- No matter what differences we had over the years, I've always known that Dick had a gift. Jason had only... rage.
- -- Batman
- -- Batman
Jason Todd is a vigilante anti-hero who has been a member of and antagonist to the Batman Family. Batman originally trained him to be the second Robin, his new side-kick after Dick Grayson became Nightwing. Jason is murdered by the Joker during A Death in the Family, although he is later resurrected and returns as the second Red Hood during Under the Hood.
Jason Todd was a young street orphan who first encounters the Dark Knight while attempting to steal the tires of the Batmobile. Bruce Wayne sees to it that Jason is placed in a school for troubled youths. But it turns out the school was secretly the main HQ for a band of thieves. Jason earns the mantle of Robin a short while later by helping Batman apprehend the gang of thieves.
However, Todd does not wear the Robin costume (an improved version of) until after six months of training. Batman realizes that while Jason doesn't possess Dick Grayson's acrobatic skills, he can become a productive crimefighter by channeling his rage. He also believes that if he doesn't help the boy, Jason will eventually become part of the "criminal element." Jason also aided Batman while Gotham City was temporarily overrun by Deacon Blackfire.
In Jason's first adventure as Robin, he encounters Two-Face, a villain that Batman has not told him much about. Curious, Jason studies up on Two-Face and discovers that he's responsible for the murder of his father, Willis Todd. The revelation fuels Jason's anger and it is the first time we see such rage coming from the new Robin. When confronting Two-Face again, Jason attempts to strangle Harvey. Once Batman discovers the source of Jason's anger, they are able to work it out and stop Two-Face together. However, this instance marks the first time when Jason feels unable to talk to Bruce about his problems; a trend that would continue until his demise.
Unlike Grayson or the pre-Crisis Jason, the post-Crisis Jason is impulsive, reckless, and full of rage. Even on missions in which Batman orders him to conduct surveillance, Jason attacks, ruining months of planning. Jason also uses excessive force to subdue criminals. In one adventure, asked to "hold off" villains, Jason instantly takes to firing at them with a gun, despite Batman's abhorrence for firearms. As Jason begins getting comfortable with his role as Robin, he is startled by the return of Nightwing to Gotham. Once he discovers that Nightwing was the original Robin, Jason feels that his role is threatened. However, after Nightwing talks with Batman, he assists Jason in closing down a drug lab. Dick gives Jason his blessing and presents him with the original Robin costume. Knowing how cold Bruce can be, Dick gives his number to Jason and offers to listen if he ever needs a friend. During a troubled time for the Titans, Jason is recruited by Donna Troy to help on a mission. Jason becomes frustrated by the situation when Donna expects him to figure out plans and save everyone, like Dick would. The constant comparison to Grayson irritates post-Crisis Jason as much as it did his pre-crisis counterpart.
Jason's violent behavior is most significantly marked by a case involving Felipe Garzonas, the son of a diplomat and Gloria Stanson, the woman he's raped. Garzonas evades criminal charges due to his father's status. Batman understands the need for patience in this case, but Jason is livid. When the Duo later find Gloria dead, having taken her own life by hanging herself, Jason immediately heads after Garzonas. Batman catches up in time to see Garzonas falling to his death, with Jason watching. Though Jason claims Garzonas slipped, Batman has the fear that Jason actually killed the man. Soon after, the diplomat arrives in Gotham to kill Robin for the death of his son. Batman attempts to shelter Jason from this, but they both confront the diplomat in a junk yard. The battle leads to the death of the diplomat and Batman urges Jason to understand that actions always have consequences.
