Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Batman: A Death in the Family TPB

Jeez, even by today's standards, Jason Todd's death was pretty vicious... That final scene with Bats and Jason's body is pretty powerful.Check out the quote by Denny O'Neil towards the bottom. Funny stuff!


  1. Such a brilliant comic. And this was an amazing scene, the emotions are drawn so well.

    And you know what, I think I agree with that comment from Dennis ONeil. Jason had a rocky start, and fans didnt catch on to him, but after the way he died, trying to look out for his mum, after what she did, he died really heroic, and I loved him for that reason, and batman turned into more of a complex character because of it. To be brought back evil the way he was, i dont agree with it.

  2. Yeah Matthew, this is one of those storylines I could probably spend hours talking about. One of my biggest comic related pet peeves is when a hero is killed off in a less than heroic way. My favorite example is the New X-Men kids a few years back. They were thrown out like yesterday's trash. Jason's died a heroic death. Had he stayed dead, I would have had no problem with that decision. He died a hero, what more could somebody ask for?

    With all that said though, I thought the way Jason came back was brilliant. It wasn't like he was simply blown up by the Joker in some elaborate deathtrap, he was brutally beaten before he was finally blown to smithereens. And what did Batman do about it? Nothing. His sidekick, more than that, his adopted son was tortured and murdered by someone so sick that there is NO chance he might one day reform, and Batman sits around brooding. If I were Jason Todd, and I came back from the dead and discovered that my "father" had done practically nothing to avenge my death, I'd be a wee bit pissed as well!

    Honestly I'm not sure I would even consider Jason evil, especially depending on who is writing him. Look at it this way, Jason was killed by a man who has killed thousands of folks during his lifetime. When he returned from the dead(a little bit unstable due to his exposure to the Lazarus Pit)he decided to dedicate his life to stomping out evil, but in a more permanent fashion then his one-time mentor. Good for him I say!

    If Batman would have killed the Joker after the "A Death in the Family" storyline, would that really have been a bad thing? Like Jason Todd once asked Bruce, "Why didn't you kill him(Joker)?" Nobody else, not Penguin, not Riddler, only the Joker, and only because of what the Joker did to Jason, Bruce's "son"... I've always thought that was such an interesting question.

    While Bruce Wayne was still around an angry, unstable, vengeful Jason Todd seemed like the perfect natural progression for his character, especially after Talia dumped him in her father's Lazarus Pit. However, with Bruce "dead", I think it's time for Jason to return to the Bat-family as the prodigal son. I'd love to see Jason prowling the streets of Gotham as a Huntress style vigilante as opposed to just another member of Batman's rogues gallery.

  3. Without a doubt, Jason Todd's death was one of the darkest days in DC Comics history. And it was the fans who wanted him dead. I've watched a number of documentaries about the growth and development of the comic book medium in recent years, and all of them consider "A Death in the Family" to be one of the stories that helped shape the modern age of Batman comics. Jason's death made Batman a darker, more complex character, introduced a new era in the Batman books, etc. So, yeah, I can understand the argument (and Denny O'Neill's quote) that centers on the belief that resurrecting Jason is downright wrong.

    But, hey, DC did it anyway. I'm just sad that Judd Winick wrote his return story. You know, there was ONE rule concerning comic book deaths in the entire comic book industry back then, and that was that Bucky and Jason Todd (not to mention Gwen Stacy) are the only comic book characters who should never return to the land of the living. Ironically, Bucky and Jason returned on the same day! Whereas Bucky has become an extremely popular character in the comic book community, however, the same can't be said for Jason. On the contrary, I think fans and readers might even hate Jason Todd more than ever now. Me? I think he's a fantastic character, and I personally consider him the wildcard of the Batman family. There was so much potential with the character until Tony Daniel made him a complete psycho in Battle for the Cowl. Now, he's nothing more than Dick Grayson's nemesis. And, to me, that's the true disservice to the character. I don't care if he's the Red Hood or a gun-toting vigilante, but he's definitely not evil. He has problems, but, hey, so does Bruce Wayne.

