batman 52's

[Bruce & Jason Panels] Detective Comics #790

So, just a disclaimer, Jason Todd isn’t actually in the issue, but it does revolve around him. He hasn’t come back as Red Hood just yet. 

Let’s just say that it’s reminiscent of the period immediately after his death when Bruce Wayne was noticeably more broody and brutal in his anti-crime spree than usual. Back then, the Bat Family was only composed of Dick Grayson, Barbara Gordon, Alfred Pennyworth, and a persistent young Tim Drake “auditioning” for a membership. This time around, their family has grown somewhat, and includes Cassandra Cain as Batgirl and Stephanie Brown as Spoiler. 

Backstory (spoilers ahead): A new drug called G.H.D. is circulating the Gotham streets, killing some citizens, including a young female. Batman tracks down the supplier and throws him through a window several stories off the ground. Batgirl swoops in to catch the man, and Batman gets more information out of him through what his does best - instilling fear. 


“How you hurt him. You were punishing him.”

After the bust, Cass calls Bruce out on his… unusual behavior.

That look on Bruce’s face in the third panel below… You just know that he can’t argue with her observation. 

“It’s always personal.”

That cool detachment Bruce has? That wall he built around himself? All of it is meant to keep his mission from being compromised. His mission to protect his family, his friends, innocent lives. That’s the form of affection he’s developed over years of trauma and obsessive discipline to equip himself for this mission.

So, if he tries to shut down Steph’s aspiration to be a vigilante? It’s personal. If he tries to keep a brash young lady from jumping headfirst into the field without a parachute - the same way a fifteen-year-old boy once did? It’s personal. And, if you think he’s an unreasonable grumpy old man for doing it, he won’t fault you for begrudging him. (He’ll care, sure, but he won’t show it.) 

“It’s strange. How he stops seeing them… the scars.”

This issue is actually entitled “Scarification”, and it seems that the next set of panels explains why.  It’s probably this day, out of all the days in the year, that reminds him why his scars matter. Why everything seems to matter more.

“If this is about what today is, then… just know that I’m here if you need… to talk.”

I love how much the Batkids understand Bruce. Even if they know that it’s, more often than not, futile to appeal to him on an emotional level, they’ll keep trying anyway, knowing that he secretly needs them.  

“Happy birthday, kid.”

Bruce harasses one more criminal before the set of panels below.  He finally tracks down the supplier and makes him choose between taking his own lethal drug or jail time. (Guess which one he picks?)

It’s these last two scenes that gives the story its story. Bruce always has difficulty with expressing emotion, so it shouldn’t surprise us that sometimes it comes out as aggression. 

On the day that reminds him of the son he lost to the thing they do, with another teenager wanting to be part of it all… must be extra hard, huh?

“For some of us there is no going back.”


This was a simple, but sweet tribute to Jason. A reminder that Bruce loved loves him and knew him well. That in his memory, Bruce is trying to keep from making the same mistakes.

(And, it was bittersweet how Cass “met” Jason for the first time like that… It gets better in the New 52′s Batman and Robin Eternal, though!)

anonymous asked:

hey! could you recommend comics with good Jason characterization? thx

I’ll be honest that I’m a bit iffy when it comes to some of these comics, but if I’ve still included them it means that they’re most likely important for Jason’s characterisation. As a side note, I won’t be getting into the New 52 with this.

