Cats & Quilts [Jason Todd] Week 4: Dec. 9-22

Jason%20Costume%20A Jason%20Costume%20B
The suit makes the boy…

The Renegade Robins Club is officially the Robin II Club now that Jay has taken the moniker! (Don’t worry, Hoodies: he won’t stay that way forever.) But what happens when Dick’s old rivals come seeking revenge against the Boy Wonder? Crazy Quilt targets the wrong Robin! And he’s not the only quirky recurring villain this time around. Expect an appearance by none other than Catman! Finally, get ready for a new villain to enter the ring: Doctor Fang!

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Do I spot a Jason cameo?

Bird Sighting


Jason meets the Man of Steel for the first time in Action Comics #556

Need to understand what’s going on in the issues we’re reading? Maybe I can help:

Background

First, we’re skipping over a pair of issues because they skipped over Jay! Deadshot returns to town in Batman #369 and 'Tec #536. You may want to read them to know what’s happening with the Pennyworths or to see the brief first appearance of Doctor Fang. Deadshot’s last notable appearance before this story was 'Tec #518.

Crazy Quilt was a Boy Commandos villain in the Golden Age, but the “Renegade of the Rainbow” faced Dick Grayson’s Robin in 1951 (reprinted here as a backup in Batman #255). He stirred up trouble more recently in Batman #316, and Robin was key in defeating him there, too, so Quilt sees himself as more of a Robin rogue than a Bat-baddie.

Catman (not to be confused with Catwoman’s brother, King of Cats) first appeared in 'Tec #311. And since you can’t keep a good cat down, he returned in 'Tec #318, 'Tec #325 (where he is revealed to have 9 lives thanks to his costume), Batman #323-324, and 'Tec #509.

Here’s our schedule: 2019-12-09T06:00:00Z2019-12-22T06:00:00Z

Week 4 Reading (Eight Issues)

I. Crazy Quilt

  1. Batman #368
  2. Detective Comics #535

II. Doctor Fang, Part 1

  1. Batman #370
  2. Detective Comics #537

III. Catman

  1. Batman #371
  2. Detective Comics #538

IV. Doctor Fang, Part 2
(Content Warning: Racist Language)

  1. Batman #372
  2. Detective Comics #539

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What is it with you and crowbars, Jay?

Discussion Questions
  1. With this session, we have reached the first anniversary of Jay’s introduction. What is your overall impression of Jason Todd: Year One? How do you feel about his first solo mission?

  2. Jay faces the fallout of being a legacy character. Which other enemies of the original Boy Wonder would you want to see Jason face? (Don’t say the Hudson U hippies!)

  3. Two of Batman’s more colorful rogues return to bring cataclysm. Were you familiar with their previous stories, or are you just now being catechized in this category? Am I guilty of catachresis with these puns?

  4. The Doctor Fang issues and the Green Arrow backups express concerns over social issues such as race and poverty. How do you feel about the way these stories handled the topics?

  5. Julia Pennyworth is now officially a regular part of the cast. How do you feel about her inclusion? How do you feel about the parallels drawn between her backstory and Jason’s?

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Oh, no! Not already!

  • Stop trying to kill Robin, Doug Moench!
  • Kill him faster! We want our Red Hood!
  • Nice callback to Batman #156!
  • Nice callback to Michelangelo’s Pietà!

0 voters

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It’s funny, between this club and the reading I did for Crisis, I’ve come to have a better appreciation for this period in Batman history. I wasn’t thinking and actually read the Deadshot issues not realizing that they’re not part of the reading!

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Well, they’re certainly optional. :wink:

I enjoyed the first year even though at the time I thought Jason was a bit to much like Dick. I still feel that DC didn’t do the character any favors by making him almost exactly like Dick but that’s just my opinion.

As for his first solo mission I loved how determined he was, going so far as to physically chase down the car when all other options were extinguished. He really did all the grunt work on this one and I was, like Jason, annoyed when Bullock blew the whistle on it instead.

Deathstroke.

I’ve run into them before back when I originally read these.

I find it sad that we are still struggling with the same issues even now. Despite these stories having been written decades ago they still are talking about very relevant topics in today’s society. I liked how it was handled in the Green Arrow backups better though probably because there was a lack of racist language there. I really can’t stand that kind of language. I don’t use it myself and people that do tend to get an earful from my IRL. That said I did like that Tommy Dunfey was able to see that Michael Greene was a person just like anyone else and that he took the time to seek not only his killer and make sure he would do the time for his crime but that he attended the funeral and returned the championship belt to Greene’s family.

