Here’s a spotlight on Jason Todd, the Red Hood! We’ll look at his past, present, and what the future might hold for him. We’ll also give reasons as to why Jason Todd is so unique and awesome!

Jason Todd: A Brief History

Batman found Jason Todd living as an orphan in Crime Alley. Being extremely bold, Jason was attempting to steal the tires of the Batmobile. Admiring his tenacity, Batman took him as his new ward, giving him a home and eventually making him a new Robin. The last Robin, Dick Grayson, had moved on to be his own hero, Nightwing. Jason’s time as Robin reveals that he is very impulsive and aggressive, causing some worry in Batman. On more than one occasion, Jason goes too far, almost to the point of killing. His use of excessive force certainly puts him and Batman at odds.

When Jason discovers that his birth mother is still alive, he goes alone to track her down. Leading him to the Middle East, he discovers that the Joker is blackmailing his mother to bring him there as a trap. Joker takes Robin, savagely beating him with a crowbar in a warehouse. He then leaves Jason and his mother inside with a time bomb. Batman arrives too late to save them, and Jason and his mother die in the resulting explosion. Seeing it as his greatest failure, Batman hangs the remains of Jason’s uniform up in the Batcave.

The Red Hood
Image from DC

Jason Todd: Resurrection As The Red Hood

After a few years, Talia Al Ghul resurrects Jason Todd by way of the Lazarus Pit. Affecting his mind, the waters of the Pit seem to unlock Jason’s more violent tendencies. Angered that Batman didn’t avenge his death, Jason seeks to kill the Joker. He takes on the mantle of Joker’s original identity, the Red Hood.

The Red Hood
Image from DC

He captures the Joker, beating him with a crowbar, just as he once did to him. Then, he lures Batman to Crime Alley, questioning why he didn’t kill the Joker, the one who took Jason away from him. Batman admits he often wishes he would, but refuses to go down that path.

Jason tries to force him, giving Batman a gun. Jason holds his own gun to the Joker’s head, telling Batman that he either has to kill Joker, or he has to kill Jason. As Jason counts down, Batman throws a Batarang at the last minute, knocking Jason’s gun out of his hand. Joker escapes in the chaos of an explosion, having set bombs in the surrounding area earlier.

The New 52/Rebirth: Red Hood & The Outlaws

Jason Todd’s story continues on after this point in DC’s New 52 and Rebirth lines. Keeping the Red Hood identity, Jason fights as a vigilante, believing himself better at the task of ridding crime than Batman and the other Robins because he gets rid of criminals permanently.

In the New 52, Red Hood leaves Gotham and forms his own team consisting of Starfire and Arsenal, his longtime friend. The call themselves the Outlaws. Together they hunt down a group called the Untitled who’s killed the organization known as the All-Caste, who trained Jason to be an assassin/mercenary after his resurrection. Jason tentatively works with the rest of the Bat-Family as well, although the team-ups are temporary and short due to obvious conflict with his darker methods.

DC’s Rebirth revamps the Outlaws with new members by Jason’s side: Artemis the Amazon and Bizarro, the Superman Clone. They are what’s seen as a “Dark Trinity”, being darker reflections of the actual DC Trinity: Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman.

The Red Hood
Discover everything you need to know about Jason Todd by reading RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS here!

This new group of Outlaws works together to eliminate all crime in Gotham. They start by having Jason infiltrate Black Mask’s crime organization. Their work in Gotham is all predicated on a truce Jason makes with Batman: while he’s in Gotham, he plays by Batman’s rules. That means Jason promises to not kill. The Outlaws go on several missions, eliminating crime and facing criminals such as KGBeast, or teaming up with the Suicide Squad. All the while they attempt to keep up appearances as criminals, going to places that Batman can’t.

Currently… Jason Todd Is In Trouble

Remember that truce? No killing in Gotham? In the most recent issue of RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS, Jason kinda broke it. Not kinda. He did.

In issues 24/25 of RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS, Red Hood kills the Penguin! Not only that, but he does so on live TV. The reason being is that Jason discovers it was Penguin who put his father in jail, years prior, causing Jason to be an orphan.

The Red Hood
Image from DC

Jason killing Penguin is impossible for Batman to ignore, so he goes to bring Jason in. As they fight, Artemis and Bizarro disappear through a portal, which saves their damaged flying base to crash into the city below. Bruce and Jason have a brutal fight, and Batman intends to bring Jason in like he promised. Shattering his helmet and ripping the bat symbol from his uniform, Batman begins to drag Jason away, saying:

“I once told you if you ever left if would be your choice…not mine.”

Batman is done with the Red Hood. However, a red mist appears and Batman is hit with a red taser arrow, knocking him out! Arsenal arrives in knick of time, saving Jason and indicating that Jason and Roy will be back together in future issues.

The Future: New Threads & A Darker Edge

It looks like DC and writer Scott Lobdell are taking Jason back to his darker side.  Having already revealed his new costume, it looks as though Jason will be distancing himself from Batman with a new logo on his chest, wearing a vest with an actual hood to mask his face. He’s also holding a bloody crowbar, signifying his return to killing and punishing criminals permanently.

