Red Hood
Jason Todd as the Red Hood on the cover of Red Hood/Arsenal #10 (May 2016). Art by Dexter Soy.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
Created by Bill Finger
In-story information
Alter ego Jason Todd

The Red Hood is an alias used by multiple fictional characters and a criminal organization in comic books published by DC Comics. Jason Todd is the most widely known character to use this persona, and he assumes the Red Hood identity in the main DC Comics continuity.

Fictional character biography[edit | edit source]

The Joker[edit | edit source]

Main article: Joker (character)

The Red Hood first appeared in Detective Comics #168 (Feb. 1951), in the story "The Man Behind The Red Hood!". In the original continuity, the man later known as Batman's arch nemesis "the Joker" was a master criminal going by the Red Hood alias, claiming to be a lab worker intending to steal $1,000,000 and retire. His costume consisted of a tuxedo, a red cape, and a large domed red helmet with no eye holes or facial features. While attempting to rob a playing card company, he was cornered and dove into a catch basin full of chemicals and swam to freedom, surviving because of a special breathing apparatus built into the helmet. The toxins in the vat permanently disfigured him, turning his hair green, his skin white and his lips red. Driven insane by his reflection, he recreated himself as "the Joker" and became Batman's greatest foe. A decade later, Batman reopens the case while tutoring a group of college students. To mock him, the Joker resumes the identity and tries to rob the college. However, a gardener, Owen "Farmerboy" Benson, captures him and takes his identity, planning to commit crimes with the Red Hood getting the blame. Batman realizes this Red Hood is a fake and captures Benson, who takes him to the real Red Hood. The Joker then reveals his origin.

In Batman: The Killing Joke, Alan Moore wrote an alternative origin of the Joker and the Red Hood; the man who would become the Joker is portrayed as a former lab assistant, now a struggling stand-up comedian with a pregnant wife. He is approached by the Red Hood gang, who want him to lead them through the chemical plant he once worked at so they can rob the card factory next door. He accepts in order to make enough money to start a better life for his family. The gang gives him the Red Hood costume, which has been worn by many others; unknown to him, the gang plans to use him as a patsy in case they get caught. The day of the proposed robbery, police inform him that his wife died in a freak accident. He attempts to back out of the robbery, but the gang strong-arms him into keeping his commitment. During the robbery, the plant's security men spot the intruders and shoot the other criminals dead. The man who becomes the Joker tries to flee, but Batman appears and corners him on the plant's catwalk. Terrified, he jumps off the catwalk into the chemical basin to escape. As in the previous origin story, he goes insane after discovering what the chemicals have done to his face and becomes the Joker. The Joker himself is reluctant to admit that this iteration of his story is definitive, stating: "Sometimes I remember it one way, sometimes another...if I'm going to have a past, I prefer it to be multiple choice!"[1]

A retroactive continuity change appears between the Batman #450–451 story line The Return of the Joker and the graphic novel one-shot Batman: The Man Who Laughs. In The Return of the Joker, the Joker resurfaces after apparently being killed at the end of the Batman: A Death in the Family storyline. In this story, the Joker rummages through his belongings, finds the Red Hood costume and wears it for a robbery in order to regain his confidence and become the Joker again. The Man Who Laughs is a retelling of the Joker's first appearance, a few months after the Red Hood's plunge into the chemicals, tying the story into both Batman: Year One and The Killing Joke. In this story, Batman is in possession of the Red Hood costume, presumably having discovered it on the banks where the Joker washed up after his swim in the chemical basin.

Jason Todd[edit | edit source]

Main article: Jason Todd

Jason Todd as Red Hood on the cover of Red Hood and the Outlaws #29 (May 2014). Art by Philip Tan.

A new Red Hood appears in the Batman: Under the Hood storyline running through Batman comics, written by Judd Winick. Jason Todd, the former Robin killed by the Joker in Batman: A Death in the Family, is revealed to have been resurrected by Ra's al Ghul via the Lazarus Pit. But the pit changes him and his emotions and he becomes the new Red Hood. His debut culminates in a fateful confrontation with those he feels have wronged him. He beats the Joker with a crowbar (mirroring the way the Joker had tortured him before killing him with a bomb) and later kidnaps him. The new Red Hood assumes control over various gangs in Gotham City and starts a one-man war against Black Mask's criminal empire. He actively tries to cleanse the city of corruption, such as the illegal drug trade and gang violence, but in a violent, antiheroic way. He eventually comes to blows against Batman and other heroes, including Nightwing, the new Robin (Tim Drake), Onyx, and Green Arrow.