I like Julia and always have. I had forgotten how much her situation and Jason’s paralleled each other. I found it interesting that their two situations have so much in common.

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With this session, we have reached the first anniversary of Jay’s introduction. What is your overall impression of Jason Todd: Year One? How do you feel about his first solo mission?

Overall I like how they slowly introduced and made him earn the title of Robin. At this point he still feels a little like “Dick-lite” at times, but he’s still a good character to read. As for his first solo mission, I liked the youthful energy he brought to his tracking down of Dr. Fang (as awful a villain he was), while still feeling like a credible if green crime fighter.

Jay faces the fallout of being a legacy character. Which other enemies of the original Boy Wonder would you want to see Jason face? (Don’t say the Hudson U hippies!)

But those Hudson U Hippies are just so damn punchable! :laughing:

Seriously though, as @JasonTodd428 said, Deathstroke comes to mind, though I think that’s mostly because at this point, there isn’t that much in terms of villains that specifically have a grudge on Dick. It’s probably for the best because, while I like Jason and think he’s a credible crime fighter…Slade would wipe the floor with Jason at the point of these issues.

Two of Batman’s more colorful rogues return to bring cataclysm. Were you familiar with their previous stories, or are you just now being catechized in this category? Am I guilty of catachresis with these puns?

I’ll let you know – as soon as I look up those words!

I’ll go with “yes,” but no more so than Catman himself did with these issues!

Seriously, Crazy Quilt I was of course familiar with from infamy, and then I had seen him in an episode or two of Batman: Brave & The Bold (which also dealt with his grudge with Robin) and then Scott Snyder’s reimagining of him during Endgame. First time reading him in this classic era, and I can dig it – sure his MO is goofy as hell, but his pathos and reason for villainy and revenge is pretty solid, and really, the best villains in comics are those that tight-rope balance between threatening and goofy like trapeeze artists.

Catman I’m also more familar with in modern takes, such as Brian Meltzer’s arc of Green Arrow with “The Archer’s Quest” and most notably in Gail Simone’s run of Secret Six. Needless to say, I prefer Simone’s take on the character way, way, way, way more.

The Doctor Fang issues and the Green Arrow backups express concerns over social issues such as race and poverty. How do you feel about the way these stories handled the topics?

The boxing two-parter read a little weird to me at first. It felt like it was muddling itself up in order to make an obvious point at parts, such as when the white boxer is talking to his black trainer. It definitely read a lot better and more concise in the second part – maybe because the artist wasn’t involved in the writing process? It was really shocking to see the N-word dropped in a mainstream superhero comic during this time – though X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills did it two years prior.

Julia Pennyworth is now officially a regular part of the cast. How do you feel about her inclusion? How do you feel about the parallels drawn between her backstory and Jason’s?

I like her well enough in these issues so far, though there isn’t a lot to her right now. Or maybe I’m just more partial to the version of her in the New 52 and in Batwoman Rebirth, where she’s more immediately part of the action and has a stronger badass side to her.

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I’m all for Robin solo missions, but this really isn’t our Jason Todd yet. He’s a suitable fill in and I like reading about a Robin who is so green, but he’s not as interesting until his post-crisis origin kicks off.

I’m sorry, but which other’s are there? Raptor?[quote=“AlexanderKnox, post:1, topic:366949”]
Were you familiar with their previous stories, or are you just now being catechized in this category? Am I guilty of catachresis with these puns?
[/quote]

While I’ve heard of the character, this is the only story I’ve read with Crazy Quilt in it. It was weird seeing a guy called Crazy Quilt being taken seriously. I’ve owned a few quilts and I can unequivocally say not a one was this vicious. I

Catman, of course, becomes something far better once Gail Simone gets a hold of him.

I didn’t have any issues regarding how the topics were being dealt with. You expect Green Arrow to go there. The second Dr Fang story was just so different than the last, it was a hard at first to reconcile that it was the same character.

Julia is okay, fairly generic really. It’s weird that she’s suddenly jealous of Vicki Vale - it’s like because she’s a guest in his house she thinks she & Bruce should have a thing, but we haven’t seen much interaction between the two other than, “Sorry, Julia, I have to leave right now.

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Ding Dong Daddy, of course.

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Perhaps Mad Mod…

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Jason Todd’s actually my favorite Robin. His death was the most tragic out of all of the Robins. I kinda relate since I also get angry like him.

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