Happy 40th Anniversary – Jason Todd!


“Tell me what bothers you more, Bruce, that your greatest failure has returned from the grave, or that I’ve become a better Batman than you!?”

As I’ve mentioned on a number of occasions, I’ve been a huge fan of the big, bad bat since the tender age of six, and though I initially discovered the character in the late seventies, I was way too young to appreciate the nuance and depth of the tantalising tales that beset my young eyes in publications such as Batman and Detective Comics. And so, it was the eighties that my appreciation of the Caped Crusader really took flight, through scintillating storylines regaled to me by such luminaries as Gerry Conway, Frank Miller and Alan Grant. The eighties were also a time of change for the Dynamic Duo themselves, as Batman’s lifelong partner against crime – Dick Grayson vacated his role as teen sidekick – Robin, all grown up and now wearing his big boy pants, he flew the nest and became the fun loving quip-tastic costumed crimefighter known as Nightwing!


Leaving poor ol’ Batsy rudderless, as Dick acted as his moral compass and helped bear a lot of the pain and pressure that comes with wading through the villainous detritus that the streets of Gotham spewed forth, Batman’s crusade got darker, and the bat himself, meaner and even more violent, a Batman without Robin was a minacious prospect. Luckily (or, maybe not so, with context) Batman would soon have a new soldier in his never ending fight against crime, a young street urchin named Jason Todd, a troubled youth who looked set to live a troubled life, in fact the first time Batsy met the wayward juvenile, he was in the middle of boosting the tyres… from the Batmobile!


And so, a new Robin was born, as Batman took the teen terror under his (bat)wing and attempted to instil a sense of righteouness and discipline into his new ward. Unlike the previous Boy Wonder, who was an amiable, affable and grounded individual, Jason was an angry and splenetic young man, and though, over the years as Batman’s sidekick, he seemed to mellow slightly, his anger at the injustices life had wrought unto him, never really went away. Until one day, in an ill fated meeting with the jester of genocide himself – The Joker, Jason lost his life after a savage beating by crowbar and ultimately a bomb placed beside the bloodied and bound young crimefighter, Batman arrived mere minutes after the devastating explosion, and, unable to save his life, spiralled downwards into uncontrollable grief and anguish. Surprisingly though, not too long after this, Jason, somehow, returned, but this time he was… different.


Eco-terrorist – Ra’s Al Ghul, who felt partly responsible for Jason’s untimely demise, because of his own dealings with the Joker at the time, exhumed his corpse and bathed the body in the life giving waters of the Lazarus Pit, which brought Jason back, meaner, madder and with a vengeance streak a mile long. Jason returned to Gotham under a new guise – The Red Hood, and with lethal force began tearing down the mad machinations of the various Supervillains and crazies, whereas an encounter with The Batman would, at worst, end with a visit to the hospital emergency room and six months in traction, a similar confrontation with ol’ Hoody would mean a handgrenade in the mouth and a ten inch blade buried in the head!


After a violent second encounter with the clown prince of crime (this time, Jason came equipped with the crowbar!) and a soul searching, yet brutal fight against his former mentor, Batman, Jason is once again caught in a calamitous explosion from a device set earlier by the Joker, which sends all three antagonists plummeting into Gotham Bay. Surfacing sometime later, Jason returned as the vilified vigilante, but toned down his murderous side to some degree, and would partner up with many other of DC’s popular heroes and anti-heroes under the guise of the super-team – Red Hood and the Outlaws, and in due course mended his broken trust and friendship with his mentor and surrogate father – Bruce Wayne.


Precinct1313 highly recommends both the Under The Red Hood, and, Batman: Death In The Family movies for a further deep dive into Jason’s tragic upbringing and eventual death and vehement rebirth.

About Bruce Hodder (formerly known as ArcaneHalloween)

Fanatical about comics, gaming and horror movies... but then isn't everyone?

Posted on March 18, 2023, in Comics, Comics in film and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Oh, man…that is a top notch post, Bruce…and a very intriguing story that I am very tempted to watch. Are those two anime movies?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, my friend! thanks so much for the compliment and I highly recommend both movies if you are intrigued by the saga of Jason. They’re not anime, as such, but are high quality films from Warner Bros animation studios, which actually are mostly based in Japan. Death in the Family is especially intriguing as it’s a choose your own adventure style, interactive movie, where, if you wish, Jason actually survives the explosion, or Batman dies instead and all the possible outcomes from these new choices… lots of fun!

      Liked by 1 person

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