ROBIN

  • Batman #408-#429 (Batman: Second Chances collects #402, #403, #408-416 and Batman Annual #11) (Batman: A Death in the Family collects #426-#429) - This is Jason’s original Robin run in Pre-52′s Batman. I’d personally recommend reading #413, the last issue before Jim Starlin takes over.
  • Batman Annual #12 - It has two stories, the second one is completely about Jason. It has him preventing some other students from cheating without anyone actually knowing he did.
  • Detective Comics #568-#582 - This is Jason’s original Robin run in Pre-52′s Detective Comics. I actually like some of these issues more than the Batman ones even if they’re less popular.
  • Action Comics #594 - It’s not a big appearance by any means, but it’s cute and shows how Jason feels about Superman.
  • Batman: The Cult - The art’s not the best but it’s still an awesome story where Jason saves Bruce’s life.
  • DC Retroactive: Batman The ‘80s - One of my favorite comics where Jason’s featured in as Robin. He’s not portrayed as a bad Robin and for once its a post-death comic where there’s no mention of Jason’s death.
  • Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight #100 - This one has three stories, one for Dick, one for Jason and one for Tim. I’d say it has one of the saddest narratives when it comes to Jason’s death.
  • Deadman: Dead Again - Jason mostly appears in the second issue and it shows his reaction to his own, well, death
  • Gotham Knight #34 and #43-#45 - The end of #34 shows Jason as a ghost and it’s pretty cute. And personally I’m not really a fan of #43-#45, so this one I’m iffy about recommending, unless you’ve read plenty of comics about Jason.

RED HOOD

  • Red Hood: The Lost Days - This is without doubt one of my favorite storylines DC Comics has ever published. It explains the events following Jason’s death and what happened before he came back to Gotham.
  • Batman #617-#618 (Batman: Hush Volume One and Two collects #608-#619) - Eh, I don’t think you need to read it, but this storyline is kinda the reason why Jason was resurrected to begin with.
  • Batman Annual #25 - Like The Lost Days, this annual explains how Jason came back to life and what happened to him before became the Red Hood.
  • Batman #635-#641 and #645-#650 (Batman: Under the Hood collects #635-#641, #645-#650 and Annual #25) - The first story to feature Jason as the Red Hood, written by Judd Winick and amazing in every way possible. It shows Jason’s first real appearance after his death and how Bruce finds out and deals with it. It’s one hell of an emotional ride.
  • Green Arrow #69-#72 (Green Arrow: Seeing Red collects all these issues) - Jason has some awesome dialogue in this comic, not only that but while everyone keeps underestimating him, he shows how smart he really is in his visit to Starling City.
  • Outsiders #44-#46 - In which Jason has some intel for Nightwing, they fight a bit, Dick doesn’t seem to know Jason very well at all and Jason helps them.
  • Countdown - Dear lord, this is one mess of a storyline and I wouldn’t recommend it when you’re a beginner to reading comics, at all. The characterisation changes from writer to writer, but there are still amazing things that happen in it.

OTHER

  • Batman: Arkham Knight (game) - The graphics are amazing, the gameplay phenomenal and Jason’s characterisation, while different than in the pre-52, is one of my favorites.
  • Batman: Arkham Knight (tie-in) - Based in the Arkhamverse, it takes place between the games Batman: Arkham City and Batman: Arkham Knight.
  • Batman: Arkham Knight Genesis - The Arkham Knight’s origin story within the Arkhamverse.
  • Batman: Under the Red Hood - The movie based on The Under the Hood storyline.
  • Li’l Gotham - The most adorable comic ever. Jason’s not a main character in this series but it’s complete gold.
  • Beware the Batman #11 - It’s never stated that it was actually Jason in this comic, but I’d like to think so.
  • Bombshells #46 - Jasón, as he’s called in this, is a Basque kid that was adopted (fight me on this) by Batwoman and he’s too adorable for words– Of course this issue also hurts.
  • The World of Flashpoint - Jason’s a priest and has the famous white streak in his hair, what else is there to want?
  • Tiny Titans - He’s not a main character either, but this series is just as adorable as Li’l Gotham. Hell, Jason’s name is Jason Toddler.

AVOID AT ALL COST

  • Nightwing: Bad Blood - It’s an universal known fact in the fandom that this comic does not, in fact, exist. Spare yourself and never read this.
  • Robin #177, #182-#183 - Fuck Fab Nic for throwing all of Jason’s characterisation in the trash. Also, fuck him for taking always the possibilities for amazing character development.
  • Battle for The Cowl - Tony Daniel’s one of the worst out there and should never get his hands on Jason ever again.
  • Batman and Robin - While Judd Winick wrote Jason later in the series, even he couldn’t undo the horrors that was Morrison’s Jason.