The Red Hood
Image from DC

Recent years show that Jason has consistently been right on the edge between the light and dark, and it looks like DC wants to go back to exploring the dark. Issue 25 also reveals that Jason’s father Willis is still alive his powers, so that is another new road to be explored, as previous continuity had Jason believing his father hated him and died in prison. Issue 25 reveals that Willis actually loved him and wrote him letters that Jason has just now read.

The comics future will be a mix of Jason returning to old habits and friends like Roy, but also new routes as well to keep things interesting. But what about in other media?

Jason Todd’s Past Screen Appearances: UNDER THE RED HOOD

So far, Jason Todd’s Red Hood has received two main media appearances. The first being an animated feature BATMAN: UNDER THE RED HOOD. It effectively details Jason’s death, resurrection, and origins as the Red Hood, culminating with his previously referenced Joker ultimatum. It’s a great film. Jason is voiced by actor Jensen Ackles, famously from SUPERNATURAL.

UNDER THE RED HOOD provides a great cinematic story regardless of the fact that it’s an animated feature. It’s just as tragic and complex as any live-action BATMAN film we’ve seen so far. If the Red Hood gets a live action appearance, inspiration should be absolutely be taken from this film.

Jason Todd’s Past Screen Appearances: ARKHAM KNIGHT

The second appearance is in the ARKHAM KNIGHT video game. Jason’s origin is different in this game. Joker films a video suggesting that he kills Jason, sending it to Batman. However, in actuality, Joker hold Jason hostage in an abandoned wing of Arkham Asylum for over a year, torturing and brainwashing him.

After showing Jason that Batman replaced him as Robin with Tim Drake, he lets Jason go to plot his revenge. Jason forms a high-tech militia in Venezuela, in order to bring complete devastation to Batman and Gotham. When Batman discovers that the Arkham Knight is, in fact, Jason, Batman wishes to help him. After the fight, it seems as though Batman got through to a part of Jason. He releases his desires of revenge, even assisting Batman in defeating Scarecrow at the climax of the game.

After the events of the game, Jason becomes the Red Hood, acting similar to the vigilante we see in the comics.

Jason Todd Already in a Worlds of DC Film?

The Red Hood
Image from DC

We’ve also seen the remains of a Robin suit hung in the Batcave in BATMAN v. SUPERMAN. Green writing covers the suit saying: “Ha Ha! Joke’s on you,” implying that Joker has already killed a Robin at that point. SUICIDE SQUAD reveals that Harley Quinn acted as an accomplice in this Robin’s death as well. While Zack Snyder has said that he thought the suit could have belonged to Dick Grayson, it’s canonically uncertain at this point as to who the Robin suit belongs to. Maybe it’s Jason’s?

The Red Hood’s Future In Film & TV

It’s been rumored that Jason Todd could have a role in the TITANS series set to air later on this year on the new DC UNIVERSE app. Whether or not this would be as Robin or as Red Hood remains to be seen.

The minor references we’ve seen in Worlds of DC films certainly open up the door for Red Hood to be featured soon. The upcoming NIGHTWING movie would probably need to release first to provide some context being that he was the first Robin. As far as who the suit in the Batcave belongs to, it could very well belong to Jason Todd if future films deem to reveal it as such.

Rumors persist that Matt Reeve’s upcoming BATMAN work will be a full trilogy, so there’s certainly potential to have Red Hood in there somewhere. He’s certainly dynamic enough to be a primary antagonist. Going further, Jason Todd could have his own RED HOOD movie!

Fans of the character would love it, and done right, it could be an incredible insight into Batman’s personal world and family, featuring other members of the Bat-family like the other Robins or Batgirl. It’s something new that audiences need to see in my opinion. And how cool would it be to see that world and family through the perspective of one who pretends to reject it because deep down, he really just feels like he doesn’t deserve it?

The Red Hood
Image from DC

Why I Love The Red Hood

Here’s why Red Hood deserves this spotlight: He’s a unique reflection of Batman’s darkest desires. In my opinion, Dick Grayson is a reflection of Batman’s desire to move past his tragic past and find happiness. That’s why Nightwing is generally the most positive and happiest member of the Bat-Family. Tim Drake serves as a reflection of Batman’s desire to know all, to, therefore, overcome all. Damian is a reflection of Batman’s desire to leave a legacy behind. However, I feel that Jason is unique.

The Red Hood
Image from DC

While Batman may indeed find happiness one day, have more knowledge, or leave a legacy, he still has his rule: No killing. Jason is the dark reflection of Batman’s desire to break that rule. Batman himself has admitted that in his darkest moments of despair, he wishes he could end his foes permanently.

Jason can’t handle the revolving door of criminals, entering Arkham just to break out and cause more pain later on. That’s why he sees himself as a better crime-fighter and a better solution for Gotham. Even despite his best efforts to comply and work with Batman, he eventually couldn’t, believing that the only way to get true justice is to end those who do evil once and for all. It’s the one thing Bruce isn’t willing to do, but Jason is.

See!? Multiple dynamic layers of his character that could be and should be explored! If Warner Bros. can finally figure it out, they should take this immensely popular character who does well in the comics, and transfer him to the screen! One can only hope. Here’s looking forward to the future of Jason Todd, in whatever form that takes.

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