Characters of DC Club (C of DC) First Month



The first meeting of the C of DC will be held at the above date and time. We will be discussing the character of Batman’s Second Robin Jason Todd in this first meeting.

Batman’s second Robin, Jason Todd, is a character that has generated a lot of reaction among fans from the famous vote that sent him to the grave, to his mysterious resurrection to his recent rise in popularity thanks to the Arkham games. But how well do you really know him?What events lay at the core of this character and how did they lead to the anti-hero we see today?

Let’s explore the character of Jason Todd and find out just what makes him tick.

Key stories:

Post Crisis origin:

Batman #408

Batman #409

Diplomat’s Son:


Batman #425

Death in the family:

Batman #426

Batman #427

Batman #428

Batman #429

Under the Red Hood:

Batman: #635-#650

Annual #25

Exploratory questions for the month:

  1. What do you feel are the defining traits of Jason Todd as Robin and then later as Red Hood?

  2. Based on your reading of “The Diplomat’s Son” do you feel that Jason simply didn’t save Felipe Garzonas when he fell to his death or do you think he was pushed? Explain.

  3. How do you think his birth mother"s betrayal effected him upon his resurrection?

  4. Is the Jason Todd who came back from the dead the same one who was brutally killed?

  5. Why do you think a lot of fans like Red Hood Jason better than Robin Jason and what was your impression of him in both roles?

Next month: Strap yourselves in for next month’s discussion of Psycho Pirate.


I’m going to get this party started today by giving my answers to the questions here.

  • What do you feel are the defining traits of Jason Todd as Robin and then later as Red Hood?

I’ve always felt that Jason was a good Robin if a little violent against the criminals he and Batman faced. He was also very protective of the people who had been taken advantage of time and time again by the criminal elements. He even protected his birth mother, Sheila, despite the fact that she betrayed him to the Joker. He was a decent detective I would say who was able to use his skills to locate the three woman who could have been his mother.

A lot of this seeming transferred over when he came back to life and became the Red Hood but it was amplified I think by first his dip in the Lazarus Pit and then by his training with Talia and the LOA. When he returned as the Red Hood he seems to be even more skilled and also more violent but he still has that protective streak if you know where to look. In UtRH he told the dealers to stay away from children and he spent a lot of his training killing his teachers who were doing truly terrible things, such as Egon who was trafficking children.

  • Based on your reading of “The Diplomat’s Son” do you feel that Jason simply didn’t save Felipe Garzonas when he fell to his death or do you think he was pushed? Explain.

I believe that Jason startled Felipe and that he was so high at the time that it effected his sense of direction and probably his balance and that is why Felipe fell. I don’t think Jason is guilty of anything other that not saving him when he fell. I also think that the writer could have handled that just a bit better.

  • How do you think his birth mother"s betrayal effected him upon his resurrection?

We know that Jason tried to shield his mother before the bomb went off despite her selling him out to the Joker to save her own hide. Sheila’s last words to Batman indicate as much. Now the question is did he do so because he forgave her and thought she should have a chance to live even if he didn’t or did he do so because that was what his training with Bruce had taught him to do? Personally, I think it was a little of both however I do feel that the Lazarus Pit may have twisted some of Jason’s memories while it was restoring his mind. So, yes, I do feel that its distinctly possible that his feelings of betrayal in connection with Bruce may have some connection to the events surrounding his death. Jason’s own mother sold him out to the Joker after only knowing him a few hours and when Jason came back he found that Bruce had seemingly moved on without him, giving his colors to some new kid and not killing the Joker for what he did.

  • Is the Jason Todd who came back from the dead the same one who was brutally killed?

Yes and no. There are certainly traits that remain the same between them but there is also the trauma left behind because of his death and resurrection. This trauma has not really been dealt with very well in my opinion but that’s a post for a different day. Suffice it to say that Jason’s more recent stories are cycling him back to a more pragmatic and level headed character then he was being portrayed as just before the N52 reboot.

  • Why do you think a lot of fans like Red Hood Jason better than Robin Jason and what was your impression of him in both roles?

This is a difficult question for me to answer because I like both versions of the character. I could go on and on about all the things I’ve heard fans say about Jason’s Robin vs his Red Hood but again that’s a subject for another post. I’m going to say that a lot of fans simply hated Jason as Robin for various reasons and they like his Red Hood better particularly if the stories being told about him are the ones in which he is being portrayed as the guy who has twisted Batman’s beliefs and then thrown them in his face.

