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Titans - Jason Todd - Review

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Titans - Jason Todd - Review

Holy side mission Batman! Well the appearance of Jason Todd, the new Robin, sidetracks our hero Dick Grayson in a one-shot team up of the two Boy Wonders. Jason saves Dicks butt in Dr. Adamson's apartment just in the nick of time from certain death.

The story starts 15 years ago in Gotham city on the day of Dick's parents funeral. His circus family is there and one by one they place white roses on the family grave. Dick is hesitant but the Strongman gives him a reassuring nod. Later on Dick sits with the Strongman discussing the case. Dick tells him he found out the killer used Hydrofluoric Acid to burn the trapeze ropes and kill his parents. He's worried the police can't find the killer. Strongman assures him someone will find him. He also tells him that Bruce Wayne is a very wealthy, good man who can take care of him better than he ever could. Dick protests he doesn't want to. Strongman tells him living with Bruce Wayne will change his life for ever. Boy was he right.

Back in the present Dick and Robin drag Dr. Adamson back to the Nuclear Family's station wagon. Robin tells Dick his name is Jason Todd and that it's an honor to meet him. He also lets him know Batman is OK with the two meeting, even encouraging it. To get some pointers.

On the drive back Dick and Jason talk. Jason reveals that he's been Robin for a year now and that he got caught trying to steal the hubcaps off the Batmobile. Ooooohhhhhh. Ballsy. And very comics accurate. He tells him Batman saw his potential and gave him the job. Jason then proceeds to sing the praises of the new Robin suit telling Dick it is 6X stronger than Kevlar and that he could take a flamethrower hit. Dick wants to know how Jason found him so the kid tells him that it was the tracker in his arm. Woah. Dick didn't know that was there and is pissed! Jason suggests a safehouse but Dick is kinda put in his place a little when the digital locks won't open for him. Jason gets them inside. On the elevator ride up the two talk because Dick wants to know why Jason is doing what he's doing. The youngster explains it's because the job is so badass. Kicking criminals butts and driving the Batmobile are some pretty sweet motivators. Dick can't believe Bruce lets him drive his baby. He asks why he wants the name Robin and in a actually very revealing moment Jason tells him it's because Batman needs a Robin. Specifically as a bullet magnet distracter.

In a nice little moment Jason asks who the person in the painting on the wall is. Dick explains its Niccolo Machiavelli and then launches into a chilling quote from the 16th century Italian diplomat. Much props to Brenton here for his acting, he's gotten a lot better as the series has progressed and we get a real sense of the upbringing and lessons Dick was taught by Batman in his youth by the somber performance. As well as the vast difference between the upbringing of the two Robins.

Grayson drags the Dr. off and heads into a nearby bathroom. He's amped to take out his Bat-Tracker and uses his "ahem" Wayne tech phone to find the bug in his arm. He slices it out as he talks to Kory on the phone. He updates her on the Dr. and she updates him on the Nuclear Family corpses with exploded heads in her Motel room. He gives her his address and tells her to come to the safe house.

Dick gives the tracker back to Jason and tells him he's no longer Robin so he doesn't need it. They argue over wether Bruce was controlling or caring in implanting them with the trackers. Jason doesn't understand. Dick tries to get rid of him but Jason won't leave. He pulls out a packet and gives it Dick. He tells him Bruce wanted him to see it.

Dick and Jason examine a photo layout of victims. The pix were sent to Gotham PD care of Robin. Dick realizes he knows all the victims. In a flashback we see that they were all in the circus with him and are the friends from his family's funeral. The victims were killed with the same Hydrofluoric acid used by the Maroni crime family to burn Harvey Dent and kill Dicks parents. Dick knows Tony Zucco worked for the Maroni's when he killed his parents. He knows he went to jail and is dead. Jason explains that the papers calls the murderer the Melting Man. Dick asks if the police were any help? Jason rails against the Gotham cops calling them useless or dirty. Bruce recognized the victims and sent Jason to find Dick.

Dick goes to use the safehouse's Bat-Puter but realizes he won't have access anymore. Was I the only one who thought the circling Wayne logo looked an awfully lot like Nitewing's symbol? Could this apt. be the new Titans tower? It's high in the air. It kinda makes sense. Hmmmmmmm. Jason logs him in and Dick looks for his friend Clayton, the Strongman. He finds him in Milwaukee and the duo argue about going on a road trip together. They're interrupted by the security alarm triggered by the arrival of the rest of the Titans.

Jaon and the group meet in a funny little scene as they introduce themselves to each other as Dick tries to keep them all in the dark. I liked the chemistry and acting here. Very natural. Gar notices the Robin cases and they all learn Jason is the new Robin. Gar is hilarious and wants to be a Robin too. Kory shuts it all down and takes Dick to see the Dr. in the bathroom.

Dick updates Kory about the Dr. and the Organization. He also tells Kory that Jason is his replacement. She thinks thats good as Dick said he didn't want to do it anymore so it's taken care of. Dick reveals he's just getting used to the idea of being replaced. I said it before but this is a nice little scene between the two acting wise. The pair is very believable and pull off a natural give and take in their scenes together.

