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The Red Hood is the current mantle of Jason Todd. Originally the second boy to serve as Robin; the "boy wonder" sidekick of the Batman, following Richard Grayson's retirement from the role, Jason's heroic career was cut short when he was trapped and murdered by the Joker.

Resurrected and retrained by Talia al Ghul, Jason has taken his murderer's previous alias for his own and now dispenses his own lethal brand of justice as the "Black Sheep" of the Bat Family.

BackgroundEdit

Willis Todd was a small-time petty criminal, numbers man and car thief that lived in the Crime Alley district of Gotham City. Having a fling with a medical practitioner named Sheila Haywood, who was performing abortions for teenage girls illegally, he was left with a son; named Jason, after one of Sheila's operations resulted in the death of a teen and she was forced to flee the country.
Later meeting and marrying a young drug addict named Catherine Todd, Willis was eventually caught for his crimes and sent to prison, after which he never returned home despite earning early release after a few years (it is believed that he was murdered after double-crossing Two-Face). This left Catherine as Jason's only remaining guardian.
While still a minor, in order to survive and to feed Catherine's habit, Jason was taught to steal and rip off car parts for money. When Catherine died from a drug overdose, Jason was left alone on the streets, still stealing car parts for cash. This led to a fateful encounter when Jason was discovered by the Batman in an alley; stealing the tires of the Batmobile.

Taking the child in, Bruce Wayne tried to put Jason in a school for troubled youths but simply could not keep him there due to the school encouraging lawless assault. With that option gone, Bruce took him in as his new ward and began training him to become the new "Robin".
As Dick Grayson was in the process of becoming Nightwing, Jason was completing his training to become the new Robin. Their paths crossed in Gotham City when Jason was meant to face "the Gauntlet", his final test to become Robin. Coming across Dick, he assumed facing off against his predecessor was the test, and their rivalry was born. Soon, it was realised that the real Gauntlet had gone awry and Alfred, disguised as Two-Face as part of the gauntlet, was being held hostage by Killer Croc. Dick and Jason worked together to get to the warehouse, defeat Killer Croc and free Alfred.
Nearly the polar opposite of his predecessor, Jason smoked, was rebellious, was cynical and had a mean streak to him that Dick never had. He was an angrier Robin who would sometimes use excessive force on the more vile criminals, becoming more violent and angry as time went on until, in one notorious incident, a serial rapist named Felipe Garzonas dodged the charges for his crimes due to his father's diplomatic immunity. After one of his victims committed suicide, Jason headed for Felipe ahead of Batman, with Batman arriving in time to witness Felipe falling from a building to his death. While Jason claimed that Felipe had gotten spooked and had slipped over the edge, Batman and other members of the Bat family secretly suspected otherwise.

After discovering Batman's knowledge of the death of his father, Jason became more and more reckless in his actions and began disobeying Batman's direct orders, as well as leaving himself open to being shot on a few occasions. When Batman tells Alfred that he was considering making Jason take some time off, Jason storms off and returns to his old neighbourhood.
While going through some contents, he learns that Catherine was not his biological mother. Finding three names for his possible mother in his Father's address book and looking for them on the Batcomputer, he takes off to go look for his mother in the Middle East. At the same time, the Joker was in the Middle East trying to hijack a nuclear warhead.
As Jason finds the first name on the list, Israeli secret agent Sharmin Rosin, he helps her disrupt an arms sale orchestrated by the Joker but discovers that she was not his mother. Batman, who was looking for both Jason and the Joker in the Middle East, finds Jason and helps him on his quest. With the next name being "Sandra Wusan" (aka world-renowned assassin Lady Shiva), Batman tracks her to Lebanon where she was training prospective assassins, mercenaries, and terrorists. Eager to finally face the Batman in combat uninterrupted, Shiva knocks Jason unconscious and challenges the hero to a death duel. While initially underestimating her, Batman manages to hold his own long enough for Jason to awaken and attack her from behind, the distraction of which was enough for Batman to promptly knock her unconscious and subdue her for interrogation. When asked if she was Jason’s mother, Shiva sarcastically claims to have littered dozens of babies across the globe. When Batman doses her with sodium pentothal, Shiva claims to have sired no children (although this later turned out to be a lie), confirming that Jason was not her son.
Left with one last name on the list, Dr Sheila Haywood, Jason and Bruce track her to a refugee camp in Ethiopia where she was working as a doctor and Jason is successfully reunited with his mother.