A Death in the Family
As Jason's rage and dangerous behavior get worse, Batman has no choice but to suspend Jason from active duty. Angered by this decision, Jason walks out on Bruce and heads back to his old neighborhood. His old neighbor gives him a box of his mother's belongings and he soon discovers that Catherine Ann Todd was not his biological mother. Determined to find his real mother, Jason uses his father's old address book and the Bat Computer to find three women who might be his mom. After following a number of leads, Jason finally tracks down his mother, Sheila, to Ethiopia, where she works as an aid worker. While Jason is overjoyed to be reunited with his real mother, he soon discovers that she is being blackmailed by the Joker, who is using her to provide him with medical supplies. Sheila herself has been embezzling from the aid agency and as part of the cover-up she hands her own son, who arrives as Robin, over to the Joker. The Joker beats the boy brutally with a crowbar, and then leaves him and Sheila in the warehouse with a time bomb. Sheila and Robin try desperately to get out of the warehouse but are still inside as the bomb goes off. Batman arrives too late to save them and is only able to hold Jason's lifeless body in his arms. The bodies are taken back to Gotham City for burial.
For the next decade's worth of stories, Jason's death haunts Batman. Immediately following Jason's death, Batman strips the Cave and House of anything related to Jason, trying to forget the boy even existed. Once Tim Drake arrives and helps soothe Bruce's anger, Jason's old costume is put on display in the Batcave. When training to become the new Robin, Jason's rage and impulsiveness is used to remind Tim the importance of patience and doing the job correctly. Batman considers this his greatest failure: not properly training Jason in his role as Robin and failing to protect him from the Joker. During the Knightfall story, Scarecrow blasts Batman with fear gas, causing him to see his greatest fear: the death of Jason. Fueled by fear and anger, Batman tears apart The Joker, screaming Jason's name.
Return from the Grave and the Lost Days
It is later revealed that Jason indeed had died at the hands of the Joker, but when Superboy-Prime alters reality from the paradise dimension in which he is trapped (six months after his death), Jason is restored to life and breaks out of his coffin, but collapses thereafter and is hospitalized. After spending a year in a coma and subsequently as an amnesiac vagrant, he is recognized by Talia al Ghul. She spends several years trying to help restore Jason to full health, but the mental damage appears too extensive. Jason's is still able to fight, due to muscle reflex, but he appears to have no awareness of the situation. Talia's father, Ra's al Ghul sees Jason as a lost cause and orders him to be eliminated. In a last ditch effort to save him, Talia restores Jason's health and memory by immersing him in a Lazarus Pit in which her father is also bathing. It is suggested at that exposure to the Pit's energies together with Ra's might have affected Jason's personality. On Talia's advice, Jason determines his death was never avenged, and prepares to confront Batman by traveling across the globe in the same path of training as his mentor.
Using the money from Talia and infuriated by her statement that he "remains un-avenged," Jason paid a group of mercenaries to help him return to Gotham. Once Jason arrives (during the aftermath of the event of No Man's Land), he enacts a plan to get revenge on Batman. He created a false arms trafficking of advance military arsenal, knowing that Batman would respond. This provided Jason an opportunity to plant a bomb beneath the Batmobile while Batman is on a stakeout for the arms deal. Batman enters the car and is at the boy's mercy, detonator in hand. However, Todd realizes that his former mentor would never know about his return nor that he would be Bruce's killer. Jason then decides to confront and kill Batman directly by traveling across the globe in search of a similar, yet more deadly type of training as Bruce received to prepare for that day. Todd learned the murderous arts from various masters around the globe. Such training includes firearms, poisons and anti-toxins, martial arts, and bomb-making.
In "Lost Days" #3, Jason was pitted against the man teaching him assassination, a German named Egon, who is also engaged in a child sex slave ring. Jason, upon learning of this, frees a shipment of children and battles his new mentor. Though he is not able to physically best Egon, he does defeat him by poisoning an energy drink Egon was consuming before the fight ever started. Jason then burns Egon's compound to the ground. He later remarks to Talia that he did not see this as murder, but rather putting "...down a reptile."
After a period of time, Jason is discovered and approached by Hush to participate in a game against Batman. While Batman attempts to uncover the mystery of Hush, Robin (Tim Drake) is kidnapped and taken to the cemetery where Jason was buried. When he confronts the kidnapper he discovers, much to his surprise, that the kidnapper is apparently Jason Todd. During the fight, Jason trades places with Clayface, who impersonates Jason for the end of the fight. Following the battle with Hush, Batman begins seeing visions of Jason. They appear to be the result of Scarecrow's fear gas, but Alfred finds Jason's mask in the batmobile, following one of the visions.
