I’m only on #4 but it is actually a pretty interesting storyline. If you have read it what do you think?
This topic should be of interest to the @RenegadeRobinsClub. Any thoughts on it?
Yes and I love how they work together like a functional yet dysfunctional family.
I like Rebirth RHATO (though it’s gone… weird lately), disliked New 52 RHATO. Reasoning:
New 52 RHATO: while I liked some of the changes it introduced (I’ll never be able to fully hate it purely because it undid some of the directions taken with Jason’s character that nearly made me quit DC in frustration), I felt like a lot of it was just… bad. I appreciated some of the stuff it retconned, but I hated the new “Joker’s Robin” stuff it did, I felt like it completely dropped the ball when it came to Jason’s behavior towards women (before the Reboot, many fans, myself included, read a number of Jason’s Robin and post-resurrection stories as indicating that he was upset by violence against women and children and hated gendered slurs; after the Reboot, he introduced Starfire by referencing her bra size). I also just really don’t like the All Caste stuff, which replaced Lost Days, a miniseries I found very interesting, with a bunch of generic mystical crap. The dialogue was often painful, the plot was frequently nonexistent, and while I appreciated the status of Jason as semi-reconciled with the Batfamily, I didn’t like the fact that it felt really shallow. We didn’t see it happen; it was just there, and it felt very jarring. And that’s all without getting into the changes to Roy’s and Kory’s characterization, which I was… not a fan of, to put it mildly.
To Lobdell’s credit, however, it seems like he genuinely listened to the robust criticism that New 52 RHATO received, because Rebirth RHATO was much, much better. Jason’s characterization felt a lot stronger, and Lobdell’s update of Jason’s and Bruce’s tire-theft meeting felt true to the heart of the original, and was just genuinely enjoyable. Artemis’s characterization took a bit to develop, but she grew on me eventually. Bizarro’s inclusion was a Choice, but Lobdell’s use of Bizarro as a foil character for Jason was just genuinely really well done. It was a similarly strong Choice to totally upend the Black Mask and Red Hood dynamic from Under the Red Hood, but while very different, it was also really fun, and felt like it could easily be the precursor to the Red Hood and Black Mask dynamic I enjoyed in Under the Red Hood. Jason’s Poor Street Kid chip on his shoulder was great, and I love his love/hate relationship with Gotham. The dialogue is still occasionally painful, but generally feels a lot stronger, and there are a few moments that are just genuinely quotable. Also, it’s basically confirmed that Jason has PTSD, which is something that I’ve always wanted to see a series explore, so it wins brownie points from me for that.
I do feel like it’s kind of lost its way recently, though… I’m not digging this new team and cast, and I’m kind of hoping we move on from it soon to a smaller cast again.
I liked a lot of what was done with the N52 RHATO myself. I didn’t much care for or agree with the aspects of Starfire’s character that Lobdell chose to go with initially but I really liked that Lobdell actually progressed Jason’s character beyond the whole “psycho killer with daddy issues” characterization which was pretty much all writers did with him before the N52.
I also liked the world building he was doimg for the team and for Jason. Lobdell gave him a team of his own, which wasn’t really something Jason had the chance to have before he died. I also liked the All Caste as an addtion to his back story (before Tynion came on and messed it up so badly through mishandling) because I like the idea of Jason being a “mystical” assassin rather than just a run-of-the-mill one like so many other DC ones are. It makes him distinctive from them by giving him his own unique abilities and skill set.
As much as I liked the N52 version of the team though I like the Rebirth team a lot more. The team and book just gelled a lot better in my opinon.
I can definitely respect that. As I said, I can only be so hard on the series as a result of that. The mystical assassin thing just isn’t too much my tastes… when it comes to Batman stuff, I’m just not a big fan of anything more mystical than the Lazarus Pit, which at least carries the suggestion that there could be some scientific explanation. I like my Bat stuff more street level. It’s why I never got too into Snyder’s post-New 52 stuff. That’s a personal preference, though. (And l agree that Tynion’s RHATO run fell flat. I usually like him but it just felt phoned in there.)