    All in all, if I knew that DC would ultimately take this direction with Jason Todd's character, he would have been better off staying dead.

    ...Sorry for the ramble.

  4. I hate Jason Todd for the simple fact that his return was caused by a Super retcon punch from Superboy prime. That is a universal scale event, and Batman is supposedly a "street level" crimefighter. It's just one of those things I can't get past when I try to take Batman's corner of the DCU seriously. As seriously as you can take comic books.

  5. Robert- Ramble on! There's nothing I enjoy more than reading comments from you guys. You forgot Uncle Ben on your list of characters who we were never supposed to see return. Growing up a huge Marvel fan, the deaths of Bucky, Gwen Stacy and Uncle Ben were the three I never thought would be reversed.

    I remember reading somewhere that it was only by 77 votes(out of like 10,000)which led to Jason's death. That's really not what I would consider an overwhelming majority. Personally I thought Jason's death was a travesty. I get that it made Bats a darker, more complex character as you and Matthew pointed out, but in the end, it didn't really make all that much of a difference. To me, even before Jason's brutal murder, Bats was already one of the deeper, more complex comic book characters around. Joker was still Joker, and Bats was still unable to halt Joker's repeated rampage/murders, and eventually we got a replacement Robin anyway, reestablishing the status-quo.

    I'm guessing from your comments you don't like Judd. I thought he did a very good job explaining and establishing Jason upon his return... It was the writers after him who dropped the ball royally. Battle for the Cowl was actually an enjoyable story, and even after reading it, I still don't consider Jason "pure evil". It wasn't like he was shooting nuns, and stealing candy from babies, he was being a Punisher style vigilante. I'm completely fine with that depiction of Jason, after all the crap he's been through, I can totally understand his turn towards vigilantism. I'm just hoping he doesn't become a regular, cackling, bank-robbing one dimensional villain. Whew, see Robert, you're not the only one who can ramble!

    Kello-Come on, that's not really fair! Sure, it's pathetic that Jason returned in possibly the dumbest way imaginable, but you shouldn't hold a bad creative decision against him! It's funny, because the current issues of Booster Gold are kind of countering your claim that Bats is simply street-level. Bats dying, and the subsequent death of the Dick Grayson Batman ends up leading to Trigon taking over the entire planet or something like that. While I agree(to an extent)that Bats is street-level, there are times when his influence can reach nearly universal proportions. He may be a simple non-powered human who mainly deals with the various crazies in Gotham, but there are times when Bats has stood against planetary threats.

  6. There's a lot of belief I can suspend for comics, but for some reason Jason Todd doesn't get a free pass from me. I know Batman helped kill Darkseid, has teleported on many occasions, has his own rocket in his batcave, and essentially fought (and beat) the devil, but I just see Jason Todd and get that "one of these things does not belong" feeling.

  7. I love that you're down with Bats owning a rocket, but you just can't get past the Jason Todd/return from the dead thing Kello! I guess Jason Todd's return is just one of those things that'll always wind up bugging you. I think all comic book fans have similar pet peeves. For me, it was Joss Whedon bringing Colossus back from the dead. Colossus' death cured the Legacy Virus, the same disease responsible for the death of his 10 year old sister along with countless other mutants. I can't think of a more noble death! Then Joss undid it all by claiming that Colossus was really abducted by aliens or some such gibberish and wasn't really dead... Even though his death was the catalyst for the Legacy Virue cure!!! ARRGH!!! And you thought Jason Todd's Superboy Prime induced return was bad!

  8. Actually it was Prime's reality punching that helped bring Colossus back to life. True story... or so I hear.

  9. "Actually it was Prime's reality punching that helped bring Colossus back to life." Ha!!! It's funny 'cause it's probably true!