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  1. #1
    Amphibian Phil Maurice's Avatar
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    Default Did you "hate" the 2nd Robin (Jason Todd)?

    I wasn't actively reading comics when Jason Todd was introduced and subsequently revised post-Crisis. I was dimly aware of his existence. His death is alluded to a couple of times before it "actually" happens in "A Death in the Family" (in DKR, Detective #571, and probably others of which I'm not aware). Denny O'Neil recalls that the revamp did the character no favors, and that he was outright hated by many fans.

    Were you one of these fans? If so, what inspired the disfavor? Additionally, were you one of the fans who voted in the infamous reader-poll that decided his fate? And if so, do you feel the outcome was "front-loaded" by the various allusions I mentioned above?
    "Leviathans have tried and failed! You will not eat the true Sub-Mariner!"

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  2. #2
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    I hated him and called in to vote for his death. I thought Jason Todd was a very unlikeable character and at the time, I preferred a solo Batman, as opposed to one hanging out with a tremendous brat. It wasn't until Tim Drake's introduction that I started to like Robin.
    Also, I was only 15 or 16 at the time so I think I may have overreacted a bit. Not sure that I feel so strongly enough about a fictional character to wish for his "death" at this point in my life

  3. #3
    Welcome to Bleeker Street MRP's Avatar
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    Only time I ever dialed a 900 number was to vote to off Jason Todd. I thought the character when first introduced was ok, but didn't care for him, but the revamp as a little thief trying to steal the hubcaps off the Batmobile taken in by Batman who then reveals THE SECRET to him was just a bad decision all around, bad story telling, bad idea, bad execution and he result was a bad character who subtracted more form the mythos than he added (and he added very little). The previous allusions the Todd's death did not influence my decision how to vote, my desire to remove the parasite from the mythos did.

    Now later, I did like the Tim Drake character as Robin, but the time I felt Robin should have stayed retired when Dick Grayson left it behind in Titans. I still feel Jason Todd was one of those characters who would have been better off remaining dead. In hindsight, if they had left the original take on Jason Todd alone I probably would have been ok with it, but the revamp of his origin and the way he was portrayed after that sealed his fate for me. I've actually come to like the idea of Robin as a legacy, but only because I really did like the Tim Drake character when he was introduced. SO far that I guess, I should give a nod of thanks to Jason Todd, but I still dislike the character.


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  4. #4
    Elder Member zryson's Avatar
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    Hate is such a strong word and I don't really hate anything. Dislike yes, but hate no. As for Jason Todd, I thought he was okay. He was sometimes brash, impulsive, and some fans didn't like that. Many thought only Dick Grayson should be Robin and when he became Nightwing they wanted Batman to go solo. I remember there was a huge deal about it in the press (I have some clippings somewhere, though I might have thrown them out over the years) about the whole lets dial in and see what the public thinks?

  5. #5
    Elder Member thwhtGuardian's Avatar
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    Jason Todd is actually one of my favorite characters, and in opposition to MRP I thought the the post-crisis version was far superior to the pre-crisis Todd in just about every way. I like the street urchin origin and loved th dynamic that he and Bruce had, it was truly unique in that it felt like they were both trying to even each other out, where as the origin and the dynamic between the pre-crisis version of the characters just felt uninspired and dull. Pre-crisis he was pretty much just a clone of Dick Grayson, there was little that was unique or of interest about him.

    But although I dislike the pre-crisis version I can honestly say that even if I were given the chance to vote for his death I still wouldn't do it. Such an action is just needlessly crass and exploitive and the fact that once upon a time many people took glee in such a thing as voting to kill off the post-crisis Jason Todd often makes me feel slightly dirty in enjoying the hobby. I mean, I get it, he's a fictional character but at the end of the day your still voting to kill a kid and fictional or not that's a little disturbing.

  6. #6
    Amphibian Phil Maurice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zryson View Post
    Hate is such a strong word and I don't really hate anything. Dislike yes, but hate no.
    I agree. That's why I put it in quotes. O'Neil used the word, but possibly only to illustrate the level of vitriol in the letters DC received (never an accurate gauge of total reader sentiment). For our purposes, let's define it as a STRONG dislike.
    "Leviathans have tried and failed! You will not eat the true Sub-Mariner!"

    Namor, Defenders #3

  7. #7
    Senior Member LEADER DESSLOK's Avatar
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    I NEVER had a problem with Jason Todd. I'm beginning to suspect that has become one of these "myths" that for some reason, thrives in this industry! From what I remember, the phone campaign idea was put forth some time after the Dark Knight chapter where Alfred made reference to "what happened to Jason". It was the beginning of the re-interpretation of Batman to match what Miller had done in that series.