As the Red Hood
Shortly after the events of War Games and War Crimes, Jason Todd reappears in Gotham City as the Red Hood, hijacking a shipment of Kryptonite from Black Mask. In the midst of a battle with Batman, Nightwing, and Mr. Freeze, the Red Hood gives them the Kryptonite back, and tells them he has gotten what he truly wanted: a "lay of the land." Shortly afterward, the Red Hood finds the Joker (driven out of Gotham by Hush) and beats him with a crowbar just as the Joker had beaten Jason. Despite the violence of the beating, Jason has the Joker saved, intending to use him later against Batman.
The Red Hood assumes control over several gangs in Gotham City and starts a one-man-war against Black Mask's criminal empire. Over all, he strives to cleanse the city of its corruption, such as drug dealing and gang violence, and to kill the Joker in revenge for his own death. Because of his anti-heroic activities he repeatedly comes to blows with Batman and several of his allies. Around this time, Batman discovers that Jason's coffin has always been empty, and he begins to question whether or not Jason had actually died. Despite his return, Jason's Robin costume remains in its memorial display case in the Batcave; when Alfred asked if Bruce wanted the costume removed, Bruce replied that the return of Jason "doesn't change anything at all."
Knowing that Tim Drake has not only replaced him as Robin, but is reportedly a better Robin than he had been, Jason breaks into Titans Tower to confront Tim. Wearing an altered version of his own Robin costume, Jason quickly immobilizes the other Titans and strikes Tim down in the Tower's Hall of Fallen Titans. Furious that no memorial statue was made for him (despite his short tenure as a Titan), Jason demands that Tim tell him if he is really as good as Jason has been told. Tim says "Yes" and passes out. As he leaves, Jason tears the 'R' emblem from Tim's chest. In the Epilogue, Jason has apparently developed a grudging respect for his replacement as he states, "I'll admit. He's good." Jason is also left wondering if perhaps he would have been a better Robin and better person had he a life like Tim's and friends like the Titans.
Jason's return crescendos when he kidnaps the Joker and holds him hostage, luring Batman to Crime Alley, the site of their first meeting. Jason asks Batman why he has not avenged his death by killing the Joker, and Batman tells Jason that he will never cross that line. An enraged Jason explains that Joker deserves it, because he has done evil in the past and, according to Jason, is "doing it because he took me away from you." Despite this, Batman explains that it is not too hard for him to kill the Joker, it would be too easy; he has never once not fantasized about taking the Joker somewhere private and torturing him for maybe weeks before finally killing him, but refuses to go to that place. Jason offers Batman an ultimatum: Jason will kill the Joker unless Batman kills Jason first. Holding the Joker at gunpoint, Jason throws a pistol to Batman and begins to count to three while standing behind the Joker, leaving Batman with only a head-shot if he wants to stop Jason pulling the trigger. At the last moment, Batman throws a batarang that cuts down an object and slices Jason's neck. The Joker takes advantage of the situation, detonating nearby explosives that engulf the platform they are on and send them plunging into the bay.
Jason resurfaces one year after the Infinite Crisis patrolling the streets of New York City as a murderous version of Nightwing. Jason shows no intention of giving up the Nightwing persona, and continues to taunt Dick Grayson by wearing the costume and suggesting that the two become a crime-fighting team. Grayson refuses to join his side and methods of crime-fighting. Not long after the two Nightwings meet up, Jason is captured and imprisoned by unknown mobsters. Rescued by a reluctant Grayson, the two join forces to defeat the Pierce brothers. Jason leaves New York City and the Nightwing mantle to Grayson, along with a telegram telling Grayson he has returned to normal and still considers them family.
Jason appears once more in several issues of Green Arrow alongside Brick as part of a gun-running organization, which brings Batman to Star City. Jason's true motives are shown in the third part as he kidnaps Mia Dearden (Speedy) in an effort to convert her to his side, feeling that they are kindred spirits, cast down by society and at odds with their mentors. The two fight while conversing but when Jason is unsuccessful in his bid to turn Mia, he settles for blowing up her High School. Mia is deeply troubled by what transpired between her and Jason, but ultimately decides to stick with Green Arrow.
