Red Hood, at least since the New52. I didn’t really care much about Todd before he came back. He was just this ghost, a cautionary tale for characters I actually cared about (Tim, Cass), but when he did come back, stupid “Superboy punches reality” excuse notwithstanding, I didn’t mind him. His antagonism made sense. Then the reboot happens, he’s still a murder but claims he’s a “hero”, and Batman gives him a pass for the longest time, it seems. It’s like DC wanted to make him the Punisher, but with Spider-Man’s youthful and witty one-liners, yet they failed to make him charming or appealing. His biggest draw seems to be “he shoot guns, make bad guys dead while wearing Bat-symbol as middle finger to his boss”. Woop-dee-expletive-doo!
Harper Row: Y’know what BatJamags said about about Damien Wayne? Yeah, Harp’s infinitely worse. At least Damien had a reason to be snobby, and was frequently told off by other people; Tim, Grayson, Bruce and others weren’t just taking his crap and calling it ice cream. Row, on the other hand? She doesn’t have nearly the training, experience, or sense of the least of Batman’s allies, but she’s better than all of them at everything, whenever terrible writing demanded it. I’ve covered this ad nauseum on my show, because it was this blind lust for the character that sabotaged others throughout the Eternal stories. Other characters are made incompetent, lesser than their previous selves so she can appear important, necessary, or good, but a closer look shows she is none of those things. At any given moment, she’s an expert at something she never tried before (like knife-throwing), and has no arc, development or growth. She’s ignorant, egocentric, flippant to the point of verbally abusive and derisive of better characters–and they just loved her for it [because bad writing demanded it]. No one hated her, they either loved her or sorta didn’t like her, but had a strong respect for her ability to be completely unoriginal. Despite what Tynion and others at DC seem to think, showing her less often didn’t fix the outright stupid decisions and errors done in her name. They made her a freakin’ bat-messiah and the decided to pretend they did nothing wrong, like that fixed anything. She is the only DC character that would actually benefit from a clean-slate reinvention.
The Orphans, the unfathomably stupid and cheap imitations of Cains David and Cassandra, borne from an amateur’s first draft Harper Row fan fiction. He was “the best assassin ever”, but couldn’t kill a bratty child from the poor side of Gotham. He hated his daughter’s guts, but a cheap twist is supposed to make up for all that. She became an infantalized duplicate that’s alleged to be “the same”, but has none of the heart, growth, development, strength or struggles. Her biggest goal was to be Harper Row’s bootlick. She was a side note in a story that was supposed to reintroduce her to the [awful, awful, stupid, awful] new DC canon. Both were little more than bad attempts to copy their good versions, with just enough similarities to pretend they were the same (too bad those similarities were often played more like Easter Eggs in a video game or movie than actual traits or elements). Apparently Tynion thought cheap emotional manipulation and B-grade poetry could mask all his shortcomings. Letting a different writer doesn’t make things better when the new writer is just working of the terrible foundation of a previous one I can’t just ignore that they replaced a perfect good history with total garbage just because it’ll make things easier on people who don’t want to put in the damn effort to actually fix their easily avoidable mistakes.
Nonsense like this is why I’m growing increasingly convinced writing is just getting worse.