Jason Todd was the only child of Willis Todd, a petty crook who ended up serving a prison sentence and never returned following his release, and Sheila Haywood, a doctor who was forced to leave the city after botching an illegal abortion that left a teenage girl dead. This left him with his stepmother Catherine, a drug addict who later died from an overdose, thus having Jason fend for himself as a street orphan screwing off car parts and getting in trouble with the law. Batman was impressed with Jason's skills when he found the boy stealing the tires off the Batmobile. Hoping to prevent the kid from a life of crime, he later took him in and trained him to become the second Robin.
Jason was eager to be the second Boy Wonder, and on his first assignment helped Batman bring down the Riddler. While stopping the Riddler, Jason proceeded to give a "riddle" to the criminal mastermind where he asked him what is "green and purple, but covered in red and yellow?" before disabling the Riddler by kicking him in the groin and then pinning him to the ground, answering the riddle as it being "[Jason], after [he] land[s] on [Riddler's] sorry butt". Ηowever, Batman noticed Jason displaying excessive force and a darker outlook when it came to crime-fighting. One particular incident was on another of Jason's first assignments to bring down Two-Face, where it was discovered that Jason's father started working as one of Two-Face's thugs following his parole, only to be killed by his boss after double-crossing him. This revelation fuels Jason's anger, but he was able to master it and leave Two-Face to be arrested, much to Batman's pride.
As the years past though, Jason's anger got a little more rough, which also ended up causing some friction between him and Batman. One such incident was attacking the ringleader of a drug/sex ring and not only defeating him, but also kicking him away hard enough to shatter his collarbone, which resulted in a severe telling off from Batman due to the injury forcing the kingpin into entering shock and thus leaving Batman unable to actually interrogate him for any information on his activities. Although Jason ultimately conceded Batman's scolding in terms of foiling an interrogation attempt, he refused to apologize for nearly killing the ringleader, citing that he deserved it.
Eventually, Ra's al Ghul hired the Joker to distract Batman and Jason while he toppled the economy in Europe. To accomplish this task, the Joker set up a reunion between Jason and his birth mother, who was working as an aid worker in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and blackmailed her into applying the clown with medical supplies and had her killed afterwards. Attempting to prove himself to the Dark Knight, Jason pursued the Joker while Batman prevented his henchmen from carrying out the Clown Prince's havoc, but eventually found himself overtaken and held captive and beaten with a crowbar.
Before Batman could get to their location, Joker departed, trapped Jason inside the warehouse, with a bomb the Joker had set up exploding just as the Dark Knight arrived on the scene. Jason perished instantly. With the unnecessary death of Jason weighing on Ra's mind, his guilt drove him to secretly take Jason's corpse, and immerse the body in a Lazarus Pit in order to bring Jason back to life. However, the Pit had affected Jason's mind, and he in his madness overpowered Ra's guards and jumped out escaping. Ra's found no body and thought that the boy was deceased, but felt he had meddled enough.
Years later, Jason returned to Gotham using the past alias of the Joker, the Red Hood, with the main difference being that Joker's Red Hood getup was more of a maitre'd style while Jason's was more of a motorcycle fetish. Jason, bitter at Batman for failing to avenge his murder at the hands of the Joker by killing him, planned to avenge his own murder by confronting his killer, while meanwhile putting an end to Black Mask's criminal empire. Jason took up a more aggressive type of crime fighting as the Red Hood. He managed to interfere with the drug trafficking of Black Mask's operations, eventually letting them continue under the condition that he get a share of the profits and that they don't sell drugs to children, also showcasing a bag full of decapitated heads of their lieutenants as a strict warning of what happens if they didn't heed his warning (which he claimed he did in under two hours).
He also ordered for some criminals to steal an advanced robot from Black Mask called Amazo, and eventually assassinated them when they came close to exposing his existence. Red Hood then lured Batman and Nightwing to the ACE Chemicals Plant and then escaped, although not before cryptically remarking to Batman that it was the site of the Dark Knight's first failure. In order to ensure Batman didn't pursue him, Red Hood also proceeded to shoot the leaking fuel of his abandoned convertible, causing a chain reaction that forced the Cape Crusader to flee the doomed chemical plant without his quarry.
Despite the dropoff point as well as security being doubled from Red Hood's prior actions, the vigilante (upon learning of this via a bug in Black Mask's office) later managed to hijack another weapons shipment from Black Mask (this time containing ten cases of assorted SMGs and PDWs, along with 5000 .45 caliber ATG rounds [Black Mask's favorite] as well two cases of RPGs and some cases of C-4) by disguising himself as one of his henchmen and tying up the other henchmen sent to wait for the shipment while making it seem as though they were simply standing there, although he was prevented from escaping by chopper. He then lured Batman and Nightwing to the train station and detonated an explosive, injuring Nightwing in the process (Breaking his leg because of explosion). He then departed under the cover of an incoming train via motorcycle, although not before telling Batman that he hasn't lost his touch, while also dropping the name of his true identity: Bruce Wayne, as a hint towards Red Hood's potential identity.
