Crimson Hood’s Empowering Story Is Nonetheless Misunderstood in Comics

Warning: This text comprises discussions of suicide and spoilers for Suicide Squad: Get Joker! #3.

Jason Todd’s arc as Crimson Hood in DC Comics is likely one of the most dramatic for any character within the Bat-Household. Reclaiming an outdated alias utilized by the Joker, Crimson Hood launched a stage of brutal violence that the Bat-Household had lengthy prevented, initially making him a villain. However as his relationship with Batman mended over time, Crimson Hood has grow to be a vital voice countering the contradictory facets of Batman’s ethical code. If there may be anybody as we speak that might name Batman out on his shortcomings, it’s Jason Todd.


As Batman’s second Robin, Jason was famously killed by the Joker in 1988’s A Demise of the Household storyline by Jim Starlin and Jim Aparo. Jason’s loss of life as Robin drastically altered the course of Batman’s publication historical past, and was emblematic of the darkish tenor that hung over many comics within the Nineteen Eighties. His return many years later because the brutal vigilante Crimson Hood pushed Batman’s character to new territory, as Bruce Wayne was pressured to reckon along with his previous failures as a father, mentor, and superhero. Now, as a dedicated member of the Bat-Household, Crimson Hood is poised to lastly transfer out from the shadow of his loss of life as Robin, which makes his characterization in Suicide Squad: Get Joker! all of the extra troubling.

Associated: DC’s Black Label Must Study from Marvel’s Most Controversial Occasion

Even though A Demise within the Household was launched virtually thirty-five years in the past, Jason’s loss of life by the hands of the Joker continues to outline his character within the eyes of some writers, obvious within the Black Label miniseries, Suicide Squad: Get Joker! The miniseries particulars a model of Job Power X led by Crimson Hood as they embark on a mission to search out and kill the Joker. In distinction to his tales in present DC continuity with Batman: City Legends and Job Power Z collection, Suicide Squad: Get Joker! as its title suggests, bases Jason’s characterization totally in his Joker victimhood. On the finish of the third concern by Brian Azzarello and Alex Maleev, the Joker tells Crimson Hood that he solely mattered when he was lifeless, urging him to finish his personal life. The difficulty ends on an ambiguous observe, with readers left unclear whether or not or not Jason killed himself or the Joker.

The Joker discusses Jason Todd's (Red Hood) death in Suicide Squad: Get Joker! #3.

Tragedy is commonly used as a place to begin for characters in comics: the destruction of Superman’s residence planet of Krypton is the final word instance of this. And whereas Jason Todd’s loss of life is a major half of his character’s arc, it could be incomplete to say that it’s the solely occasion of observe. Jason’s arc begins in victimhood, however is later outlined by private company as soon as he adopts the Crimson Hood persona, a incontrovertible fact that Get Joker! ignores so as to remind readers that the Joker is a horrible particular person. By seeing Jason Todd purely as a sufferer, Get Joker! omits probably the most empowering half about his character: his refusal to be outlined by the worst factor that is ever occurred to him. It’s this piece that makes Crimson Hood such a key ingredient to the Bat-Household and DC Universe as a complete: he illustrates the company that survivors have in overcoming their trauma. As such, Suicide Squad: Get Joker! comes throughout as deeply retrograde as a result of it ignores every little thing that occurred to Jason Todd’s character after 1988.

Crimson Hood Is An Expression of Jason Todd’s Company.

Red Hood (Jason Todd) fighting Ra's Al Ghul in Red Hood and the Outlaws #27.

