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Under the Red Hood is such a good movie I almost don't feel guilty for consuming DC media that doesn't have any female characters. At least it's pre-DCnU?

Even though this story isn't about Dick, they do a really nice job sticking to his character when he shows up. He's very him, faults and all, and it does provide a nice counterbalance to Jason, both as Robin and as Red Hood. The contrast between Nightwing and Batman fighting, and the flashbacks to when Jason was Robin is the most effective, because clearly Dick is still trying to prove himself after all this time (Bruce, you are such a shit), but Jason can be missing for five years and not exactly on Bruce's side and they still fall into a really fantastic team routine.

That, of course, feeds nicely into the way they show us Bruce's feelings about Jason. It's a good touch that Jason vocalizes how he feels and what he expects from Bruce, but Bruce himself only shows it through how he reacts to Jason, and a few not necessarily favorable flashbacks. It's such a good authentic dynamic, that doesn't quite wear out the daddy issues theme, because it really is playing it out from both sides. Look, I know a lot of people prefer Papa Bat, but Bruce who doesn't quite understand that he's a father figure and is pretty bad at it is my favorite flavor of Bruce. SO SUE ME.

My major complaint, and I'm sure everyone saw this coming, is where is Tim, and more importantly, what about Stephanie? Yes, I know the animations don't have the same canon as the comics. YES, I understand that introducing another Robin/dead Robin would complicate the story when we already have Dick to act as the analogous relationship. I DON'T CARE. The animation follows the introduction of Red Hood pretty closely, if in a slightly more concise fashion. Following that, Stephanie would have "died" recently, and couldn't we spend a second comparing and contrasting their relationships with Bruce? Would it have distracted from Jason Todd's manpain that much? Whatever, I know I shouldn't be expecting anything from DC re: female characters. Jason is not the only fucking Robin with issues, though.

In essence, this is a story about how Bruce is a Bad Father, and I will never, ever argue that point. Ever. Do I wish they'd settled this more firmly in contextual canon? Yes. Do I wish this movie was about Stephanie? Yes. It is still really, really good, though. Good plot and action crossed with just the right amount of cheese, which is everything I love about anything Batman related.
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scriptamanet

January 2012

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