Tim Drake is the trouble child, comes from a bad home (not as bad as Jason). Poor guy got "stuck" between Jason and Damian during his Robin tenure. But, as you and others have said, there is a right way and wrong way to show how those three can be aggressive and violent against each other. They do it, not for attention, but to cement that they are the only Robin worthy of holding that title. So they go after the Robins before them (only the guy Robins, though). Or, that's my take away of it
Also, in your opinion, whose more violent/aggressive when it comes to taking on villains, Damian or Jason?
And hope my weigh in on the Jason/Tim/Damian violence issue didn’t offend or upset you
Well, first off, it doesn’t offend me at all. I actually put a lot of thought into these situations and especially these three’s relationships. My only issues with discussing it is that people tend to take my posts down rabbit holes that I’m not exactly thrilled about. Either the Blame Game or the Problematic Police and that’s when I tend to get eye rolly.
My general issue with the Jason-Tim-Damian aggression as it plays out in both the comics and in fandom is that there’s this like…. “Victimization Olympics” that has come into play over the years. Like you can’t sympathize more with any one of their histories or abuses without lessening the others even though they all come from very different forms of bad backgrounds.
Jason being a victim of economic strife and poverty which led to him losing his adopted mother to preventable healthcare neglect (either cancer treatment they couldn’t afford or drug abuse that she wasn’t helped with depending on the canon), and a father who died from taking a job that was criminal, yes, but ultimately low level and most likely taken out of desperation more than anything else (why else would you work for someone as likely to kill his hired help as Two-Face). Then growing up for at least a while on the streets, having to drop out of school during that time to avoid social services. These are hardships that are vital to Jason’s character, deserve sympathy and examination. And they’re completely separate from Tim and Damian’s own situations. Jason’s trauma comes from being left to slip through the cracks, and his distrust and perception that the system itself is broken only becoming more reinforced as he learns that for some people, justice isn’t allowed to prevail due to economic and class influence far above anything he would have ever been allowed to have growing up.
[Batman (1940-2011) #424]
Tim’s own neglect and canon familial problems receive a lot less sympathy in fandom, generally, because he is very well off economically. I think that makes his type of severe neglect a lot more unrelatable to people, which is unfair because as I’ve talked about on the blog before, this is a form of emotional abuse that I’ve seen play out in real life many times. And by the time his mother dies and his father is literally forced to be a part of his life due to medical issues, Tim still feels the burden of that emotional neglect and something else grows from that new situation. Jack Drake post-death has been kinda sainctified in Tim’s reflections, but this is a man who while never physically harming Tim, would flip out and break Tim’s things, like ripping a television out of the wall in Tim’s room when he’s mad at Tim. Never his own things or his second wife’s things (who he married barely a year after Tim’s mother died by the by), but always Tim’s things. And if you know anything about emotional violence and abuse, that’s like. Classic. Not to mention, when Jack learns that Tim is Robin and deduces that Bruce is Batman, this is a man whose first instinct is to race to Wayne Manor with a gun and threaten Bruce. Which somehow ends with both of them “comically” yelling at Tim for trying to speak up for himself. Tim being a victim of this situation isn’t really interchangable with physical abuse from his mother (which fandom does because that’s an “easier” and more “classically portrayed” type of abuse – also funny how easy it is to blame Janet, who was never allowed to have her own character, when it’s Jack who lived and had all these Danger Signs). It’s its own, very specific form of neglect and abuse that caused a lot of the characteristics I personally see as vital to Tim (his inability to confront authority figures, his withdrawn nature in his Robin persona, his willingness to allow grades and school life slip until he literally drops out of high school by the time we get to Red Robin)
[Robin (1993-2009) #125 – I always have to back up stuff with Jack and Tim or else people act like I’m making it up – idk why]
And then there’s Damian, whose abuse came in the form of being raised to not have a childhood, being trained like an adult from a young age. And while Tomasi and Gleason have been retconning what they can over the last few years, there is no doubt that the absence of a normal childhood is going to continue to give him deep emotional scars and trust issues for the rest of his life. Part of why my personal reading of Damian emphasizes just how important his relationship to Dick was and that slow burn of their trust and sort of foster-relationship was in Batman & Robin (2009-2011) is because that was the first time in Damian’s life he was allowed to feel security and it shows very much throughout. Especially when he and Dick have this little conversation:
[Batman & Robin (2009-2011) #10]
And this gets into what fandom goes into and what I refer to as the “Victim Olympics” – like we have to add up points here and reward someone’s fav for having the worst childhood leading up to his Robinhood or something. Which got played up in canon by having these three hate each other the way they did.
It makes sense for Jason to see Tim as a kid of privilege trying to replace him because he had “none of the baggage” that Jason had. It makes sense for Tim to find Damian’s entitlement and sense of “biological right” over him and the others and find his attitude abhorrent to everything he’s experienced and how grateful he is toward Bruce and the family. It makes sense for Damian to look at the other children, who he has been told are “lesser” because of their lack of blood relations (and blood inheritance is of course everything to Damian’s treatment and raising with the al Ghuls) being loved unconditionally the way they are by the father he can’t seem to please.
But few (maybe no) canon writers seem to see the levels of these relationships and treat their default Robin as the “true” point of view. And so that just encourages fandom’s natural inclination to do the same. Somehow everyone’s at fault except for your fav and their pain and abuse or neglect or circumstances don’t matter a tenth as much as yours.
And that rubs me such the wrong way I can’t stand it. Because I think all of these stories are important and need to be told. They’re some of the most real examinations of the way different forms of trauma can be felt by a wide swarth of people, and how they build into those characters so deeply.
Part of why Tim Drake of the New52, and Rebirth for that matter, doesn’t read well to me is because he’s had that neglect and abandonment completely erased from his history. It’s hard to explain how his asocial tendencies developed in a supportive environment so unlike the one we saw him grow from organically in the previous continuity. And part of that is probably because so few writers – even those who wrote those circumstances to begin with – seem to recognize that those were abusive signals. It was just accidental “oh kids I know who have these behaviors tend to have uninvolved parents. What a weird coincidence”.
And unfortunately that’s led to the mess that I keep referring to in fandom.
As for your question about who is more violent with criminals between Jason and Damian, that would be Jason. I mean… they’ve both killed but… yeah Jason. He put heads in a dufflebag.
Wait but Damian put a grenade in a head and threw it at Tim, didn’t he.
Fuck they’re both bad when written by certain people. Okay you’ve got me. It’s a tossup.