I have pretty strong opinions about RHATO. Particularly the New 52 run. I’m not getting into characterization since @mysterious_stranger summed up how I felt about the characterizations (and basically everything else because they are just amazing with explaining Jason) perfectly.
MAJOR PLOT SPOILERS FOR RH: Lost Days and RHATO Rebirth
My biggest issue with the plot was how they threw basically all of Jason’s motivations right out the window and had him hunt the supernatural Untitled. It was so out of left field to write Jason, the boy who grew up on the streets of Gotham, who became Robin to save kids like him and the woman he saw objectified everyday on the street, who came back from the grave, trained by the best (and worst when it comes to morality and he punished them for it) that Talia could get him, the boy who freed a shipment of 6-9 year olds from a human trafficking ring, saved a bridge full of random strangers from a bomb, and single handedly overthrew the top mob/crime boss in Gotham, fighting supernatural creatures that have never even been mentioned before. It just doesn’t fit his character or background at ALL. I came to love Jason because of how real he felt, how he fought for and against the people that no one acknowledged. So having his whole story be about fighting supernatural creatures just made me feel angry, annoyed and betrayed. We have plenty of other alien/supernatural stories in DC why did we have to turn one of the most human character’s story into one?
The All-Caste could have been super cool if it had been more of Jason’s time with the League of Assassins (or just more of Talia and his time training to become the Red Hood).
Now Rebirth has been pretty great, actually taking Jason back to his roots (mostly). Although I’m still not a fan of the alien/supernatural element. The dynamic between Artemis, Bizzaro, and Jason is MUCH better than the old team. But I feel like Jason would work much better as mostly a loner or just not being with the team every single issue. I really like Artemis and Bizzaro as characters, but I just feel like they take a lot of the focus and story away from Jason. Other than that I’ve really enjoyed the first 3 vol.
Also the newest issues of Rebirth have not been my cup of tea. Bizzaro and Artemis are wildly out of character. Jason starting to get really out of character as well. I also can’t stand the new team members Jason is supposed to train. I just can’t, they are written awfully, have 0 character traits other than “don’t listen to Jason” and “somehow magically save Jason just to look cool”
Basically my opinion on RHATO Rebirth is loved the first parts, with just a few personal nitpicks. Hate the newest parts because it’s undoing everything Lobdell actually did right. Sorry if this got a bit ranty.
In early Rebirth
It was one of my favorite series
When Bizarro.and Artemis left
It started to be not so good
Lately the combination of art and plot makes it unreadable to me.
One of my tasks this year
Is to read the last good isdues
And then continue on
Trying to give the series a second chance.
So far I don’t have the stomach for it.
I completely understand, I put it down a few issues into the whole “training a new team of super-villains”. I’m just waiting for the series to go back to normal, get a new writer, or reboot again.
Dexter Soy still posts some Jason art on his twitter. He has an AMAZING re design of Jason on there as well.
Other than that, enjoying re reading the better stuff and enjoying his brief appearances in Batman: The Adventures Continue. I have BIG hopes for that series and I desperately hope it doesn’t disappoint.
God, same! Have you read Event Leviathan/been reading Unkillables? Bendis can be hit or miss but I loved his Jason cameo in Event Leviathan, and both Jason and Cass are great in Unkillables (as are a number of other characters).
The only issues of Event Leviathan I own physically are the ones with Jason! I adore the art style, it actually made Jason’s new outfit look awesome. He was totally in character and actually shown to be smart and capable! It was amazing and a pure relief and surprise from Bendis.
I have also been reading DCeased Unkillables as well! The art is meh with some of the faces but the characters are great so far. I’m so happy to finally have Cass and Jason interact, even if it’s in a different universe.