In the second story arc of Batman and Robin by Grant Morrison and Philip Tan, Jason retakes the Red Hood mantle. With the goal of making the very concept of Batman obsolete, he puts a lot of effort into public relations: he drastically alters his Red Hood costume to look more like a traditional superhero outfit, and recruits his own sidekick known as Scarlet. In their war on crime Red Hood and Scarlet freely kill criminals, villains and anyone who gets in their way, even the police. After all of Red Hood's killings he leaves behind a calling card which states "let the punishment fit the crime". He describes his vendetta against Dick Grayson as "the revenge of one crazy man in a mask on another crazy man in a mask".

After Barry Allen's involuntary tampering with the continuum, Red Hood is shown, along with Arsenal and Starfire, as one of the Outlaws, a close knit group of anti-heroes. Still not above killing, and still angry at the world, Jason has now reverted to the street clothes costume, forgoing his feud with Batman for stealthier, more cloak and dagger missions. Eventually, Jason and Batman reconcile and call a truce between them.[2][3]

In an interview for the Infinite Crisis hardcover, Jeanine Schaefer states that Geoff Johns originally planned to reintroduce Red Hood as the Jason Todd of the Earth-Two universe, but such plans were discarded.[4]

Alternate Versions[edit | edit source]

DCAU comics[edit | edit source]

An animated version of the character appears at the end of The Batman Adventures #8. It was meant to be a subplot to be resolved later, but the cancellation of the ongoing series prevented that. Though the creative team (Dan Slott and Ty Templeton) behind the story are hoping for a chance to resolve it, they have yet to do so. It has been stated that this Red Hood is someone crucial to the DC animated universe.

Dan Slott mentioned that the background of the character would tie into a subplot concerning Lucius Fox, the Valestra mob (from Batman: Mask of the Phantasm) and the Powers Family (including an infant Derek Powers from Batman Beyond)

Though the comics storyline was never followed up, Dan Slott told fan website The Worlds Finest, "Had Batman Adventures continued, Dan Slott said, The Red Hood would have been revealed as Andrea Beaumont’s mother, Victoria Beaumont, who also happened to be the real head of the Valestra mob. Years ago, she faked her death in an attempt to get her family away from the Valestra mob, and was disappointed to see her family eventually fall into their clutches. However, when she saw what happened to her husband, and what eventually became of her daughter, she felt it was time to not only get revenge on the Valestra mob, but take Gotham for herself. Inevitably, this would have led to a devastating confrontation between her, Batman, and Andrea Beaumont."[5]

In other media[edit | edit source]

Television[edit | edit source]

