Red Hood: Who is the Resurrected Robin?

This Red Hood Ain’t Going To Grandma’s

Red Hood: “I fight for the people. The weak, the innocent, anyone who can’t protect themselves. When they cry out for a savior, I’ll answer. As for the criminals who threaten them? They have to learn that their actions have consequences. That the Red Hood is coming for them.”

Injustice 2

Gangsters are unloading crates at a pier. The latest shipment has enough drugs, guns, and women to make them all rich. One sees a young girl slip from a shipping container and rushes after her. He corners the girl and raises a crowbar to make an example of her.

A knife slits his throat. The girl sees a man in a dark jacket and a red helmet motioning for her to hide. She does as gunfire erupts on the pier. She tries to ignore the dying screams and the pungent scent of blood. A sound startles her, and she sees the helmeted man bringing the other girls to her and safety. As police sirens wail, Red Hood flees the pier.

Red Hood is one of DC’s most popular antiheroes. Originally an unpopular replacement for the first Robin, he has grown into a murderous vigilante that even Batman can’t stop. So who is he? How did he meet Batman? And how did he come back from the dead? Let’s find out.

Crime Alley Kid: Red Hood’s Backstory

Jason:I had to take him down.
Batman:You shattered his collarbone!
Jason:He’s a drug dealing pimp! I didn’t think I needed to prop up a pillow before I took him out.
Batman:We needed him. He would have talked, but you put him into shock.
Jason:…I’m sorry. I was dumb. But he deserved it.

Batman: Under the Red Hood

Red Hood debuted in Batman #357 in 1983. He was created by Gerry Conway and Don Newton after Robin moved to the Teen Titans and writers needed a foil for Batman.

Jason Todd was an orphan living on Gotham City’s mean streets. He became a criminal to survive, but eventually went after the wrong score. Jason found the Batmobile parked in an alley and tried to steal its tires. Not the brightest move in the book. Batman returned during the procedure to find Jason salvaging his ride.

Batman was suffering from empty nest syndrome after Dick Grayson left Gotham to become Nightwing. He was impressed by Jason bypassing the Batmobile’s security measures and having the gumption to try and steal from him. Jason accepted Batman’s offer to become the new Robin.

Jason excelled at the training and soon became Robin. He was much more aggressive than his predecessor, causing friction when Batman would negatively compare Jason to Dick. This frustrated Jason, who felt like he was trapped in the first Robin’s shadow.

A Death in the Family: Red Hood’s History

Red Hood: “Is that what you think this is about? That you let me die? I don’t know what clouds your judgement worse, your guilt or your antiquated sense of morality. Bruce, I forgive you for not saving me. But why… Why on God’s Earth… [smashes a door open to reveal the Joker restrained] …IS HE STILL ALIVE?!”  

Batman: Under the Red Hood

Jason had traveled the world looking for his mother. As Robin, he found her, but his joy was short-lived. She had willingly abandoned him. While he dealt with his emotions after learning that, she sold him out to The Joker.

The Joker tortured Robin, beating him black and blue with a crowbar. The mad minstrel then left him trapped in a building with several live bombs. Robin was too injured to escape, and Batman was too late to save him. Jason Todd died in the ensuing explosion.

Many readers disliked Jason Todd. DC executives conducted a poll to decide if Jason would survive the Joker’s torture, and the fans ultimately voted to kill him in a close result.

Rise of the Red Hood

Batman:He’s calling himself the Red Hood. What do you know about it?

The Joker: “That he has horrible taste. When I wore that number, it was classy — more flashy maitre d’ than motorcycle fetish. Oh, these kids today…

Batman: Under the Red Hood

Most superheroes are resurrected quickly, but Jason Todd stayed dead for seventeen years. There was even a common adage that only Uncle Ben, Bucky, and Jason Todd stay dead in comics. Now that Jason has been resurrected and Bucky became the Winter Soldier, I guess it’s only Uncle Ben and Batman’s parents.

Jason was resurrected in the lead up to Infinite Crisis when Superboy-Prime punched reality hard enough to retcon the DC Universe. Yes, literally. One of the changes was Jason Todd coming back to life and being kidnapped by the assassin Ra’s al Ghul, who wanted to discover how Jason had been resurrected.

Ra’s daughter Talia brought Jason to one of Ra’s Lazarus Pits, which healed his wounds at the cost of his sanity. He escaped from the al Ghul family and returned to Gotham. Jason snapped after learning that Batman had replaced him with a new Robin and that The Joker was still alive. If Batman couldn’t clean up Gotham City, then Jason would. He decided to spite his killer by adopting Joker’s previous identity, the Red Hood.

Red Hood schemed to force a confrontation between Batman, The Joker, and himself. He became a crime lord and started a gang war to get their attention. Then he lured them to an abandoned building and revealed his secret identity. 

Red Hood and Batman argued over the morality of killing The Joker. Their debate came to a head when Red Hood threw a gun to Batman and tried to kill Joker, telling Batman the only way to stop Hood was to kill him. Batman managed to stop Red Hood non-lethally, but Jason escaped in the ensuing ruckus.

Red Hood has made many appearances since then, switching between anti-hero and villain depending on the writer. He has recently partnered with Arsenal and Starfire to form a team called The Outlaws.

Prodigal Son: Red Hood’s Powers and Personality

Red Hood: “Why? I’m not talking about killing Penguin or Scarecrow or Dent. I’m talking about him. Just him. And doing it because… because he took me away from you.

Batman: Under the Red Hood

Red Hood is an expertly trained detective, martial artist, infiltrator, and assassin. He’s able to supplement Batman’s training with weapons, cheap shots, and rage. Red Hood has trained extensively to counter Batman and Robin’s fighting styles.

Red Hood’s arsenal is down-to-earth compared to what’s in Batman’s utility belt. He uses a variety of guns, explosives, rocket launchers, knives, and improvised weapons. Red Hood’s helmet is rigged with explosives to serve as a last ditch weapon. He once had the power to summon magic katanas called the All-Blades, but writers ditched that ability.

Jason Todd was cocky and aggressive as Robin. His death and resurrection left Red Hood resenting Batman and Robin. It’s been suggested that the Lazarus Pit drove Red Hood mad, but he has implied that he was always like this. Red Hood has since managed to somewhat mend his relationship with Batman and can reluctantly work alongside the Bat-Family.

The Actors Who Play Jason Todd

Josh Keaton – Young Justice
Curran Walters – Titans
Jensen Ackles – Batman: Under the Red Hood
Grey Griffin – Batman: Gotham by Gaslight
Yuri Lowenthal and Akira Ishida – Batman Ninja
Vincent Martella – Batman: Death in the Family

Didya Get All That?

Batman’s angsty middle child.

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