He is the second, and the one that died. He is a proud member of the Bat-family and the Robin with the bad temper and the black sense of humor.
Despite this though, Jason Todd/Red Hood hasn't had real exposure in any DC media so far. Although he's had his own animated movie (Batman: Under the Red Hood), a possible appearance as Red X on Teen Titans, and parts on Arkham Knight and Injustice: Gods Among Us, that's about it.
Having said that though, he is rumored to appear in the upcoming solo Batman Trilogy starring Ben Affleck, although even that's still up in the air. Therefore, jump right into the ten facts you might not know about Jason Todd to really familiarize yourself with this elusive character:
1. He Was Created As A Carbon Copy Of Dick Grayson
In 1982, new editor Len Wein was assigned to the Batman titles at a time when Batman sales were running lower than usual. Len quickly realized this drop was related to the departure of Dick Grayson from the Batman titles and into Teen Titans. Initially Len thought of returning Dick back to Batman, but he found two major problems with doing that.
The first one was the fact that Dick was already too old, more teen than kid, and therefore would fit differently into the tone of Batman. Secondly, the Teen Titans writers didn't want to give Dick back. The solution came from the then-writer of Teen Titans – instead of giving Dick back, they created the mantle of Nightwing, leaving the position of the Robin vacant.
Then Len made one of Batman's biggest mistakes by introducing Jason Todd as a copy of Dick Grayson.
Another fact about Jason Todd that you should know is that not only was he a Robin, but he was also the son of circus acrobats that were killed in a sabotage. Their nickname was – as you might have guessed – the Flying Todds. This of course enraged the fanbase with many people sending letters to the creative team, claiming that they usurped Dick Grayson's position. It was soon retconned (retroactive continuity) in the "Crisis on Infinite Earths," where it changed him to the son of a drunk and a drug addict.
2. His Whole life Was Manipulated By The Joker
Everybody knows that the Joker killed Jason Todd. He savagely beat him with a crowbar and then blew up the whole building Jason was in, with his wannabe mother in front of him. What people don't know is that Joker's manipulation didn't start with this.
At some point in his life the Joker decided that he wanted to make a Robin for Batman that he could destroy in order to push him over the edge. For that he found a young boy, the son of a drunk and a drug addict. The Joker framed Jason's father and put a special African plant into Jason's mother's drugs which appeared to kill her. That of course made Jason an orphan who had to steal to survive, eventually leading him to steal medicine from Leslie Thompkins and later to become Robin. After this, Joker used his kidnapped mother to lure him in. The rest is history.
In his own words, The Joker created Jason to kill him. However, what he didn't know was that he would be so hard to kill.
3. His Resurrection Was Complicated
Many people come back from the dead in the DC Universe. Some are banned from both Heaven and Hell, others made deals with too many devils and a lot of them are resurrected through the Lazarus Pit. Jason falls into the third category, but that was not always the case.
When Jason first appeared in Batman Hush, and subsequently in Batman: Under the Red Hood, he was resurrected in the most comical way possible – by a supervillain punching reality.
Superboy Prime was a version of Superman from a world very similar to our own. He had also read the adventures of all our favourite characters through comic books, yet he still was a Kryptonian. After his Earth was destroyed, and he tried to obliterate everything because of that, he was placed in a limbo-like perfect Universe.
Realizing that this world was a lie, he tried to escape by gathering everything he had into a single punch, leading him to punch reality itself. This worked but the ripples in times-pace created from such a thing distorted events in the main universe, resulting in Jason's resurrection.
It is not canon anymore, but it still stands as a testament to how immensely complicated comics can be.
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4. Jason Todd Was Trained By The Best Assassins In The World
He was trained by Batman and by Talia al'Ghul, but nothing can compare to his training with the All-Caste.
The All-Caste is an ancient clan of assassins that predated the League of Assassins for a few millennia. They live deep inside the Himalayas, practicing and perfecting their craft.
After his resurrection and initial training, Talia decided that Jason Todd needed to learn to control his anger, combined with the Lazarus Pit's madness. To do so, she brought him to Ducra, the leader of the All-Caste, who is suggested to have trained both Talia and Ra's at some point in time.
5. He Leads The Outlaws
After Jason fought and lost to Batman, he decided to find his own place in the world. After some traveling and fighting with mobs, gangsters and other criminals (who all died somehow) he met Koriand'r, a.k.a. Starfire. After bonding with her, and some implied romance, they went out and rescued Roy Harper, effectively creating The Outlaws.
The line-up of the team has now changed a little with the departure of Starfire and the addition of the Joker's Daughter.
6. He Is A Stud
Is there even a single Bat-family member who is not good with the ladies? Well apparently Jason is one of the best ones in the family, surpassed only by Dick Grayson.
Todd was romantically involved with a number of female superheroes and villains, including the Essence, Ravager and an implied brief romantic involvement with Starfire. Batgirl suggested a relationship, which he rejected, and since then many women have frequently found him attractive.
In 2013, ComicsAlliance ranked him #23 in their 50 sexiest men in comics, surpassing his mentor Bruce Wayne by more than 20 candidates.
7. He's Taken Many Names
Jason Todd is a busy guy. He is so busy that he has more than one superhero identity. As a matter of fact he has a lot of them. He obviously started as Robin, then became the Red Hood, and during one of his travels met an alternate version of Batman who killed the Joker after the 'Death in the Family' event – this gave him the Red Robin identity.
He even briefly became Batman in the 'Batman: Battle for the Cowl' event, Nightwing and also Wingman during the 'Batman Incorporated' storyline. Jason has literally taken every male mantle in the Bat-family.
8. He Is On Good Terms With Bruce
Jason's path to redemption as Wingman started early on with his membership in Batman Incorporated but it was never complete. Later, during the 'Court of the Owls' storyline, Jason helped the Family defeat the Talons.
During the 'Death of the Family' event, Jason also got seriously injured and both Alfred and Bruce tended to his injuries. Although Bruce and Jason's relationship was mended a little, it shattered again when the former used Todd to resurrect Damian.
While Bruce's betrayal seemed to have broken up their relationship again, Jason helps and treats Bruce well, helping resurrect Damian and the other Robins during the 'Batman & Robin Eternal' and 'Robin War' storylines.
9. He Was Considered For The Leadership Of The League Of Assassins
During the war between the League of the Assassins and the Untitled (a group of ancient magical beings), Ra's Al Ghul was dead again. But because the League needed a leader to defeat the Untitled, they chose Jason to lead them to victory.
Jason spearheaded the League against the Untitled and managed to successfully remove their powers, and subsequently kill them.
Unfortunately, the last member of the Untitled happened to be Ra's Al Ghul himself, alive and in disguise, who re-gained control of the League and chained up Jason and his friends.
10. His Superhero Indentity Was Inspired By His Greatest Fear
Remember how Batman got inspired for his superhero Identity? Yes, it was by his fear of bats. This is the exact same way that Jason became the Red Hood.
When coming back to life, Jason realized that there was only one thing he really feared in this life – the Joker. In particular, the memory of the him beating him with a crowbar haunted his nightmares. Here's a clip:
But because taking up the Joker's identity would be kind of unsavory, he instead opted to use the Joker's original identity, the one he didn't want anyone to remember – the Red Hood. Now, wearing his own biggest fear, Jason instilled it in criminals as well as the person that hurt him the most, the deranged Clown Prince of Crime.
This article is one of a series of articles about DC superheroes and supervillains:
- If you want to learn more about Deathstroke click here.
- If you would like to learn more about the Huntress click here.