Now, when it comes to cunningly hidden Easter eggs and character teases, we tend to think of the likes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight series, as being the most likely candidates to be holding out on us. After all, if any movie is likely to be concealing a major hint of things to come, or a subtle nod to comic book history, it's one that's part of a thoroughly planned out and inter-connected movie universe, right?
Well, perhaps - but as it turns out, Marvel, DC and Fox's current connected universes aren't the only cinematic outlets for Easter-egg-filled awesomeness. Not only are a whole lot of less famous superhero movies filled to bursting with them, but some of the franchises' own heroes might just have hidden a few away back in the days before Cinematic Universes and connected mythologies.
Case in point?
1997's 'Batman & Robin' Might Just Have Been Hiding a Huge Red Hood-Themed Easter Egg
Specifically, it might just have, lying within its shiny, explosion-filled shininess, a pretty huge visual Easter egg involving none other than Jason Todd, a.k.a. The Red Hood, a.k.a...this guy:
One of the most iconic Bat-villains of the past decade, Red Hood is the sometimes villainous, sometimes anti-heroic alter-ego of ex-Robin Jason Todd, who was – for many years – believed to be dead (having apparently been brutally beaten to death by The Joker back in 1988's A Death in the Family).
He was, however, later revealed to be very much alive – having been resurrected by Talia al Ghul's Lazarus Pit – and swore vengeance on those who he saw as having wronged him. This pitted him against Batman and pals, with the resulting story-line (Judd Winick's Batman: Under the Hood) soon proving a fan-favorite.
All of Which Involves 'Batman & Robin' How, Exactly?
Well, take a look at that there video clip, of the (extremely silly) bike chase scene from the afore-mentioned Batman & Robin...
Notice the red-helmeted dude?
Y'know, the one whose dark outfit stands in stark contrast to the distinctive brightness of his headgear...
...and who, just like the Red Hood, is eventually revealed to be Robin?
Well, that exact same description fits a certain someone, too – namely, Red Hood himself.
Or, in other words...
It Sure Seems Like 'Batman & Robin' Features an Actual, Factual Red Hood Reference
Which, seeing as Batman & Robin is often criticized for being a zany, ridiculous camp-fest with little to do with the Batman comic books of the time, is actually a really intriguing idea.
Except, of course, for one fundamental problem...
Red Hood Wasn't Introduced to the Comic Books Until Eight Years AFTER 'Batman & Robin'
Yup, that's right, Judd Winick's Batman: Under the Hood didn't hit the stands until 2005 – seemingly making it impossible for 1997's Batman & Robin to reference the character.
After all, up until that point, Red Hood was only known as the original guise of The Joker...
...and had no more to do with Robin than any other figure in the DC mythos, making any reference to him in the movie seem impossible.
What, though, if we've been looking at this whole thing the wrong way round?
What if 'Batman & Robin' Was What Inspired the Creation of the Jason Todd Version of Red Hood?
After all, the key ingredients for inspiration are all there, with the movie sequence surely having being seen by the story-line's plotters, the linking of Robin to the suit being a key element of the sequence, and – of course – the visual of Robin wearing the helmet bearing a striking resemblance to that of the latterly imagined modern-day Red Hood...
Could Batman & Robin, then, have inadvertently inspired one of the great DC anti-heroes of the modern era?
Well, maybe – or maybe more than one person just thought that red headgear on top of a dark bodysuit looked cool.
Either way, though – maybe we should all start rewatching old Batman movies... y'know, just to make sure we didn't miss anything else...