As for impressions of him in both roles I will only say that the Red Hood is the culmination of all of Jason’s training that began with his training as Robin and that without his being Robin I think the Red Hood would be missing something important.

I’ll be interested in hearing everyone else’s views on the character or on my post or even on any other reading about Jason Todd members may have done. Lets get this discussion going!

1 Like

W/ Jason, there’s definitely a solid level of enthusiasm for being Robin, as he clearly has a solid, if harsh, sense of justice. He’s clearly someone who believes that the ends justify the means, especially so as Red Hood. It’s obviously something that’s a little more reserved at first, as he’s just starting out his time as a crime fighter, but you can see from the beginning that he’s got more edge to him than Dick and that shows in how he goes about being Robin. Of course, after he’s died, come back to life and gone off on his own, he no longer has to worry about Batman constantly watching over him and can thus further embrace that inner darkness.

Something else I’ve noticed w/ Jason is his place in a chain of increasing excitement over wanting to be Robin, at least among the first 3. It’s not that Dick didn’t want to be Robin, but he did have to be convinced and guided after he first comes to stay with Bruce. Jason was also recruited into the role, but definitely seemed to take to it faster, seeming pretty excited after Bruce just calls him Robin out of seemingly nowhere. Tim, on the other hand, escalates this to the point where he has to convince Bruce to let him become Robin, as it’s something not only that he wants, but also something that he sees that Batman needs.

I think Jason went to Felipe w/ the intention to kill him, even if he probably didn’t think it out too much, but got “lucky” when Felipe fell over the edge w/out Jason pushing him. That said, he’d still be alive had Jason never gone there, so the death is still on him. I feel like this works w/ Jason’s morally gray character, as it still gives him a sense of responsibility for the death w/out actually making him a full murderer. Obviously he didn’t really feel any remorse at the time, but it’s still something that could weigh on him in the long term. He could also use it as a bit of justificiation for his first murder as Red Hood – he already caused one person’s death, so in his mind, what’s the difference if he causes another directly?

Upon his resurrection, one of the last things Jason would’ve remembered was his mother’s betrayal, so I have to think that that played a role in making him more hardened and embracing his darkness. He put so much effort and emotional investment in finding the last (biological) family he had, that that alone probably would’ve been enough to break him. Combine it w/ all the other trauma of the Joker’s beating, dying and coming back to life, and you have a perfect recipe for disaster.

While he’s certainly not exactly the same, I’d say that he is, yeah. We saw shades of Jason’s brutality during his time as Robin, so I really don’t think him becoming someone as unhinged as Red Hood w/ the right (or wrong) push is much of a stretch.

First there’s the timing of it all. Ever since he was brought back in 2005, the comics have almost exclusively focused on Jason as the Red Hood instead of Robin, so current readers are much more likely to be introduced to him that way (I know I was). It’s certainly interesting to find out that he used to be Robin, but if they gravitate toward the character at all, it’s typically gonna be w/ the first version they were introduced to. There’s also the fact that Jason’s just much edgier as Red Hood, which makes him more appealing to a lot more readers.

As far as my opinion, while I definitely appreciate him as Robin, I can’t act like Red Hood is anything short of who he was always meant to be. He’s able to fully embrace who he is, and while that’s not always a good thing from a moral perspective, it’s certainly a hell of a lot more interesting from a character perspective. Plus, I also love his relationship w/ Batman more when he’s Red Hood. It’s interesting to see just how much Bruce will let Jason get away w/ before he steps in to intervene, and I also love how Jason calls him out on how his method doesn’t always work. That doesn’t make him inherently right about how he goes about crime fighting, but it’s another reminder that Bruce isn’t perfect – not only in his methods, but Jason is a walking reminder of Batman’s greatest failure. He may be alive now, but at what cost?


Now that is the crux of it isn’t it? Bruce’s methods (both as a father and as Batman) are indeed flawed and nowhere is this more evident then in then in the entire way he handled Jason from the time he took him from the streets and made him Robin almost immediately thereafter to the way he overreacted to Jason’s handling of the Penguin situation some months back, which lead to Jason being severely injured and banished from Gotham.

Jason isn’t completely innocent here either. His method works and even Bruce himself acknowledges that but its also flawed because of the possibility of ending someone who may be innocent. It’s a very narrow road Jason walks. I do have to admire a guy who sticks to his code as deeply as Bruce sticks to his though.


What do you feel are the defining traits of Jason Todd as Robin and then later as Red Hood?

