Battle for the Cowl: The Contenders – Jason Todd

Jason ToddJason Todd is batsh*t crazy.

I mean, let’s be honest.  Sure, a lot of people voted to kill of Jason Todd in DC’s now-infamous “Should Robin Die?” hotline stunt back in 1988.  See, Jason Todd became Robin in 1983 after Dick Grayson moved on to join the New Teen Titans.  After Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985, his character changed a bit – he became a bit crazier, wackier, more daring.  If anything, he was almost the “angry Robin” back then.  In 1988, because he was so unpopular with readers, a 1-900 number was put together by DC and fans were asked to vote for whether he would live or die after being beaten by the Joker with a crowbar and left to die in an explosion.

By less than 100 votes, Jason Todd got the axe.  In issue 428 of Batman, Batman was seen walking from the rubble of the explosion with the dead body of the second Robin.  After all the controversy surrounding murdering the character, and the way it was done, Dennis O’Neil (editor of the series) was quoted as saying “It would be a really sleazy stunt to bring him back.” (check the A Death in the Family trade paperback)

Oops.

In 2003, DC Comics’ Hush storyline, written by Jeph Loeb with art by Jim Lee, hinted during the storyline that Hush, who’s identity had yet to be revealed, could have actually been a resurrected Jason Todd. However, it was revealed that, in reality, it was just Clayface, told to look at act that way by the real Hush.  Fears were alleviated…but the doors had been opened.  Numerous hints sprinkled throughout the Batman titles hinted that Todd may actually be alive.  Then in 2005, writer Judd Winick set about another mystery, that of a new Red Hood (the original Red Hood was actually the Joker).  In Batman #638, Jason Todd was revealed to be the new Red Hood.

More after the jump.

Jason ToddTurns out, Jason did die. But during the time between Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis, Superboy-Prime (supposedly the Superboy from the “real” Earth) alters history by trying to destroy the boundaries between realities.  Six months after his death, Jason comes back to life, waking up in his coffin.  He digs himself out, but the experience puits him in a coma, with amnesia.  Talia Al Ghul (the mother of Batman’s son Damian) bathes Jason in the Lazarus Pit, the magical pits that keep her father immortal.  Problem is, they also make their users temporarily insane.  Finding that the Joker is still alive, Jason is furious at Batman for not avenging him “properly” and becomes a villain.

Jason Todd as Batman?Since then, Jason has been murderous version of Nightwing, the Red Hood again, just plain old Jason Todd with a mask on, and the Red Robin.  Is it just that Jason doesn’t know what to do?  Or is that DC doesn’t know what to do with him?  Last we saw him he was in jail, and Robin (Tim Drake) was giving him the opportunity to refrom his criminal ways.  Early rumors are saying that, in that preview image of Battle for the Cowl, Jason is the Batman carrying the dual pistols.  As cool as it looks, do we really need another vicious Batman like in the Azrael days of the 1990’s?

What say you, readers? Should Jason Todd reform and take on the Mantle of the Bat?  Talkback below!

Next time, the third Robin, Tim Drake!

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