"I dunno. Sidekick or street urchin?"
The Renegade Robins Club gives you what you’ve been waiting for: the post-Crisis revison of Jason Todd’s origin! Gone is the orphaned circus acrobat! In his place…well, you’ll just have to read the story to find out! But could his beginning also be his probable end?
(From Batman Annual #11, missing from DCU.)
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- Jason meets Superman for the first time (again) in Action Comics #594, so any earlier meetups between them are either non-canonical or revised in light of this issue.
In pre-Crisis continuity, Dick Grayson was the one who chose to retire from his role as Batman’s sidekick, as seen in The New Teen Titans #39.
Killer Croc is no longer part of Jason Todd’s origin story, but other details from Croc’s first appearance remain canonical in the new timeline.
I’ve already discussed the Mad Hatter’s history in a previous session, but it’s worth noting that the Hatter’s design here is from his Silver Age appearances, so the Golden Age Hatter may have been lying when he said that he killed off his “impostor.” Of course, it’s likely that Barr and Davis are using the reboot to gloss over the distinction between the two Hatters, since no reference is made to an alternate Jervis Tetch. Grant Morrison restores the distinction in Batman #700, dubbing the mustachioed Tetch “Hatman” in the present-day portion of the story.
The Detective Comics arc this week leads directly into Batman: Year Two. Barr’s sequel story from 2011 has been included to round out the story since Y2 doesn’t include Jason.
Leslie Thompkins was introduced in Detective Comics #457 by Dennis O’Neil. She was a social worker who comforted Bruce Wayne on the night of his parents’ death. The line “my beginning and my probable end” comes from that issue. O’Neil used the character again in Detective Comics #483, and Barr included the character in his pre-Crisis story Batman Special #1. In this week’s story, Barr makes two major revisions to the character: he changes her profession and declares her to be Bruce’s legal guardian during his orphaned years. He further expands her story in Year Two and in the Legends of the Dark Knight arc Faith.
Further discussion of Jason’s post-Crisis origin can be found in the Characters of DC Club session on Jason Todd.
Here’s our schedule: 2020-03-30T05:00:00Z → 2020-04-12T05:00:00Z
Week 12 Reading (Nine Issues)
Note: One story from the Max Collins run, “Love Bird” in Batman Annual #11, is missing from DC Universe. You can read a summary of the story here.
I. My Probable End
II. Second Chances
III. Stand-Alone Stories
- What improvements, if any, do you see in Jason’s new origin?
- What details, if any, do you think worked better in his first origin?
- What did you think of Jay’s brush with death and Bruce’s reaction?
- What did you think of the Mad Hatter, Reaper, and Two-Face stories?
- What did you think of the new villains (Ma Gunn, Mime, and Tahara)?
"The Crisis didn’t take my puns away!"
Bonus: Be sure to read this retrospective on Jason Todd, which discusses his first and second genesis! It offers a number of interviews with key players from Jason’s time as Robin. And here is an interview with Max Collins about his experiences working on the book. (Thanks to Jay_Kay for the latter link.)
Poll Question: Jay’s Hair Color–Dye Job or Naturally Dark?
- Strawberry blonde, baby!
- Dark as the night, son!
Jason Todd will return in two weeks! Next week, the Dynamic Duo of Dick and Damian will have to face the Blackest Night!