I agree with literally all of this, down to the art stuff. I love the art in Event Leviathan… it actually makes the new Jason outfit work, plus the colors. Dexter Soy is a treasure but I could more than live with that as the full-time art on Jason… And I’m so glad someone else thinks the faces in Unkillables are off-model. Love that book, but that is not what Jason and Rose look like in my head. And heck yeah re: Cass and Jason interacting! They technically had brief interactions in B&R:E and RHATO Rebirth (hey, that’s on-topic for this thread, right?), but neither of those were exactly worth writing home about.
A M E N
I swear people just need a thread to rant about characters on haha. I agree that I also wouldn’t mind that art being the main for RHATO. Well there’s always hope for the future right?
LOL. Only if Bendis takes over RHATO, since I believe that artist only works with Bendis… but given how well Bendis wrote Jason, I can think of worse things. Lobdell did well on RHATO Rebirth but it seems from recent issues like he could probably use a break to recharge some batteries.
Actually, is it just me or does it seem like the Dexter Soy issues of RHATO are some of the best ones, not just in terms of art, but in terms of writing? Given what a big Red Hood fan he is, it makes me wonder if he wasn’t making some script suggestions as well.
I never thought of that! But that actually makes so much sense, the plot really did go downhill after he left… It wouldn’t be surprising if he added story ideas since he had to illustrate it after all.
And I think we are on topic we are discussing RHATO after all haha.
Yeah, I think we’re good here!
There have been issues with other artists that I liked and all, but it really feels like his stuff is the best. I don’t think Lobdell doesn’t deserve credit for improving, but it seems like a real “secret sauce” situation. As a Cass fan, I’ve been loving Batman and the Outsiders, but I’m sure that book would be just as good with Dustin Nguyen on pencils if Dexter ever wants to come home…
I’ve heard such good things about Batman’s and the Outsiders. I haven’t read it yet but the first issue is coming to DCU on May 12 so I’m excited.
And Lobdell does deserve some credit. He’s done well occasionally showing that Jason is affected deeply by everything that happened to him. But what the heck was with bringing Willis Tood back? That was just weird especially making him all nice and stuff when he was supposedly an abusive drunk to Catherine. I’m not saying that alcoholics can’t change but it was just never addressed at all. (And didn’t he try to sell Jason as a baby or was that retconned? Or was that in the Arkham story haha?).
It’s just that Lobdell is so all over the board sometimes that it’s hard not to get frustrated. Especially since he’s been writing RHATO for nearly nine years. I just really feel that Jason needs a new writer, something fresh to bring back life into the character/series.
That was in the Arkham story. I enjoyed the Arkham tie-in comics (and the games) a but I never cared for the backstory for Jason becoming Robin there. Also I would like it noted that the tire theft was in his game bio, thank you, Tomasi.
As for Willis Todd, yeah, it was weird how that was never addressed. I wouldn’t have minded if they’d cut that backstory out entirely, since Lobdell was the one who added it in the first place and I don’t consider it ‘essential canon,’ but it just felt inconsistent.
That all having been said, I laughed aloud at the double-fakeout and Wingman reveal. Well played, Lobdell.
But this means we can ignore that “his grandmother is Ma Gunn” thing right?
I can agree with it being about time for a new writer. I can appreciate a lot of what he did in Rebirth, but it just genuinely seems like he needs a break at this point, because it feels like he’s starting to run out of ideas. Rotating your writers before they start scraping the bottom of the barrel keeps everyone happy.
Thank you for clarifying that was in the Arkham story, I’m reading way to many comics at once to keep things on track, even stuff I already knew haha. I should start taking notes.
I’ve seen some interviews with Lobdell, and it does seem like he cares about the series. I hate to be so critical but it’s just had so many pitfalls over the years that he really does need a break at least.
Yeah, I have to give him credit for caring (and also for giving Jason a dog, that right there earns him a permanent slot in the good books), but I’m not saying take him off the book forever, just, like… give him a bit of time to get together better ideas than, like, a genius baby being carried around by their undead mother? Let someone else have a turn. Genevieve Valentine, Christopher Priest, Brian Bendis, Tom Taylor, Ed Brubaker,
me… there’s a lot of people who I think could really nail it. Variety is the spice of life and all that.