I realise that New52 fans are upset that Jayroy aren’t together anymore but, that’s not the point. Neither of those complex characters should be tied down and compromised for a queer-baiting ship.
I need to clarify that I ship jayroy, I love them, my AO3 is full of them. But I shipped them before the New52, and I didn’t collect or read New52. A ship is still a ship regardless of canon interaction. I ship them because of the parallels in their preboot canon, and the understanding that could be built on that.
When RHATO was announced I was excited, I love Jay, Roy and Kori. But, Roy should have been leader. That’s not my bias, that’s common sense. Jason is the youngest, with the least experience (as both a hero and a team player) with the most ambiguous moral code. Kori is prone to letting her emotions cloud her judgement, it’s the way Tamaranians are. Whereas Roy is the oldest, most experienced. He has ample team experience (with the Arrow fam, the Titans, the Outsiders, the Justice League, hell, even the Suicide Squad). Roy led both the Titans and the Outsiders. Roy is by far the most level-headed of the 3 of them, too.
RHATO and RH/A robbed Roy of literally everything he was before . He lost his Native American upbringing (they replaced his Navajo tribal tattoo with a tattoo of a scorpion and a skull, as if that wasn’t bad enough, association or contact with the dead also happen to be major taboos in Navajo culture). They erased all known associations with his adoptive family and closest friends. They replaced his former heroin addiction (from an award winning storyline) with alcoholism, because Lobdell thinks that addictions are interchangeable. Then they made Killer Croc his sponsor - Killer Croc. They couldn’t even give Roy one of his former friends to help him out? And more than that, they bodged his characterization so entirely that they made him the weak link and problem child of the team, who seeks constant validation from Jason Todd.
If they’d retained their preboot personas, Roy would have been the leader, and he would have been a great moral compass and foil for Jason’s darkness. Roy has always been the ‘big brother friend’. He’s someone to confide in. He’s someone who is headstrong and determined and opinionated and loyal. He stands up for what he believes in and does good for the sake of doing good. He participated in anti-drug campaigns, he volunteered at soup kitchens. And I cannot fathom why they would take all of that from him and make him into a hired-gun for the sake of giving Jason a friend.
RHATO was amazing in theory, but so poorly executed. Long-time Jason fans (including myself) complain frequently about Jason’s questionable characterization, but at least he wasn’t robbed of everything in order to put him beside Roy.
I love Jayroy, I love it so much, it’s my favourite ship. But never because of the New52 that reduced them to co-dependant frat-bros. I’m so grateful that Roy has been given back at least some of what was taken from him. And I will continue to crackship Jayroy how they should’ve been done and write my fanfic, content in the knowledge that Roy is being treated like an individual again, and not Jason’s BFF.
Okay. This has been on my mind for a very long time. People
have talked about Dick, Kory, Tim, Jason etc in regards to the new52 but no one
has touched on Roy Harper yet. I think that’s an absolute tragedy.
So, in celebration of Convergence being published, here are the reasons why his new52 character doesn’t hold a candle to his pre52 one.