needs to deal with. And in normal reality, Alfred is probably doing CPR on Todd and giving him an Earl Grey enema.

Jason Todd now finds himself back on a set right out of his All Caste years being tormented by The Joker. Since Jason Todd was killed by The Joker (and now near-killed by The Joker?), Scott Lobdell must have felt he needed more time to tell the tale of Jason Todd and his Joker induced mental illness.

Why is Jason Todd so angry at The Joker and Batman for his death? He should be angry at comic book fans! They're the jerks that called for his death. Perhaps that's why this comic book is so bad. Scott Lobdell is using it as Jason Todd's tool to punish the readers. It's genius! First, Jason Todd is resurrected. Then he has to get insanely popular through cartoons and other comic book projects. And finally when a shit-ton of people can't stop buying any book with his name plastered on it, turn the comic book into a monstrous vault of compost! That'll teach comic book readers! Stop being dicks and voting for Robin to die! It's probably that exact attitude that caused Damian to die! Grant Morrison probably realized that what the fans really wanted was more death of Robin stories! And you know how Grant Morrison can't resist giving the readers what they want! Shame on all of you jerks that called that phone number and voted for Jason Todd to die! Now I have to read this shit!

While in a coma, he's somehow aware of the fact that he's in a coma. And he's aware that Alfred is hovering over him.

The above panels are some of the best evidence for why I hate these types of Narration Panels that are somehow a combination of thought bubbles and DVD commentaries. Bad writers don't know how to utilize them. I'm fucking sick of them being used as if the main character is sitting next to the comic book reader and giving that person a tour of the characters and story. JASON TODD DOES NOT KNOW THAT THEY'RE THERE AND THAT THEY'RE TRYING TO SAVE HIS FACE! HE'S IN A FUCKING COMA!

Why is he talking?! He shouldn't be aware of this scene! SHUT UP!

Even if Jason Todd were watching this scene develop from on high instead of being unconscious, why would he say Bruce is the last guy on Earth who should ever use the word "family"? Before Jason Todd put on The Joker's mask, he was beginning to feel okay with his position among the other members of the Bat Family. Or is it just Lobdell's play on the "Death of the Family" title of the horrors that The Joker perpetrated?

Stop telling me what everything Alfred says means! Stop explaining why Alfred is such a good guy! Let your fucking readers experience the comic without telling them how to interpret each of the character's dialogues or actions! Stop getting in the way of your own fucking comic book, Lobdell!

And then he died. So, how did not worrying about him work out for you? Of course, you over-worried about Damian. And then he died. So, how did worrying too much work out for you?

Batman's memory is one where Jason basically informed Batman that Batman needs to allow Jason to make his own mistakes or he'll never learn. I hope he learned something from the huge mistake he made going out on his own and getting whacked by The Joker! Oh wait, he didn't learn from that, did he? Ducra can explain.

This is the best part of the comic book so far! I don't know why Lobdell didn't ruin it with some Narration Boxes explaining what Ducra meant.

I like what Ducra has to say here. It's one of the problems some people have when they don't really know what they want or who they are. Like when somebody rebels, they're allowing the thing they're rebelling against to dictate how they act, even if it's opposite of the thing they're "supposed" to conform to. But if they know what they want and it's opposite of the thing, it's not thought of as "rebelling"! It's just a person doing the thing they want to do. So Jason has been letting The Joker determine who he had become. In essence, The Joker did create the resurrected version of Jason Todd even if The Joker himself didn't realize it. And The Joker was kind of upset that he came back and ruined his big trick on Batman.

Somehow Jason is convinced by Ducra's advice that he needs to open up and accept help from others and allow others to love him before he gets himself and everybody that cares for him killed. She uses words or logic or something. The last memory Jason has before waking up from his coma to hug Batman and make everything okay is a memory from his time as Wingman (or Knightbat or Manman or something) in Batman Incorporated.

How did Jason Todd fail Batman in Batman Incorporated? Everything was going perfectly well up until the night Damian died. And Damian hasn't died yet since he was right there playing catch with Roy when Jason Todd ended up in this coma. And Damian Wayne couldn't have died until Jason Todd was back up on his feet since he gets betrayed by Batman Incorporated's Red Hood on the night Damian dies. Perhaps he's just generally apologizing for being a righteous dick?

Red Hood and the Outlaws #18 Rating: No change. I like that Batman and Jason Todd are growing closer again. I like (though I suspect others won't) that Jason Todd may be putting his anger and over-the-top violence behind him. I still do not like Scott Lobdell's reliance on Narration Boxes. Once again, the comic would have been much better without them.

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