Clayton is at home in Milwaukee putting models together. He gets ready for his job as a security guard. On his walk to work a man with a burned hand watches him and then follows him. Why you gotta drop the ice-cream? Why not eat it as you tail the Strongman? Random thoughts by....

Dick and Jason walk up to Clay's work discussing Jason's crummy upbringing. Yet another example of how the two orphans are different. Another path revealed to Dick of what his life could have been like had he not gone with Bruce Wayne. In possibly the greatest writing ever, Jason tries to get into the speakeasy club with a fake I.D. using the name Robert Plissken. Ha! The bouncer's "not today Snake" made my year. I love me some Escape From NY! I have the german movie poster on my wall!

Dick makes his way through millennial hipster hangout heaven until he finds Clayton who doesn't recognize little "Dickie". They hug and Dick gets him to talk privately. Meanwhile Jason sneaks in the back door. Clay and Dick talk and catch up over a drink. They lament they didn't keep in touch. Jason infiltrates the bar and moves through the crowd. Dick tells Clay he often thinks what his life would have been like had he stayed with him. Clay tells him they would have been poor. He tells Dick he looks happy.

Jason steals a drink and picks a fight with the "Mumford" guy who it belonged to. Dick sees it going down and moves to stop it from escalating. Suddenly a Bomb! goes off! People hit the floor. Dick and Jason help people outside and see that a car has exploded. Dick receives a call from Clay but it's revealed to be the Melting Man on the other end of the line. He tells Dick he's the son of Tony Zucco.

Flashback to two years ago in Gotham City, where mob hitman Tony Zucco is arrested. The news reports on Tony's connection to the Maroni crime family. Inside the Batcave! Dick watches the news at the Bat-Puter next to the Batmobile! Holy Sleek Badassness Batman!

At the police station Dick watches on a CCTV as Tony's son Nick arrives to visit his father. The police thank Dick for Wayne Enterprises assistance but thats all they're willing to offer him. They tell him they're cutting him a deal and oh boy is Dick mad at that. Dick storms out and talks trash about Tony Zucco in front of his departing son Nick.

Later the police are moving Tony Zucco and the mob sets up a hit on the informant. Robin planned a meeting for the same time so he takes out the guards and throttles Tony against the bridge. He reveals he's Dick Grayson to the mobster but doesn't kill him. He beats his ass pretty bad until the Maroni's hitmen show up and shoot at them. Zucco begs for Robin to help him but Dick won't do it. The hitmen shoot the mob informant with acid bullets, killing him in front of the Boy Wonder.

Dick tells Jason he killed the Melting Man's father, the man who killed his parents. Jason tells Dick that must have felt great and Dick agrees and tells the kid that's exactly the problem. That becoming Robin deadens you and that what you learn from Batman you can't unlearn. Also that you're only Batman's weapon. Nick texts Dick a pic of Clay and a location to be at. He leaves Jason and heads off to deal with it by himself.

Robin sneaks around an old factory. Clay is suspended by chains with acid dripping towards him from overhead. Nick stands up high with his hand on the acid's release switch. Nick explains how after his father's death the Maroni's came after his family and melted them all. Nick wants revenge. He reveals his melted face, telling Dick he's been revealed by the acid to show his true self. He drips a drop of acid onto Clay, burning his shoulder. Dick pleads for his life but the Melting Man shows no mercy. Jason appears in his Robin uniform to help save the day! Dick throws his R and frees Clay from his suspension. Jason drops on Nick and they fall to the ground from the catwalk. Jason kicks Nick and knocks him down. He pulls out an acid gun and fires! The shot hits Jason on his Robin armor and he falls to the ground. Nick walks in for the kill shot but Dick stops him and proceeds to beat his ass down. He helps Jason up and the amusingly thank each other for saving each other's lives.

The police show up and Jason takes off to take care of them. He leaps and kicks and spins and twists, taking out the unsuspecting patrolmen violently and without mercy. Dick hears the commotion and pulls the little psycho off a defenseless cop. Jason has a bad attitude and likes beating on the police. He enjoys his anonymity. They argue over how to act as a hero and Jason makes a good point on Dick holding onto his past by still using the suit. Jason is confident in who is. He questions Dick on if he even knows who he is anymore.

Clay gets patched up by Dick in his apartment. He hilariously asks Dick if Bruce knows he works with Batman. Dick doesn't lie to his friend but tells him instead that he no longer works with Batman. Dick tells him Bruce did the best he could. Dick calls Kory and tells her he's on his way back. She flippantly asks how many Robins should she expect. He solemnly tells her "none." Ouch.

Kory wakes up Dr. Adamson. She tells him it's time to talk. He questions where Rachel is and tells her no matter what they do to him, he won't talk to anyone but her.

This was a nice side episode, I liked it and it had some very poignant scenes in it. We get some more back story on Dick and get to meet the new in universe Robin. Knowing what happens to him in the comic books make me wonder how much we're going to see of him in the future versus just a one time thing as this seems to be Dick's story and leaving Batman behind is his main motivation. This side mission episode was a little let up on the gas pedal that is the race towards Rachel's father but that's OK for a multi-episode season. I love it also because they continue to show us more and more of the DC Universe and that my friends, is a good thing.

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