RED HOOD CHARACTER PROFILE
Red Hood is more commonly used as an alias by several different characters within the DC comics. Usually it symbolizes the figurehead of the Red Hood Gang. The first appearance of Red Hood came back in 1951 with the release of the Detective Comics #168, titled ‘The Man Behind The Red Hood’.
|CREATED BY||Gerry Conway (Writer)|
Don Newton (Artist)
Bill Finger (Writer)
Win Mortimer (Artist)
|FIRST APPEARANCE||As Joker|
Detective Comics #168
As Jason Todd
THE MAN BEHIND THE RED HOOD
Coincidentally enough the 1951 comic also revealed one of the origin stories for the clown prince of crime, Joker. The main storyline for the comic follows an unarmed criminal wearing a red hood.
Batman was eventually able to capture this ‘hooded’ individual, or so he thought. It was later revealed that he had, instead, managed to capture an imposter that was disguised as the criminal.
The actual Red Hood later confesses that he had plans on trying to steal over a million dollars from his boss over at ACE Chemicals. This was all part of a retirement plan.
However, his plan never actually comes off and this all leads to Joker falling into the pool of chemicals. He was only able to survive thanks to a special breathing apparatus that was hidden within the actual hood of the costume. Thus he was given enough oxygen to able to escape.
Due to the results of the chemical disfigurement, he then became the Joker. The chemicals had impacted his hair, changing it to green. His skin was also affected and, ultimately, bleached.
BATMAN: UNDER THE HOOD
It was not until five decades after the release of the 1951 comic when we see the appearance of Red Hood once again. Though, this time it was Jason Todd who ended up wearing the mantle.
Jason Todd has a rather depressing and tragic backstory. He was once one of the many Robins, in fact he was the second of the Dark Knight’s side companions. Fulfilling the role after Dick Greyson, the original Robin, went and decided to create a new moniker for himself as Nightwing.
Batman: Under The Hood, which is alternatively known as Batman: Under the Red Hood was a comic series that was first released back in February 2005 and ran until August 2005. This issue would reveal the second version of the ‘hooded’ character. It was part of a DC reboot with the character Jason Todd.
Originally the character of Jason Todd was kidnapped by Joker where he had to endure months of torture at the hands of the clown. Jason, who was hoping to get rescued by the Dark Knight himself, was eventually murdered.
This then eventually led to the revival of the character but in a different and more unique way. He was no longer the second Robin. Instead he had now become Red Hood. Unlike Joker’s version, who was more of a straight up criminal. Jason’s version is more of a mercenary who is not afraid to use firearms. He chose the path of a free spirit who preferred not to pick a side.
Since the original reveal of Jason Todd as the mercenary Red Hood, the character has then gone into other media. Including the 2015 title, Batman Arkham Knight. Which was created and developed by the London based studio, Rocksteady.
In Arkham Knight Jason Todd’s tragic backstory is once again told and features quite heavily within the title. Especially during the later sections of the game. Where we see how broken the character became at the hands of the clown. How much of a hatred he has built up around the Dark Knight.
One of the main reasons why Jason Todd decides to take up the mantle of the Arkham Knight and work alongside the main antagonist of the game, Scarecrow, is so that he can get his revenge on Batman for abandoning him and leaving him at the hands of the Joker. In truth the Dark Knight had never abandoned him. He just simply assumed that Jason Todd had already fallen.
”Since vanquishing the Arkham Knight persona, Todd was able to lay his vengeance against Batman to rest and begin to heal the damage that was inflicted on him in the Asylum. It was during his recovery that Red Hood was born.
Now, while he is once again aligned with his former mentor in wanting to rid Gotham of its criminal contingent, Todd’s willingness to kill will forever keep them at odds.” – Batman Arkham Knight.
RED HOOD STORY PACK (ARKHAM KNIGHT)
In Batman Arkham Knight the character of Red Hood was never really mentioned. We got to eventually find out who the man behind the Arkham Knight was but we never really got much information regarding his new moniker. Except for a brief profile description within the game.
For the most part information regarding the character is rather brief. Though there was an extra downloadable content pack which got released several months after the original game. This content pack was simply named as the Red Hood Story Pack.
It allowed players to finally get the chance to play as Jason Todd and the Red Hood character. The content itself was rather brief with a storyline that easily lasted around 30-40 minutes long.
It pitted the player up against Black Mask, who eventually became the main criminal mastermind behind Gotham after the events of Arkham Knight.
THE RED HOOD GANG
The origins of the Red Hood gang was created in the 2011 DC comics reboot and The New 52 comic series. It featured a young Bruce Wayne, who had recently returned to Gotham in order to begin his crime fighting career. One of his first missions actually involved the gang.
Turns out that the motivation for the Red Hood Gang comes after the death of Bruce’s parents. To them, seeing even the almighty rich and famous fall sparked new fear into Gotham.
THE DIFFERENT RED HOOD COSTUMES
The character of Red Hood is somewhat similar to the Marvel hero, Deadpool. Both of them wear hoods to cover their faces, both of which are red in colour. They also have very similar combat and fighting abilities. Especially when it comes to Jason Todd’s version of said character.
Albeit, Jason Todd’s version is more to similar to that of Deadpool as they are both considered as mercenary characters. Who both wield firearms. Although, when necessary, they can also use melee too. Deadpool is often seen with his two katanas, whereas Jason was taught how to fight by the Dark Knight himself.
The costume of the ‘hooded mercenary’ can also differ depending on the chosen media. For example, the character is often seen with a red hood or mask over his face. Brown coloured jacket and a red bat-like symbol on his torso.
However, in Batman Arkham Knight his costume tends to differ slightly. Depending on what section of the game you are currently playing. Either the extra downloadable content or the beginning and ending to the base game storyline.
During the start of Batman Arkham Knight, we see the Arkham Knight with a blue helmet and a blue coloured torso. However, during the later sections, his helmet and torso change colours to form a more red tint. Showing the early signs of the character transformation in the ‘hooded mercenary’.
In the extra downloadable content, Jason Todd and his costume changes once again. He is now the actual ‘hooded mercenary’. Putting his trouble past out of his system and finally being able to move on.
With this particular costume, he now wears a proper hooded jacket and sports the iconic red symbol on his chest.
A darker version of the origin story relating to the Joker was released and titled as Batman: The Killing Joke. It was written by writer Alan Moore. This version featured Joker as a poor and unsuccessful comedian. Who has been forced to play the role of the Red Hood. One that would also see the Joker narrating his own past. Albeit in a more uncertain and unreliable fashion.
A few more retcons involving the Joker was also released. Including Batman: A Death in the Family. Which sees Joker finding the Red Hood costume and wearing it once again in order to commit a robbery and regain confidence in becoming the Joker.
Jason Todd has also been given several different takes on his origin revival as the Red Hood. One such story sees Red Hood recruiting a new sidekick known as Scarlet. As a team they make it their mission to freely kill all criminals and anyone else who may get in their way. Including members of the GCPD.