Well, based on these stories in particular, the defining trait of JT as Robin is that he’s what Fredric Wertham imagined when he thought of children who read too many comics. In UTH, Red Hood’s most defining trait is his role as a foil for and vocal critic of Batman.

Based on your reading of “The Diplomat’s Son” do you feel that Jason simply didn’t save Felipe Garzonas when he fell to his death or do you think he was pushed? Explain.

I most certainly think that Jason killed him (though maybe not in cold blood). And on top of that, I think Batman is a huge hypocrite for criticizing him for it considering some of the things Batman was doing at the same time in Starlin stories.

How do you think his birth mother"s betrayal effected him upon his resurrection?

I feel like this question wasn’t really tackled by Judd Winick in this story, but it certainly could have contributed to his disdain for his surrogate father figure. (Perhaps more should have been done with this in relation to Talia.)

Is the Jason Todd who came back from the dead the same one who was brutally killed?

It’s at least somewhat in line with where Jim Starlin was taking him, but it doesn’t really fit with Max Collins’s or anyone else’s take on the character. If anything, it feels like what Jean-Paul Valley’s short tenure as Batman should have been.

Why do you think a lot of fans like Red Hood Jason better than Robin Jason and what was your impression of him in both roles?

When he was Robin, he was inevitably measured against Dick. Then he gained a mystique around him for a decade and a half as the Dead Robin, the greatest failure of the Caped Crusader. Thus, when he returned, it was not just an old character popping back up. It was Batman’s shame and guilt incarnate.

I’m very fond of Jason as Robin, but I have mixed feelings about him as Red Hood, especially since he stuck around and semi-reformed himself. I mean, it’s practically akin to having Andrea Beaumont join the Bat-Family after Mask of the Phantasm.

What do you make of how the writers of the time handled turning his character into a cautionary tale, which basically changed his character from a good Robin to a “bad” one?

Also the bolded is a very good observation. I never really thought of his return in those exact terms before but I agree with you there. Nicely put.

I’m also fond of Jason as Robin. When I first started collecting comics on my own in the 80s he was the one wearing the red, yellow and green so he became the Robin I came to know. I also, for the most part anyway, like Jason as Red Hood depending on the writer. I don’t feel that his semi-reforming himself and sticking around is a problem myself and there are a few reasons for that.

  • First off whatever it may appear he still feels like he’s the outsider in the family and not really a part of it at all. Yes, he has had an on again off again working relationship with them but I don’t think that equates with him actually being a part of the family whether that’s in his own mind or in the rest of the families. It’s more akin to the relationship between Huntress and the Bat Family before the N52 in my opinion.

  • Secondly, the existence of Damian who is himself a reformed killer with a kill count that might rival Jason’s own. It looks very hypocritical of Batman to not at least allow Jason to do his own thing when his own blood son is a known killer. I know the argument there is “well Damian has stopped killing etc and that’s the difference” but that argument falls flat with me because he has killed since becoming part of the family and despite having become a reformed killer.

It kinda irked me, honestly. There’s so much more to 1980s Jason than “the path Tim must not trod.”

Yeah, and Grant killed him off once the arc was over. :stuck_out_tongue:

I know. I know. The head of Jason’s book club shouldn’t be saying, “Dead is better.”

I agree and I hated how his time as Robin was reduced to that. There was so much more that could have been done with the character and so many avenues that could have been explored if only things had turned out differently. Post Crisis Jason brought an interesting dynamic to the Dynamic Duo and I would have liked to see how the character would have developed over the years.

Well who better to say it. :stuck_out_tongue: There have been plenty of times over the years that I’ ve thought it myself and I’m a fan of the character and hate character deaths as a rule.

1 Like

I think one of the reasons that Jason had a lot of dislike back in the day is that he started off as sort of a Dick Grayson clone in a lot of ways - a acrobat kid whose parents are murdered by a criminal. It sort of made him Robin-lite at first. By the time the new origin came along, the damage was already done.

The defining traits of Jason Todd, to me, have been his willingness to go his own way regardless of what the rest of the Bat Family thinks. He is, at his core, a rebel. This sets him apart from all the others - even Damian, who also has a harder edge, seems to strive to have that family connection. Jason just doesn’t fully give a ■■■■.

Did Jason kill the guy? Maybe. So hard to stay - but even if the guy just got scared and fell, I think Jason’s intent was to take him our.

Did momma’s betrayal affect him? I’m not sure that it did, really. He had let go of his parents long before that. I guess it could have made him more, “Hey, forget everyone else, I got this by myself.” (Pre-Outlaws, anyway).