At the start of Countdown, Jason Todd resumes his persona as the Red Hood and rescues a woman from Duela Dent (aka the Joker's Daughter). After a Monitor shoots and kills Duela, he attempts to kill Jason, but is stopped by a second Monitor. This second Monitor apologizes to Jason before they both disappear, leaving Jason alone with Duela's body. Later, at Duela's funeral, Jason hides until all of the Teen Titans have left except Donna Troy. Jason tells her what happened the night of Duela's death, and about the dueling Monitors. He knows that both he and Donna Troy have come back from the dead, and wonders which of them is next on the Monitor's hit list. The two are then attacked by the Forerunner, but before she can kill them, the apologetic Monitor stops her, and recruits Jason and Donna for a mission to the Palmerverse (a section of the Nanoverse discovered by Ray Palmer), in an attempt to find Palmer. During the trip, Jason takes it upon himself to name the Monitor "Bob."
On Earth-51, Jason meets that world's Batman. It was shown that this version of Batman had begun using lethal force since his Jason died. Jason Todd of New Earth is then given a new costume and the code name Red Robin.  Earth-51 Batman had originally planned to give those to his Jason, but he died before it was time. Jason dons the Red Robin suit and goes into battle alongside Earth-51's Batman. During a battle with a group of Monarch's soldiers, Batman is killed by the Ultraman of Earth-3, deeply affecting Jason. In his grief, Jason murders an alternate version of the Joker who mocks his loss, vacating alongside Donna, Ray and Kyle to the planet Apokolips before Earth-51's destruction.  After the group is sent back to Earth, Jason leaves the group and returns to his crime fighting ways. When the Morticoccus virus is released from Karate Kid's body, Jason is forcibly brought back to the group by Kyle, much to his dismay. When the Challengers return to the true Earth, Jason disposes of his Red Robin costume. Jason and Tim Drake are confronted by another Red Robin in Robin #177, whose identity is a mystery. Due to a combination of Red Robin's involvement and a gun toting gang member, Jason was shot in the leg and arrested by police.
Battle for the Cowl
After the Death of The Batman the whole of Gotham started to hear the rumor, a thing the Underworld gladly exploited. Jason himself donned the Cowl of the Batman, and masked and heavily armed, he started to fight the expanding crime wave with little morality. Pinning a note to his criminal victims that he was the true and only Batman. He even built his own Batcave where he starved and tortured criminals to death. Jason's exploits remained unknown until he crossed paths with Nightwing, who was pursuing Damian al Ghul who was joyriding the Batmobile. Jason deemed that Nightwing was unfit to take over the role of Batman and tried to dispose of both him and Damian. But the battle was postponed by the arrival of the Huntress and Black Canary. Jason tried again when Tim Drake and Catwoman discovered his base. Jason stabbed Tim and left him for dead. After all this transpired Tim got medical care after being rescued by Damian. Dick went after Jason and they fought on a moving train. Dick kicked Jason off the edge, proving he was the better fighter. Jason says we will see more of him. Jason threw himself into river and survived. He is currently developing a stronger Batman suit with guns attached to the suit and is now carrying a vendetta towards the Batman Family.
The Red Hood's Vendetta
Jason survived the fall and gave up his claim to Batman's mantle. Dick became Batman, and Jason set out to become Dick's direct competition. He reworked his Red Hood identity to be more dramatic and attention-grabbing by creating a costume for it, being very similar to the original Red Hood outfit the Joker had used. Also, he stopped dying his hair black and allowed it to grow red again with a small gray streak left by his previous exposure to a Lazarus Pit. To complete his transformation, he even found himself a sidekick. Scarlet, the daughter of a criminal and the victim of Professor Pyg's practice of mutilation. His intent was for them to become Gotham City's new dynamic duo, supplanting the old one.