However, the Joker had discovered the camp and, learning that Sheila was embezzling funds from her organisation to continue her medical work, the villain blackmails her into giving up several truckloads of medical supplies and replacing them with Joker Toxin. When Jason learns of this, he attempts to find his mother while Batman goes to stop the delivery of the toxin. As Jason reveals to her that he is Robin, Sheila thinks that he was going to reveal her embezzling to the authorities and betrays him to the Joker and his men.
Viciously beating Jason with numerous objects, most notably with a crowbar, the Joker realises that the Batman would soon be back and that he would be in trouble if the vigilante found out what he had done to his sidekick. Betraying Sheila, as a witness to his assault, to die in a warehouse set to explode, the Joker escapes as Jason, broken and bloodied, regains consciousness long enough to free her from her bonds. Attempting to drag her son with her to safety, Sheila runs out of time when she discovers that the Joker had locked the door behind him.
Returning just as the bomb erupts, the Batman sifts through the wreckage of the warehouse to find Sheila. Mortally wounded, the doctor tells the hero of Jason's last moments as she died, revealing what the Joker had done and lamenting that Jason, despite his problematic upbringing, was too good a son for her to deserve.

Buried next to his mother in the Gotham Cemetery, due to the reality warping effects of Superboy-Prime punching his way into the main reality, Jason was revived in his coffin 6 months after his death. Still suffering physically from what the Joker had done to him, Jason was able to dig his way to the surface and walk over twelve miles before collapsing and being found by a lost couple driving down the road. Brought to a hospital and treated as a John Doe after slipping into a coma, Jason would eventually reawaken and escape through the window. However, he had suffered brain damage and remained partially catatonic, living on the streets for five months. Surviving on instinct and muscle memory, Jason was witnessed fighting another homeless man and recognised as Robin. Word made its way to Talia al Ghul, who had placed informants in Gotham to keep her informed on Batman's movements, and she had Jason brought to her and her father.
Intrigued by Jason's cheating of death, Ra's al Ghul allowed Talia to keep Jason and nurse him back to health, however, after a year of care taking, Ra's began to tire of his daughter attempt to nurse Batman's ward back to health in an attempt to win her "beloved's" love and gratitude. Ordering her to cease her care taking, Talia disobeyed her father and dropped Jason into a Lazarus Pit and set him free.

Regathering his senses thanks to the Lazarus Pit, Jason learned that his death had not gone avenged and intended to get his revenge by killing his former mentor. While believing that Batman only thought of him as an expendable soldier and that his death had meant nothing to him, Jason could not bring himself to kill him even after going through the trouble of setting his mentor up and placing an explosive underneath the Batmobile. He later explained to Talia that it was because he wanted Batman to know it was him in the end. He wanted to actually face Batman, and he wanted her help to do it.
With Talia's connections and financing, Jason travels across the globe in search of teachers in a similar manner to what Bruce Wayne did while preparing to become the Batman. For years, Jason learns various skills from master assassins, mercenaries, and aviators around the globe, and gaining advanced skills in guns, poisons/antitoxins, martial arts, acrobatics, and bomb-making. However, upon learning that one of the men training him in lethal combat was also the leader of a child sex slave ring, Jason frees the latest shipment of children and poisons his mentor for his crimes. Jason continued this pattern of killing his teachers when finding them guilty after he has finished with his training and Talia took advantage of this habit; purposely feeding him corrupt mentors that he would kill.

