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Batman: Under the Hood

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Batman: Under the Hood is a storyline written by Judd Winick and illustrated by Doug Mahnke. It was published in the Batman series following the conclusion of the crossover Batman: War Games and it was followed by the crossover Batman: Face the Face. Under the

Storyline TemplateInformation-silk
Under the Hood

Official Name
Batman: Under the Hood
Storyline Aliases
Under the Hood





First appearance
Last appearance


Batman: Under the Hood is a storyline written by Judd Winick and illustrated by Doug Mahnke. It was published in the Batman series following the conclusion of the crossover Batman: War Games and it was followed by the crossover Batman: Face the Face. Under the Hood reintroduced the long-dead character Jason Todd as the brutally violent villain Red Hood.

Judd Winick wrote Under the Hood based on the events of the iconic storyline Batman: A Death in the Family, by Jim Starlin and Jim Aparo, where Jason was murdered by Joker in a brutal fashion. Winick also used Joker's well known alias, the Red Hood, as written in some of Joker's origins stories, to give Jason a new identity as a way to connect his past death with his future motif.


After gaining control of the entire criminal underworld, Black Mask becomes the undisputed crime lord of Gotham City. However, there is a new criminal mastermind that goes by the name of Red Hood and starts taking control of the drug dealing business in Gotham. Meanwhile, Bruce Wayne learns that Wayne Industries' Research and Development Division has been target of a hostile takeover by a foreigner company and he has been removed from the board of directors. Batman realizes that this could mean that the technology and weapons he has developed might fall in the wrong hands. Meanwhile, Black Mask starts recruiting personnel to secure the leadership of the Organized Crime in Gotham and the first person to join his ranks is Mister Freeze.[1]

Black Mask is able to build Mr. Freeze a new cryo-suit with extremely modern technology and he is keeping an eye on the activities of Red Hood. Batman and Nightwing strike against an illegal shipment when suddenly the boat is bombed and they spot Red Hood on a nearby building. The duo chase Red Hood across the docks until the criminals gets inside a dark warehouse. Batman and Nightwing follow him but they are surprised when they find themselves in the warehouse facing the powerful android, Amazo.[2]

Jason Todd is Red Hood

Jason Todd is Red Hood
Batman and Nightwing fight Amazo and manage to destroy him, much to Black Mask's dismay. Amazo and the shipment that was bombed belonged to Black Mask and after telling Mr. Freeze to recover whatever was left of the shipment, Black Mask was called by Red Hood, who tells him that he has taken the Kryptonite from the shipment.[3] After a failed bargain, Black Mask sends Mr. Freeze to eliminate Red Hood while Batman and Nightwing follow the trail of radioactivity left by the Kryptonite. All of them collide on the wherehouse, where Red Hood was holding the kryptonite, but Freeze and Red Hood escape, leaving Batman and Nightwing with the kryptonite. Some time later, Red Hood finds the Joker and beats him with a crowbar, revealing that Red Hood is in fact, Jason Todd.[4]

Red Hood starts destroying Black Mask's operations and the crime lord waits for Batman to stop the Red Hood. Meanwhile, Batman investigates everything concerning the resuscitation of dead people and how to bring back the dead. Onyx starts getting information about the drug dealing racket in Gotham, when she is discovered by Red Hood, spying on a gangster meeting.[5] Red Hood and Onyx team up to take down the gangsters and in the meantime, Batman visits Metropolis to ask Superman about his coming back to life from death. Batman doesn't learn anything that he didn't know already and Onyx breaks the alliance with Red Hood when he murders all the gangsters. However, Red Hood stabs her and get the upper hand before the fight even begins.[6] Red Hood tries to get Onyx to attack him, but Batman arrives at the scene and confronts him. Red Hood and Batman battle in the streets of Gotham and Red Hood is able to unmask Batman. To keep it even he removes his helmet and reveals his true identity: Jason Todd. After the encounter, Batman returns to the Batcave and verifies that Jason Todd is in fact alive and despite the recent events, he wants to keep Jason's Robin suit on the display case on the batcave.[7]

Promptly, the Red Hood appears and destroys the top floor of Black Mask's fortress via long-range explosive. After this, Black Mask teams up with Deathstroke, Captain Nazi, Hyena, and Count Vertigo to combat Red Hood. When Batman unexpectedly arrives, the pair manage to defeat Black Mask's hired hit-villans. During the fight, Red Hood kills Captain Nazi with a well-placed taser, prompting Batman and Red Hood to end on bad terms.

After the fight, more flashbacks on the part of Alfred Pennyworth ensue. Post-scene, Alfred recieves a package with a lock of green hair and a note from Jason asking for Batman to meet him. In the next scene, Black Mask calls a meeting of all his top associates and murders them under the eye of Red Hood. Once this deed is completed, the two (Black Mask and Red Hood) engage in combat, ending with Batman arriving just in time to see Red Hood stabbed in the heart with his own knife. When Black Mask removes Red Hood's helm, it is shown to be someone other than Jason Todd, to which Batman recoils loudly enough to be detected by Black Mask. The two talk for a moment, then Batman traps Black Mask and flees to the point Jason wished to meet him at.

Jason is indeed in possesion of The Joker. Jason repeatedly beats and at one point stabs his captive, to which Joker laughs all the louder. When Jason quietly conveys to the Joker that Joker is not as insane as he is cracked up (no pun intended) to be, The Joker loses his smile and Jason laughs. Then enters Batman. The following fight is brief, and is interrupted by a bomb being dropped on Bludhaven, the workplace of Nightwing, the original Robin. Then, Jason reveals the place where he has hidden the Joker. He tosses a gun to Batman and takes one for himself. Using Joker as a body shield, Jason points his gun at Joker's head and tells Batman that he must either kill Jason, or let Jason kill Joker on a count of three. At the last half-second, Batman drops the gun and throws a Batarang at Jason's shoulder. Joker then triggers the explosives wired throughout the building.

The scene then cuts to Jason's miraculous resurrection. Following this, we see Jason institutionalized, we see him escape, and we see him living on the streets. After this, he is discovered by Thomas Clairborne to be Jason Todd. Ra's Al Ghul, with the help of his daughter, Talia al Ghul, kidnap Jason and hold him in care for a year. Ra's then tells his daughter that he is going to send Jason away. Then he takes the short trip to his Lazarus Pit. Talia, angered, pushes Jason into the pit as well, unleashing and empowering a new, bigger, stronger, violent creature. Talia then smuggles him out of the estate and gives him a bag containing money, a computer and memories of Batman, Joker, and Red Hood. Jason attempts to reconnect with Batman, but he is combated and defeated. He proceeds to reveal the empire he has built for himself, and Volume 2 ends.


  • Batman #635 -- Under the Hood, Part 1: New Business
  • Batman #636 -- Under the Hood, Part 2: First Strike
  • Batman #637 -- Under the Hood, Part 3: Overnight Deliveries
  • Batman #638 -- Under the Hood, Part 4: Bidding Wars
  • Batman #639 -- Family Reunion, Part 1: The Word on the Street
  • Batman #640 -- Family Reunion, Part 2: While the Cat's Away
  • Batman #641 -- Family Reunion, Conclusion: Face to Face


Items: Kryptonite
Vehicles: Batmobile, Batplane
Weapons: None known.



  • During the drug meet sequence, Red Hood refers to himself as "the guy who's holding the AK-47", but the large, belt-feld weapon he is holding is visibly not an AK, and looks more like an M60. In the same scene in the film adaptation, the weapon held by Red Hood much more closely resembles an AK.

Recommended Reading

Links and References

  • None.
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