With his new partner, Jason resumed his brutal and lethal methods of dealing with criminals, but now there was a twist. Using the media and internet, he exposed his methods to the public and actively marketed them as the way things should be done. Public opinion was actually at least somewhat in his favor, especially after he showed Batman and Robin protecting the Penguin from him and Scarlet. He was able to keep ahead of Batman and Robin, getting to criminals first and evading their attempts to apprehend him. That lasted until he tracked down Gabriel Santo who managed to escape Jason. Batman and Robin arrived to stop them, and the two duos fought. The fight went in Jason's favor. Instead of the two heroes capturing him, he captured them, stripped them naked, and locked them out of his way for the time being. His plan was to reveal to the world on a Twitter web-cam, the identities of Batman and Robin, if the public offered enough attention to it.
It was then that Jason and Scarlet were ambushed by an assassin called Flamingo. He took two shots from a sniper's rifle, shattering his helmet. While Batman and Robin escaped from his trap, Todd and Scarlet attempted to combat against Flamingo. However both of them proved inferior to Flamingo's skills, and it was only with the timely arrival of Batman and Robin that they were not killed. Jason used the dynamic duo as a cover, proceeded to crush Flamingo with a truck, while Damian threw himself in front of an attack to save Scarlet, leaving him crippled. Scarlet escaped, and Jason was again taken into police custody. In a homage to The Killing Joke, Grayson offers to rehabilitate Todd who, in a moment of clarity, tells Grayson it's too late for him, and how he tried to be what Batman wanted, "but this world...this dirty, twisted, cruel and ugly dung-heap had...other plans for me." He then proceeds to fall back into his hero persona, ranting how he did what Batman never did. He "...defeated his archenemy." Todd is arrested by Gordon who informs him that the reason he has always worked with Batman is that Batman never violates the law "where it counts." As Gordon leads him away, Todd tauntingly asks Grayson why he hasn't put Wayne's corpse into a Lazarus Pit to bring him back, citing his own resurrection from its bath. Scarlet flees Gotham, her mask finally falling from her face as she exits the city limits.
Jason files an appeal to be moved from Arkham Asylum where he's been held for observation for the last several months. Bruce Wayne as Batman visits him there to inform Jason he's in Arkham for his own protection. Jason pointed out he passed all the psychological tests repeatedly and there's no reason to keep him in what he calls Batman's "kennel of freaks." Jason was transferred to a Gotham prison and upon his arrival, the suicide rate spikes among top incarcerated crime figures there. Several homicides occur due to many botched attempts on Jason's life by inmates with a grudge against the Red Hood's tactics. Jason escalated things further by poisoning the cafeteria, killed 82 and sickened 100 more inmates. He was immediately transferred back to Arkham but was broken out of the paddy wagon by a group of mercenaries. The mercenaries revealed they are under orders to bring Jason to the person that hired them and that he is in no danger. Jason broke free and fought them off all the same as Batman and Robin arrive. Once the hired guns were subdued they reveal their employer has captured Jason's former sidekick; Scarlet. Dick, Damian, and Jason go to one of the Red Hood's weapon caches where he assembles a composite costume made from his biker and "superhero" Red Hood attire.  After Batman and Robin defeated the mercenaries, Red Hood rescued Scarlet and escaped using the helicopter. Batman and Robin attempt to chase him, but Red Hood tells them that he planted bombs over Gotham City months ago. Scarlet desires to stay with Red Hood as his partner, so they headed towards an unknown destination.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Acrobatics: In his training as Robin he has been taught acrobatics. He further practiced his abilities as the Red Hood even going so far as to chase the Batman Family around just to test his speed.
- Driving: Jason has driven a variety of vehicles from cars and boats, to being trained in the Middle East by an ace pilot to fly helicopters.
- Firearms: Having been trained by Batman, Jason has perfect aim when using batarangs and later, firearms. To increase his skill with firearms he went a step further than Batman on his journey around the world to learn from the masters how to kill a target with different types of guns.
- Genius Level Intellect: Jason has received excellent education and tutoring from Batman, and thus has extensive knowledge of various subjects, which include Science, Mathematics, Forensic Medicine, Geography, History, and Leadership. He has also proven to be a highly efficient criminal strategist and organizer as the Red Hood.
- Demolitions: Taught by a world renowned bomb expert in Russia, Jason is able to assemble and defuse a wide variety of conventional explosive devices, from improvised to military grade designs.