  • The Joker incarnation of Red Hood appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Jeff Bennett.[6] This version is a heroic alternate reality version of the Joker and is shown to be an extremely capable fighter, able to hold his own against multiple members of the Injustice Syndicate. In addition, he wields projectile weapons shaped like spades (a reference to his mainstream counterpart's playing card motif). Like his original counterpart, Red Hood was disfigured after falling into a chemical vat at the Ace Chemical Plant but he was already a superhero and was deliberately thrown in by Owlman, leaving his sanity 'bent but not broken'. In the episode "Deep Cover for Batman!", he tries to rally his world's heroes (alternate versions of the villains from the "normal" universe) against the Injustice Syndicate but they are defeated. Red Hood escapes and tries to use a device to recruit help from the 'mainstream' Earth but he is captured by the Injustice Syndicate. After Batman is attacked by Owlman (sent to Batman's universe on a reconnaissance mission), he journeys to Red Hood's dimension. During scenes in this episode, Red Hood's face is shown albeit in shadow which shows a bit of green hair and a wide grin that clearly resembles Joker. After the heroes are freed and the villains defeated, Red Hood thanks Batman and hopes his counterpart can return the favor. Sure enough in the next episode "Game Over for Owlman!", Batman is forced to team-up with the Joker in order to defeat Owlman (who has been impersonating Batman and ruining the Dark Knight's reputation).
  • The Joker version of Red Hood is alluded in the Teen Titans Go! animated series. In the episode "Sidekick", his helmet appears in batcave.
  • The Red Hood Gang appears in the live-action Gotham television series.[7] As seen in the self-titled episode "Red Hood", the group consists of Gus Floyd (portrayed by Michael Goldsmith), Clyde Destro (portrayed by Jonny Coyne), Trope (portrayed by Peter Brensinger), Regan (portrayed by Kevin T. Collins), and Haskins (portrayed by Peter Albrink). The Red Hood identity is conceived by gang member Gus Floyd who made the red hood mask to wear over his head. The Red Hood Gang are first seen where they rob a bank. A security guard tries to stop them only to be knocked out. The Red Hood Gang makes off the money and the red-hooded member throws the money to the crowd as a diversion for the police. The Red Hood Gang then plan their next move at Kleg's Auto. After Gus mentioned that the wearer of the Red Hood should lead the Red Hood Gang, gang member Clyde Destro shoots Gus Floyd and takes his red hood mask to lead the Red Hood Gang. James Gordon and Harvey Bullock find the body of Gus at Kleg's Auto. The Red Hood Gang then raids another bank claiming that they want the bank's insurance by stealing its vault money. Clyde is later approached by one of his operatives named Trope wanting the red hood mask to impress his girlfriend. Upon arriving at Clyde's apartment, Bullock finds Clyde on the ground with a bullet wound on him while Trope has gotten away. As Bullock wants the names of the Red Hood Gang members, Gordon found the denied loans where Clyde is revealed to be a baker wanting money from the banks that rejected him. Upon finding a clue of the next bank heist, the three remaining members of the Red Hood Gang are confronted by the police which leads to a shoot out where Trope, Regan, and Haskins are killed. While the police officers still at the bank are not looking, the red hood mask is later found on the sidewalk by an unknown young boy. Upon donning the hood, the boy mimes shooting the police officers. According to the "Gotham Chronicle" website, Clyde survived the gun wound and is in police custody.[8] In the episode "Mad City: Anything for You", a second version of the Red Hood Gang appears. This group had Butch Gilzean as their secret benefactor and consisted of an unidentified leader (portrayed by Michael Stoyanov) and some unnamed members. The second Red Hood Gang first appeared where they crashed Mayor Oswald Cobblepot's press conference and destroyed the statue of Getrud Kapelpot. Upon Barbara Kean and Tabithia Galavan finding out his connections with the Red Hood Gang and not wanting to find him with the group, Butch Gilzean used his Thompson submachine gun to kill the entire Red Hood Gang by the time Oswald Cobblepot and Chief of Staff Edward Nygma arrived. Later on at Mayor Cobblepot's party at The Sirens, Nygma had figured out Gilzean's connection with them and set up a series of events at the party that exposed Gilzean's connection to the Red Hood Gang.

Film[edit | edit source]

  • The Jason Todd incarnation of Red Hood appears as the main antagonist in the 2010 animated film Batman: Under the Red Hood, voiced by Jensen Ackles.[9] The original version of Red Hood (voiced by John DiMaggio) was alluded during a flashback, which references the events of The Killing Joke where the man claimed he was "set up". It's also implied that several people have used the Red Hood persona.
  • In the 2013 animated film Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, a statue of the Joker version of Red Hood can be seen inside the Batcave.
  • The Joker version of Red Hood appears in Batman: The Killing Joke, voiced by Mark Hamill. The man who would become Joker assumed this alias when he took some criminals to Ace Chemical Plant which led to a confrontation with Batman. Unlike in the comic, however, the Red Hood tripped and fell inside the chemical vat.
  • A version of Red Hood makes a cameo appearance in The Lego Batman Movie. He appears as one of the villains the Joker uses to attack Commissioner Gordon's retirement party. However, this version is a separate character from the Joker and his identity is not revealed.
  • A Feudal Japan version of Red Hood appeared in the 2018 anime film Batman Ninja. His English voice actor is Yuri Lowenthal while voiced by Akira Ishida in the Japanese version.