    I was actively reading Batman starting in the summer of 1984 and I don't remember reading about a lot of negative reaction to Jason. If anything, I think Batman came in as 3rd Favorite Character behind Wolverine and Spider-Man in The Comic Buyer's Guide Awards, where the votes were cast by the fans. In fact, the "Nix-Jason" crowd in that phone campaign only won by a narrow margin!

    The problem, if there was one. was that Batman was with Robin (Jason) almost ALL THE TIME and Bats' working solo became a rarity. If there had been a comic specifically called BATMAN AND ROBIN, like there is now, I really think Jason would still be Robin today! They didn't make that mistake with Tim Drake--who got his own book!
    FAV Comics: Lil' ABNER, DICK TRACY, BATMAN, UNCLE SCROOGE, KAMUI, TOMB OF DRACULA, THE MIGHTY THOR by LEE\KIRBY, WONDER WOMAN by PEREZ\KAREN BERGER, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 1-206 and EC COMICS!

  8. #8
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
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    I didn't care one way or another about the first Jason Todd. He was pretty bland and was just kind of "there." It wasn't significantly different than having Dick Grayson as Robin.

    I actively disliked the second Jason Todd. And I paid the money to nix the little reprobate. To be fair, that was a pretty heinous period for Batman and I really disliked the writing by Starlin, Messner-Loebs? and whoever else was there at the time.

  9. #9
    Idaho Spuds Slam_Bradley's Avatar
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    Now that I think about it, I paid money to kill the little peckerhead and then DC brought him back. I deserve restitution. With interest.

  10. #10
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    I'm not familiar with this particular character, but I've always found the idea of Batman's juvenile sidekick kind of creepy no matter who it was.

  11. #11
    Amphibian Phil Maurice's Avatar
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    Of those who are replying that they voted against Todd, do you recall whether you registered your vote within the allotted 36-hour period? It seems staggering that we should have so many such voters present on this board nearly 30 years later. And no, I'm not suggesting that anyone is being dishonest (no sarcasm).

    O'Neil also admitted that up to six percent (more than 300) of the "nix" votes were registered by a single person. Is that person here (oh please, please, please)?

    Did anyone here vote for Jason to live?
    "Leviathans have tried and failed! You will not eat the true Sub-Mariner!"

    Namor, Defenders #3

  12. #12
    Frugal fanboy Cei-U!'s Avatar
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    As I've mentioned before, I don't like kid sidekicks but if there *has* to be a Robin, it should be Dick Grayson. Period. Having said that, I didn't hate Jason. I hated the whole "Nightwing" thing that necessitated his creation. By the time he'd become the post-Crisis angry street punk, I'd stopped following the Batman titles (and, indeed, comics in general). Even if I'd stayed involved, I wouldn't have wasted my time and money voting, since it always struck me as a tasteless and exploitative publicity stunt.

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  13. #13
    Amphibian Phil Maurice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cei-U! View Post
    As I've mentioned before, I don't like kid sidekicks. . .
    Totally understandable, but it had its advantages in the Golden Age. It probably has its roots in characters like Dr. Watson, a vehicle for the main character to interact with and bounce ideas off of in order to avoid sounding insane.

    Completely non-scientific, but of the GA fans I've spoken with, to a person they identified with the sidekick who was roughly the same age they were, assisting and even saving the square-jawed hero. Nothing new there. It was the intent of the publishers, and a successful model for many decades. And then the readership skewed somewhere north of teen-aged. . .
    "Leviathans have tried and failed! You will not eat the true Sub-Mariner!"

    Namor, Defenders #3

  14. #14
    Senior Member LEADER DESSLOK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by berk View Post
    I'm not familiar with this particular character, but I've always found the idea of Batman's juvenile sidekick kind of creepy no matter who it was.
    How do you feel about THE RIFLEMAN? As far as I'm concerned, that's Batman and Robin in the Old West!
    FAV Comics: Lil' ABNER, DICK TRACY, BATMAN, UNCLE SCROOGE, KAMUI, TOMB OF DRACULA, THE MIGHTY THOR by LEE\KIRBY, WONDER WOMAN by PEREZ\KAREN BERGER, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 1-206 and EC COMICS!

  15. #15
    Amphibian Phil Maurice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LEADER DESSLOK View Post
    How do you feel about THE RIFLEMAN? As far as I'm concerned, that's Batman and Robin in the Old West!
    You do know you're just inviting some juvenile member (not me) to post that unfortunate RIFLEMAN cover, right?
    "Leviathans have tried and failed! You will not eat the true Sub-Mariner!"

    Namor, Defenders #3

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