During his journey, Jason discovered that he had also been replaced as Robin by Timothy Drake which furthered his belief that Batman had only considered him as an expendable soldier. Jason also reveals to Talia that he had deduced that the reason she agreed to finance his training was to stall him from killing her beloved Batman.
Approached by Hush during his own preparation to defeat Batman, Jason confirms to him that the Riddler is correct in deducing that Bruce Wayne was Batman. As Hush, Riddler and Jason collaborate, Jason initially confronts his original mentor at his gravesite but then switches places with Clayface in order to observe his reaction from afar. When Batman expresses no remorse for sparing Joker's life after Jason was killed, Jason is further angered and takes up the mantle of Batman's first and greatest failure; the Red Hood.
Shortly after the city-wide gang war that saw the Black Mask become ruler of the Gotham Underworld, Jason appears in Gotham City as the Red Hood and intends to disrupt the Black Mask's operations in a plan to draw out his mentor. Red Hood assumes control over several gangs in Gotham City and starts a one-man war against Black Mask's criminal empire.
As part of his "debute", Jason breaks into Titans Tower to confront his "replacement". Wearing an altered version of his original Robin costume, Jason quickly immobilizes the other Teen Titans and attacks Timothy Drake while in the Tower's Hall of Fallen Titans. Defeating the younger teen, Jason tears the 'R' emblem from Drake's chest, although he later admits that Drake had talent.
On the apex of his planned confrontation with Batman, Jason kidnaps and holds Joker hostage, luring Batman to Crime Alley, the site of their first meeting. After a tense conversation over why Batman never killed Joker or any of his other enemies, Jason offers Batman an ultimatum: he will kill Joker unless Batman kills him first. Holding Joker at gunpoint, he throws a pistol to Batman and begins to count to three while standing behind Joker, leaving Batman with only a headshot if he wants to stop Todd pulling the trigger. At the last moment, Batman throws a batarang at him instead, which hits his hand and causes Jason to drop his gun. Joker takes advantage of the situation, detonating nearby explosives that engulf the platform and send them plunging into the bay.

Jason survived the explosion and continued as the Red Hood. While doing routine surveillance on criminals in Gotham, he overheard a conversation Deathstroke was having about having framed Black Lightning for murder. Jason passed the information on to Nightwing and this led to the Outsiders breaking Black Lightning out of Iron Heights Penitentiary before he could be killed.

Jason Todd resurfaced one year after the Infinite Crisis incident, patrolling the streets of New York City as Nightwing and dealing lethal punishment to any criminals he encounters. When confronted by Dick Grayson, Jason continues to taunt his predecessor by wearing the costume and suggesting that the two become a crime-fighting team. Not long after the two Nightwings meet up, Todd is captured and imprisoned by local mobsters Barry and Buddy Pierce. Grayson reluctantly rescues him, and the two join forces to defeat the Pierce Brothers. Shortly afterward, Todd leaves New York City and the Nightwing mantle to Grayson.

Resuming his Red Hood persona, Jason travels to Star City and partners with Daniel Brickwell as part of a gun-running organization, which brings Batman to Star City. Jason's true motives as he kidnaps Green Arrow's current protege, Mia Dearden, in an effort to dissolve her partnership with Green Arrow, feeling that they are kindred spirits. The two fight while Todd discusses the insanity of heroes for placing child sidekicks in danger. While deeply troubled by the discussion, Mia ultimately decides to remain with Green Arrow and Jason leaves Star City.

A troubled man filled with anger and feelings of frustrated betrayal, Jason wanders the globe on his own mission to deal out justice and protect the innocent without any of the self-imposed restraint that he believes the other members of the heroic community are "hampered" by.

InvolvementEdit

Associated EquipmentEdit

TriviaEdit

  • Jason Todd first appeared in Batman #357 (March 1983).
  • The Joker using a crowbar as his One-Handed weapon style is a reference to Jason's death; in which the Joker famously used a metal crowbar to beat the child hero to near-death before leaving him to die with his mother in an explosion.
  • Amongst the events in his pain-filled career, Batman considers the death of Jason Todd as his single greatest failure. He rates it next to the deaths of his parents and his inability to move on or prevent those who are close to him from being consumed in the same obsessive darkness that consumes him.
  • Jason's natural hair colour is actually red. He originally dyed his hair black to give the illusion that he was the original Robin (Richard Grayson) and seems to have continued the habit into adulthood. In addition to this, following his resurrection, Jason Todd received a silver streak in his hair due to exposure to the Lazarus Pit.
  • Both the Red Hood helmet and the Kris blade (a blade of Ra's al Ghul that is sharp enough to cut through body armour) were gifts from Talia al Ghul. However, Jason's weapons of choice are a pair of customised Jericho 941 pistols that are fitted with extra serrations and mini red dot sights.
  • While he was briefly a member of the Teen Titans, a memorial statue was not erected for Jason at the Titans Tower following his death. In direct contrast, Batman had a memorial case erected in Jason's memory within the Batcave; positioning it so that it would always be within his eyesight; to remind him of his failure and to serve as a sobering warning to the other members of the Bat Family of the dangers their chosen paths have placed them in.


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