Have a drink. It might help that mortis attitude of yours.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

It Takes a Big Man to Admit When He is Wrong...

As I've said before, not only in this blog but out in the real world, when a character dies I want them to stay dead. When a character passes on in a particularly emotional way we shouldn't say, "They'll only be dead till Claremont takes over." or "He'll be back. I heard they're retconning him in a new darker and grimmer mini coming out next summer written by that guy working on that show." Death in a story should never be written in lightly, it is a serious moment that should have a lasting emotional affect on the reader as well as the characters in the story itself. If you start bringing back to life everyone who has died over the years in comics not only will you bring back some terrible characters *cough*Hammer and Anvil *cough* but you rob the writer of the ability to give a character of a truly meaningful death. There are some exceptions to this rule, Kevin Smith's resurrection of Green Arrow was fantastic in my mind as was Geoff Johns' and Hal Jordan, but I love these characters and because of this I start to waiver…a little. Despite my joy at these guys kicking around the DCU agian I STILL think it was a cheap ploy. Overall, I hold in the belief that bringing back a character can only lead to substandard writing.

Enter Judd Winick and the return of Jason Todd. That's right Todd is back. When I first heard this I was dumbfounded. The death of Jason Todd shaped has Batman as a character for almost two decades. Nearly twenty years of trying to make up what Bruce feels is his biggest and most fatal mistake. Notice I said nearly because with the Hush saga we start getting tiny little hints that Jason is back and this time with a gun in his hand a vengeance on his mind. Suddenly he is jumping about in biker leathers and a metal helmet like something out of Death Race 2000.

“Why?” I wondered. “Why taint an important moment in at least my comic reading history with this bullshit?”

All riled up and ready to pull a rowdy I actually bought the comics just so I have something to bitch about. Here it is folks, here is where I start to eat my words. The story that unravels is a really good one and I think pushes Batman to a level that I don’t think he has been at for a while. He is starting to FEEL again. Sure it is in kind of his twisted Batman way but it shows signs of a heart beat. After all this nonsense with him being an asshole to the JLA, the OMAC business and his break with Superman and Wonder Woman with the return of Todd as the Red Hood Batman is again reaching out. While reading the story we have build, we have drama not mention some pretty sweet action all leading up Batman #650.

Whoa. Here it is coming to a head. What we have isn’t only a knockdown, drag out physical battle but also a very emotional one. Jason isn’t acting out against Batman because Batman failed to save his life. No, he is seeking his revenge because of the fact that Batman has yet to kill the Joker. It isn’t typical bad guy motivation or even typical good guy turned anti-hero motivation. It is more “You, my father figure, my role model, have let me down beyond all reason. You let our greatest enemy live when he ended my life. Well, you know what. It's time to get back.” Or just check out how Winick does it which is way better than my paraphrase. Double Whoa guys, Double Whoa. You don’t usually get this type of storyline and I, the Keep 'em Dead Kid, for one was moved.

Now, I’m not sure I agree with how he was brought back. I have a feeling that from now on this reason will be used to explain all DC’s continuity probIems, “Hawkman is his own mother? Damn you _______ of Earth _____” I won’t give away exactly the cause because Winick, Davis, and Morales worked hard on this comic and you should go out and buy it. Nor am I saying that everyone should be revived but this time it works. Like Jason Todd himself, this story arc sparkles with life.


Blogger Craig said...

I have to begrudgingly admit as well that the Red Hood storyline made Batman pretty interesting. Also agree that the "how he came back" story was really frustrating. As a whole though, I can't stand Winnick's writing. There are times when he seems unnecessarily lewd and/or over the top (especially on Outsiders) and I feel like the majority of his run on Green Arrow has been the definition of lazy writing. And i'm usually not one to complain.

8:17 PM

Blogger Benhatt said...

I'll agree that as of late Green Arrow has been pretty slow. His arc with Mia being HIV positive was really good and I applaud anyone who will work in a story line that attempts to raise awareness in society. Since the Baron of Oil/Riddler arc I think the stories have gone downhill, especially with this last one. Took way too long to get to Dr. Light and even longer to get to the battle with Merlyn for a payoff that was merely only o.k.

Looking forward to Ollie as mayor though. A liberal as a government head? Now I know we're in a fantasy world

9:04 AM

Blogger Dr Obvious said...

Hmm, you don't have trackbacks enabled, so here's a manual one:

The Ziggurat of Doom said:
I’ve been thinking for a while about the return of Jason Todd. Those Wednesday, a new to me comic blog that I like, has a really good write up that matches my feelings very well.

Well, this is a new blog, but if you keep up the good work, I'll keep reading. If you keep the posts regular, I'll link off of the Ziggurat.

1:03 PM


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