- Multilingualism: Taught by Batman, Jason is fluent in several languages having spoken English, French, German, Italian and various others with Russian being his weakest.
- Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): Jason Todd is a highly skilled combatant (shown when he fought his former mentor, Nightwing, to a standstill). He has proven a competent opponent for even Batman himself, and overpowered Tim Drake at Titans Tower, further demonstrating himself to be a formidable adversary.
- Investigation: Jason has shown some skill as a detective.
- Martial Arts: He has received extensive training from Batman, and after his resurrection, had traveled the world, learning every form of martial arts he could, just as Batman did.
- Surveillance: Although contradictory to his once childish nature, Jason's learned to survey his targets before attacking and killing them. He spends long hours scouting targets and assuring that they deserve his brand of justice.
- Swordsmanship: Jason has shown to be skilled enough to hold his own against the Green Arrow in a sword fight until he ultimately lost.
- Red Hood Costume: Following his resurrection, Jason took on the Joker's old mantle of the Red Hood. His interpretation however involved denim jeans, biker boots, a t-shirt, and a biker's jacket. He wears two masks, the first being a red-domino mask, fixed in place with spirit gum, and includes a built-in radio transmitter/receiver and Starlite night-vision lenses. His gauntlets and boots each contain eight compartments in which he can store items. His second mask was a metallic red hood, which offered many of the same functions as his mask, thought also added better protection for his face.
- Robin Costume: (formerly) After becoming Robin, Todd received Dick Grayson's old Robin costume. It included a fabric tunic, that offered limited protection against bullets and blunt attacks, a yellow cape, green shorts and pixie-boots. His utility belt carried batarangs, grappling hooks, gas pellets and assorted other bat-related weapons.
- Red Robin Costume: (formerly) The costume originally worn by the Jason Todd of Earth-51, and worn towards the end of his stint with the Challengers from Beyond. Similar in some ways to Tim Drake's costume, this costume offered many of the same protections and functions, although it had added glider capability in the cape, and assorted Robin-esque weaponry.
- Batman Costume: (formerly)Unlike the conventional Batman costume, Jason's version was far more militaristic, with heavier body armor of gray and black. Rather than the normal cowl design, the pointed ears were made to look more like devil horns, and the lenses glowed red giving him a far more demonic appearance. The mouth of the of the mask was covered with a gas-mask type devise. Rather than carrying the normal non-lethal utility belt, Jason's was filled with assorted lethal weaponry.
- Batman: The Killing Joke
- Batman: A Death in the Family
- Batman: Under the Hood
- Teen Titans (Volume 3) #29
- Nightwing: Brothers in Blood
- Green Arrow: Road to Jericho
- Countdown to Final Crisis
- 232 Appearances of Jason Todd (New Earth)
- 100 Images featuring Jason Todd (New Earth)
- 19 Quotations by or about Jason Todd (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Jason Todd (New Earth)
- Red Hood at dccomics.com
- Jason Todd at Wikipedia.org
- Jason Todd article at Titanstower.com
- Jason Todd (Pre-Flashpoint) bio at the Unofficial Guide to the DC Universe
- Jason Todd (Post-Flashpoint) bio at the Unofficial Guide to the New DC Universe
Discover and Discuss
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- ↑ Batman: The Cult
- ↑ Batman Annual #25 (March 2006)
- ↑ Red Hood: The Lost Days #2 (Sept. 2010)
- ↑ Red Hood: The Lost Days #3 (Oct. 2010)
- ↑ Red Hood: The Lost Days #4 (Nov. 2010)
- ↑ Red Hood: The Lost Days #3 (Oct. 2010)
- ↑ Teen Titans (Volume 3) #29
- ↑ Green Arrow: Road to Jericho
- ↑ Countdown to Final Crisis #14
- ↑ Countdown to Final Crisis #13
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Batman and Robin #6
- ↑ Batman and Robin #23
- ↑ Batman and Robin #24
- ↑ Batman and Robin #25
- ↑ Outsiders (Volume 3) #44
- ↑ Outsiders (Volume 3) #45
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