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Looking Back: The Resurrection of Jason Todd

In Comic Reviews, Comics on May 5, 2009 at 7:53 am
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Jason Todd. He was the second Robin, and after a controversial fan vote, he was killed by The Joker in the classic “A Death In The Family“. But in 2003, during Jeph Loeb’s acclaimed storyline “Hush”, the seeds were planted for the return of Jason Todd, a resurrection which was eventually revealed in Judd Winck’s 2005 storyline “Under The Hood” and its sequel, “Family Reunion“.

But what has happened to Jason Todd lately? With all that’s going on during “Battle For The Cowl”, we seem to have lost sight of the Jason who was resurrected. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the post-resurrection Jason Todd and try to find some clues as to what’s going on.

Resurrection/Impersonation By Clayface

Seen in Batman #617-618 (Hush, Pts. 10 & 11) , Batman Annual #25

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Fans didn’t know it in the issues of Hush, but it was later revealed that the Jason Todd impersonating Hush during these battles was briefly the real Jason Todd, who claimed he just needed to see Bruce face-to-face. Eventually, during the course of the fight, he switched out with Clayface. The actual means of his resurrection were not revealed until the annual, in which we learn that Superboy Prime’s punching of the walls of space, as seen in Infinite Crisis, actually caused Jason to be resurrected shortly after he had been buried. Suffering from amnesia and wandering the world, he was finally aided by Talia Head, who threw Jason into a Lazarus Pit to revive his memories and warned him that the Joker was still alive somewhere.

Return as the new Red Hood

Seen in Batman #635-638 (Under The Hood, Pts. 1 – 4)

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After over a year of Bruce suffering from hallucinations and teases to fans of Jason Todd’s return, a new Red Hood appeared in Gotham City. Unlike the previous Red Hood (who eventually became The Joker), this hood was trying to unite Gotham’s underworld to steal territory from The Black Mask, and eventually wound up stealing a large surplus of Kryptonite, which he used in an attempt to barter money from Black Mask with.

The exact nature of the Red Hood’s mission here wasn’t established, but he seemed largely interested in whittling down, or at the very least controlling the majority of Gotham’s underworld. Of note, while he didn’t stop them from killing or dealing directly at this point, he did place a strict rule that no children were to be involved.

Batman had very little interaction with Red Hood at this point, only encountering him briefly, the first time losing his trail and having to deal with Amazo, the second time losing him in the midst of a firefight with Mr. Freeze. The story ended with the Hood revealed to be Jason Todd, as he savagely beat The Joker with a crowbar (just as Joker had done to him before he died) and kidnapping him.

Revealing Himself To Batman

Seen in Batman #639 – 641 (Family Reunion, Pts. 1 – 3)

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At this point Jason, as the Red Hood, stopped stealing shipments from Black Mask and began destroying them, as well as killing henchman. Batman, suspicious of the new Red Hood’s identity after seeing him in action, spends most of the story traveling the world to speak with magicians, occultists, and other heroes who had once been dead, while Batman’s operative Onyx teamed up with Red Hood to take out several gangsters who had been dealing drugs to children, before seriously wounding Onyx herself when she took issue with Red Hood killing the gangsters.

At stories end, Batman and Red Hood finally fought, with the battle ending in Red Hood revealing himself to Batman, giving him hair and DNA samples. Batman confirmed Jason was real in the Batcave, but still insisted that Jason’s memorial to his time as Robin stay standing.

Reunited/Team Up With Batman

Seen in Batman #646 – 647 (Franchise, Pts. 1 & 2)

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Still a thorn in Black Mask’s side, Red Hood was forced to team up with Batman to defeat members of the Secret Society Captain Nazi, Hyena and Count Vertigo. The two teamed up and were able to defeat them, but Batman was outraged when Jason used lethal force against Captain Nazi. Jason declared that Batman’s refusal to take a life made him weak and predictable, but instead only succeeded in causing Batman to actively seek to end the Red Hood’s activity, something he had been holding back from doing.

Meeting Tim Drake

Seen in Teen Titans #29 (Life And Death)

Some time during all this, Jason infiltrated Titans Tower wearing an updated version of his own Robin costume and fought with Tim Drake. Jason expressed resentment that the Titans had no memorial or tribute to his time with the team, despite having statues of other fallen Titans, and insisted that he had been forgotten. He left Tim alive, but wondered if he would have turned out different if he’d had friends like Tim does.

Final Battle, Infinite Crisis

Seen in Batman #648 – 650 (All They Do Is Watch Us Kill, Pts. 1-3)

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Using Black Mask as bait, Jason drew Batman out to Crime Ally, where he held the Joker hostage. Jason finally revealed his anger that Batman had allowed the Joker to live instead of tracking him down and killing him, insisting that Jason would have killed the Joker had it been the other way around, and wanted to know why he hadn’t saved numerous lives by ending the Joker’s life at any given point. Batman stopped Jason from killing Joker, but in the end Joker detonated explosives Jason had planted around the building, leaving the Batman and Jason for dead. Jason spent much of the following year recovering.

One Year Later and Nightwing

Seen in Nightwing #118 – 122 (Gangs All Here, Pleased To Meet You — Hope You Guess My Name!, Yours Mine and Ours, Sorry I Brought That Up, & Odd Couples)

As Dick Grayson recovered from the near fatal wounds received in Infinite Crisis, Jason Todd took over as Nightwing without Dick’s knowing, during which time he acted agressively, going so far as to kill. After numerous fights and interactions with local thugs, Jason left town and gave up the Nightwing persona, but it was indicated that he still cares for Dick and views him very much as an older brother.

Team Up With Brick

Seen In Green Arrow #69 – 72 (Seeing Red, Pts. 1-4)

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Red Hood set his sights on Star City after this, where he teamed up with Brick to take on Green Arrow and Batman. However, it was just a distraction, as Red Hood instead was seeking to kidnap Green Arrow’s sidekick, Speedy. He intended to try to teach her that she would have to kill to survive, but was shocked to find that she already understood that and chose to instead live by Green Arrow’s non-violent teachings, opting not to kill.

Searching For Ray Palmer

Seen in Countdown/Countdown To Final Crisis

Jason, along with Donna Troy and Kyle Rayner, traversed the Multiverse in search of Ray Palmer/The Atom. Along the way they arrived on an alternate Earth where Jason met a Batman who had changed after Jason’s death, killing all the villains he could. Here, Jason abandoned the Red Hood persona temporarily in favor for that of Red Robin, the identity that Earth’s Jason Todd had been preparing to take on. That Earth’s Batman was killed in battle by an alternate Earth’s Joker, who Jason killed in revenge.

After finding Ray Palmer and saving the Multiverse , Jason discarded the Red Robin costume, having seemingly learned nothing from his experiences.

The Death Of Batman

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Seen in Robin #177

After the death of Batman and the dissolution of peace in Gotham City, Jason Todd resumed his Red Hood persona and took control of gangs in Gotham City, intending to turn them against each other so that he could protect the city by having the gangs destroy each other. Tim Drake, the city’s sole protector at this juncture, was able to stop him.

A New Batman

Seen in Batman: The Battle For The Cowl

With Batman dead, Jason took it upon himself to become a new, gun wielding Batman. Its yet to be seen whether Jason will become the only Batman, or if he will surrender the mantle.

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  1. Good History. I just want to mention that he also appeared in a few issues of the Outsiders in an effort to free Black Lightning from Jail.

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