Yes, when he came back, he was the same character at his core, but experience changes us all. He can’t be exactly the same - that would indicate an inability to grow as a person (character).

He makes a better Red Hood because 1) cooler costume and 2) he’s not the kind of guy who would take a backseat to anyone, included Batman. Maybe especially Batman.

I agree with that assessment. To be honest I was one of those fans who disliked the the original origin precisely because it was Dick Grayson’s origin redux. I much prefered to post-Crisis origin and character because I felt it opened up far more interesting story potential than the same old circus kid with murdered parents did.

I also agree with you about Jason not taking ■■■■ from anyone and doing things his own way. I feel that we learn this about him early on along with his tendency toward brash actions in defense of others. I also feel he’s the type that gets emotionally invested in nearly everything and that it bites him in the ass far to frequently.

1 Like

Hi everyone! I’m sorry I’m a few days behind and will be short. This will not be normal for me. I’ve just been dealing with an issues at work all last week and then went right into family in town for the holidays. This is my first free minute in days.

What do I feel are Jason’s defining qualities?

I feel that Jason has 2 defining qualities. 1) He is a fighter. Jason learned at a young age he had to fight to survive. I believe because of this, it made him a tougher Robin, and it made him questions Bruce more. 2) Jason is very loyal. He will stand by your side until he feels that you betrayed him. That’s why as Red Hood he was so upset with Batman. He felt that his loyalty was betrayed when Batman didn’t avenge him.

The Diplomat’s Son, was he pushed?

I do not believe Jason pushed him. I think he just didn’t help him. At this time in his life, Jason doesn’t believe in killing. However, he is street tough, and while he might not kill, it doesn’t mean he has to save someone who he feels that world would be better without.

Jason’s birth mothers betrayal

Again, I think this goes back to Jason’s loyalty personality. He was loyal to her because she gave him birth. So I’m his mind, if his own mother could leave her son to die, there is no one to be loyal too. And if there’s no one to be loyal too, then you might as well get rid of people.

Is the Jason Todd who came back from the dead the same Jason?

No. When major events happen in your life, it changes you. Death is a major event. And that is forever going to change you.

Why do you think fans like Red Hood better? What do you think of Jason in each role?

Jason is tough. You saw this the moment he his Batman with a tire iron. Robin has always been the more innocent fun partner of Batman. And Jason never really fit that roll. I think that’s why he’s liked better as the Red Hood. With Dick and Tim, they both fit the fun innocent partner when they were Robin. And when they weren’t that way anymore, their identities changed. I think because Jason was never that way from the start, it made him a hard Robin for people to get behind. I actually think we see that problem with Damian too (but don’t get me wrong, I liked both Jason and Damian as Robin’s).

Thanks for letting me post late! I hope everyone has a good holiday!

Those are very good points @AlexCarr. Jason is a fighter and in some ways I think that makes him stronger then even Bruce. I also believe that death has only made this trait stronger in him. He’s the type of character that will keep on fighting no matter the odds or situation and in the end he always manages to come out on top.

I want to call attention though to your point about loyality because I think its important to talk about in regard to Jason. I agree that Jason is fiercely loyal to others and he doesn’t go by halves on it either. I think this is tied up with his childhood issues.

We see time and time again that he not only gives his loyality to a variety of people throughout both his lives but he also gets very emotionally invested in those individuals, probably more so then others in the Bat Family, because he was forced from a young age to be alone in order to survive.

The problem is that he is absolutely devestated when he feels that he has been betrayed or abandoned by those he’s given his loyality to. I think that the thought of being abandoned by others is triggering for him. That’s part of why he was so angry at Bruce in UTRH and why he seemed to freeze up in Red Hood and the Outlaws when Artemis and Bizarro vanish. You can also see this in the Titans tv show in the episode “Bruce Wayne” where he felt betrayed by the team.

@JasonTodd428 I 100% agree with all that. Jason is always looking for a family and a place he feels like he belongs. When he thinks he finds it, he gives his family all of him. And if he feels betrayed by them, he looses it.

I think they actually showed this in the latest Titans episode too. I think the show captures Jason’s character well and I’d be very interested to see if they do a version of the Red Hood storyline.

The show captures Jason’s character very well and Curran Walters does an excellent acting job there. There’s a lot of nuance there. I also am interested in seeing if they do a version of the Red Hood storyline. Being that this is an entirely different universe then the comics or other media I’m not going to expect an exact duplicate of the story but I am very interested in seeing what they do with just the idea.

1 Like