He eventually arrives, saving one of his drug dealers while killing one of the dealer's would-be assassins by shooting the molotov cocktail while it was still in his hand, and fought against the Fearsome Hand of Four mercenary group hired to take a hit on Red Hood. However, he later reveals that he had been stalling as he had contacted Batman to aid him in subduing them. After it seemed all of them were defeated and knocked out, Red Hood mentioned he missed working with Batman, but then shoved Batman out of the way when the cycloped assassin fired on them, resulting in Red Hood being held at the assassin's mercy (who planned to blow his head off with his laser beam at point-blank range).
However, Red Hood managed to electrocute his would-be assassin directly on his face, resulting in his head exploding. Batman and Red Hood then got into an argument regarding the latter's killing one of the assassins, with Red Hood eventually stating his motives of getting rid of all crime, even resorting to murder since those who are immune to Batman's fear tactics can't be dealt with any other way. Batman then tried to offer to help Red Hood, but Red Hood refused, citing that it was too late and that Batman "already had his chance." He then left under the cover of a smoke grenade, although not before ominously telling Batman that he himself is "just getting started."
Eventually, he arrives at Black Mask's office with a modified rocket launcher equipped with a laser scope specifically to get Black Mask to notice him before firing at him. This resulted in Black Mask using his connections to release the Joker from Arkham Asylum in a desperate effort to kill the Red Hood. This, however, resulted in the Joker capturing all of Red Hood's drug dealers, as well as imprisoning Black Mask and Ms. Lu with the intention of luring Red Hood to him and torching them. Red Hood arrives, and admits that he was actually behind Joker's release, revealing his prior actions against Black Mask were specifically to get Black Mask desperate enough to release Joker and thus ensure their "reunion."
Red Hood then interfered with Batman's attempt at capturing the Joker, and then brought him to an abandoned apartment complex (also informing Batman when he attempted to get Joker back that he has him, and that they should meet at Crime Alley if Batman wants him), where he proceeded to dish out revenge to Joker by beating him with a crowbar, just as the Joker had done to him years before, as well as cryptically stating that the reason he and Joker knew one another was because Joker effectively helped create him.
He eventually confronted Batman at Crime Alley, the origin place of Batman himself, and fought him in a huge battle, eventually resulting in Red Hood unmasking himself to Batman, although his equipment got destroyed. He and Batman then fought all the way to the apartment complex. He then tells Batman, while bewildered that Batman believes he's angered because he failed to save him earlier, that he forgives him for not saving him, but then demands to know, after kicking down the door to Joker's hiding spot, why Batman spared Joker despite not only killing him, but also the pain and misery he has inflicted in general.
He then learns that he doesn't because Batman fears that by doing so, he may go beyond any hope of redemption and become no different than the criminals he faces. Jason then attempts to force Batman to either kill the Joker, let Jason kill the Joker, or otherwise shoot Jason. Batman refused, and Jason, trying to force Batman to act, then shoots at him while his back is turned. However, Batman threw a batarang at his gun, resulting in it detonating in his hand and wounding him. Jason then activates a cache of explosions inside the fireplace, and collapses after witnessing Joker try to prevent Batman from disarming the explosives to ensure all three die in the explosion as what Joker wanted, only for Joker to be knocked out by Batman.
While the Joker survived the explosion, this time Batman was able to rescue Jason, who disappeared as the Dark Knight emerged from the rubble. Alfred later asked if Bruce wanted Jason's memorial removed from the cave, but the latter decided to keep it, as even in the wake of Jason's return, he had still failed. Alfred then reflected on how delighted Jason was to be Robin, which only added to Bruce's tragic guilt.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
- Master Martial Artist- Being taught by Batman about martial arts during his days of being Robin, Jason is a master martial artist himself, though he can't outmatch Batman himself during the fight. He displayed most of these skills during his fight with the Fearsome Hand of Four.
- Expert Weapons Master- Jason displays heavy weaponry skills when he used two pistols, an AK-47, and a knife. Jason masters most weapons that he uses to kill criminals, mostly placing bombs on one of the members on the Fearsome Hand of Four, throwing a barrage of shurikens at Batman, or kill one of his attackers with a taser or electrocute Batman in his line. He also used a rocket launcher used in an attempt to kill Black Mask.
- Expert Marksman- Jason displayed excellent marksmanship, when he shot a hydrogen tank after throwing it at Batman, as well as shooting leaking chemicals to start a chain reaction at ACE chemicals during his and Batman's first encounter.
- Expert Knifeman- Jason also displayed excellent knife skills in combat, as evidenced by his fights with Batman, where he not only managed to cut the line, but also pin Batman's cape and eventually cut off his belt and briefly slice his neck. This had also been demonstrated earlier when he managed to cut a rope right before it could go taut on his foot, which is heavily implied to be a carry-over from his time as Robin.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- Batman: Under the Red Hood was Jason Todd's first media appearance.
- Bruce Timm instructed Judd Winick to include the Death in the Family prologue for viewers unfamiliar with Jason Todd's character.
- The film ignores Superboy Prime punching the walls of reality in Infinite Crisis, and uses the Lazarus Pit as the sole reason for Jason's revival, while in the comics the pit was used to cure brain damage he received during his resurrection. As all of the Crisis' have been retconned following the DCnU, The Film's explanation has been translated into the mainstream comic books.
- The blood sample names for when Jason died and the Red Hood, 00428 and 00635, are references to the issues where he died and when he returned as the Red Hood, respectively.
- The uniform used by Jason Todd during his teenaged years and his death at the hands of the Joker was actually Tim Drake's uniform.