The Joker’s assertion that Crimson Hood solely mattered when he was lifeless fails to perceive the 2 chapters in Jason Todd’s arc as a personality: victimhood and company. For Jason, turning into the vigilante Crimson Hood after his resurrection was a strong act of self-determination, as he reclaimed a former alias of the Joker for his personal functions: to guard folks on his personal phrases. As delineated within the “Beneath the Hood” Batman storyline from Judd Winick, Doug Mahnke, Shane Davis, Eric Battle, and Paul Lee, Jason’s use of deadly power and weapons whereas crimefighting was a rejection of Batman’s inflexible ethical code simply as a lot because it was a refusal to let Gotham’s criminals go unpunished. In adopting the Crimson Hood persona, Jason selected neither to grow to be a extra “respectable” vigilante like Batman or Nightwing, nor grow to be a merciless villain just like the Joker, and this resolution defines his character’s complexity in comics as we speak.

Associated: Jason Todd Deserves To Be Extra Than A Joker Sufferer 

As such, Crimson Hood’s character is incompatible with the themes of Suicide Squad: Get Joker! as a result of the story repeatedly undercuts the company on the heart of Jason’s character. Whereas Suicide Squad: Get Joker! takes place out of DC’s present continuity, it’s tough to imagine {that a} character as indignant and bitter as Jason Todd would voluntarily take heed to anybody speaking about his self-worth, a lot much less the Joker. To place it in perspective, Crimson Hood fought and defeated Ra’s al Ghul in a Lazarus Pit with weapons drawing energy from his personal soul so as to show to his foe that he wasn’t “damaged” like everybody mentioned he was.

Crimson Hood’s Actions Counter How Victims Are Portrayed In Comics.

Batman fighting the Red Hood

Past offering the premise for his vigilante persona, Jason Todd’s company powerfully subverts the ways in which victims and survivors are sometimes portrayed in comics. His dedication to creating his personal selections pushes again on Batman’s impulse to soundly sanctify victims, introducing a stage of ethical complexity that gives a nuanced view on how violence shapes the course of 1’s life. In distinction to different characters in Batman’s life, Jason Todd seeks motion, quite than memorialization, in response to the violence he has confronted. Being killed by the Joker pressured him right into a passive position in DC Comics, however being resurrected as Crimson Hood gave Jason Todd the prospect to outline himself on his personal phrases. In a style stricken by tropes corresponding to “fridging,” Jason Todd’s arc supplies an alternate manner for victims to find out their identities past their very own trauma.

Associated: DC Tells the Finest Crimson Hood Story by Lastly Asking the Proper Questions

Crimson Hood’s resolution to forge his personal path past the Joker challenges what is anticipated of victims corresponding to himself, and lays the groundwork for his improvement as a fancy character. As a lot as Crimson Hood’s company has helped him uncover who he needs to be, it has additionally led him to do some horrible issues, a reality explored to heartbreaking impact within the “Cheer” storyline in Batman: City Legends from Chip Zdarsky, Eber Ferreira, and Eddy Barrows. In impact, this trait performs an vital position in defining Jason Todd’s humanity as a personality.

Red Hood, Harley Quinn, and Pebbles in Suicide Squad: Get Joker! #1.

Compared to different members of the Bat-Household, Crimson Hood just isn’t as involved with conforming to a heroic preferrred. As a personality who has had greater than his justifiable share of difficulties in life, he won’t ever obtain the identical kind of aspirational standing as Nightwing or Tim Drake. Even so, Jason Todd’s arc as a personality is deeply empowering in its exploration of the tensions underlying a survivor’s seek for themselves within the aftermath of their darkest second.

In the end, that is what makes Crimson Hood’s look in Suicide Squad: Get Joker! so disappointing. The journey that the character has been on for the previous seventeen years was disregarded so as to return to a establishment from 1988. Crimson Hood‘s character has painstakingly proved how survivors of violence don’t must be outlined by their pasts, however it’s clear that Suicide Squad: Get Joker! was extra involved with recreating the spectacle of the Joker’s cruelty than reflecting the present world of comics.

Subsequent: Crimson Hood vs Inexperienced Lantern Might Be DC’s Finest Ever Hero Feud

Suicide Squad: Get Joker! #3 is now obtainable from DC Comics.

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