Video games[edit | edit source]

  • The Joker version of Red Hood is alluded in Batman: Arkham City. Hugo Strange's interview tape mentions that the Joker got his Red Hood outfit from Carmine Falcone's men to rob the Ace Chemicals Plant which led to his transformation during a fight with Batman.
  • The Joker version of Red Hood appears in Batman: Arkham Origins. In an interview with Harleen Quinzel, the Joker has a brief flashback sequence in which the player controls his Red Hood guise. His Red Hood appearance then becomes a character trophy that the player can freely view in the Extras menu. Details on the Red Hood can also be found on Batman's casefile board, revealing that the Red Hood, prior to the ACE chemicals encounter, had conducted various daring heists against Gotham City, and had caused enough damage in his schemes that then-Mayor Hamilton Hill to make his arrest via the GCPD a high priority, stolen over $300K, causing Kane to demand for him to be unmasked (although Batman's notes on the matter imply that he may not have actually been responsible for that crime), with his actions costing Gotham well over a million paper bills, with Commissioner Loeb eventually declaring that the Red Hood was "run out of the city." Like in Under the Red Hood, the crime-board also implies that Red Hood may have been multiple people rather than just one criminal.
  • The Joker version of Red Hood is mentioned in Lego Batman: The Video Game as a part of the Joker's biography.
  • The Jason Todd version of Red Hood appears in the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita versions of Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes as a playable character.
  • The original version of Red Hood appears as the Joker's alternate attire released as DLC for the fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us.[10]
  • The Jason Todd version of Red Hood appears as a playable character in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, voiced by Troy Baker.
  • Jason Todd appears as the Red Hood in the 2015 video game Batman: Arkham Knight, voiced by Troy Baker. Towards the end of the main campaign, the Arkham Knight reveals his identity as Jason Todd to Batman. During their final confrontation, Batman damages the Arkham Knight's visor, prompting Jason to discard it and reveal a red domed helmet underneath. Jason later adopts the Red Hood persona in his own DLC storyline, and becomes a murderous vigilante with extreme measures, such as the use of guns and lethal force.[11]
  • The Jason Todd incarnation of Red Hood's suit appears as an iconic gear set style called "Gotham's Outlaw" in DC Universe Online.
  • The Jason Todd version of Red Hood is a playable DLC character in NetherRealm Studio's Injustice 2 video game, voiced by Cameron Bowen. In his ending, after he kills Brainiac, Batman and Superman come to blows again to which Red Hood admits that, while he supports Superman’s killing of criminals, he’s no fan of dictatorships. Jason instead vows to protect the innocent rather than take a side, while still punishing criminals his way.[12]
  • The Jason Todd version of Red Hood is a playable character in Lego DC Super-Villains voiced by Cameron Bowen.

Merchandise[edit | edit source]

  • An action figure of the original version of Red Hood was released as part of the Justice League Unlimited toyline, included in a six figure set.
  • In July 2014, DC Collectibles released a New 52 version of the Jason Todd as the Red Hood along with his teammates from The Outlaws (Arsenal and Starfire).
  • A Red Hood figure was released in Mattel's DC Comics Multiverse line, based on his appearance in Batman Arkham Knight.
  • In 2015, DC Collectibles released a Gamestop exclusive Red Hood (Jason Todd) figure based on his appearance in the Red Hood DLC for the video game Batman: Arkham Knight. In 2016, DC Collectibles released another figure of Jason Todd in series 3 of their Batman: Arkham Knight line, this time featuring a remould of the Arkham Knight figure's body, and a slight repaint of the Red Hood figure's head, depicting Todd's transition between his Arkham Knight and Red Hood personas.
  • Funko has released a Red Hood Mystery Mini in their Batman: Arkham Series line.
  • The Imaginext DC Super Friends line includes a Jason Todd Red Hood in the Series 2 blind bag set from 2016

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Killing Joke, Alan Moore & Brian Bolland, p.48 of Deluxe Edition
  2. Red Hood and the Outlaws #1-#2 (2011)
  3. Red Hood and the Outlaws #18 (2013)
  4. Infinite Crisis (Hardcover ed.). p. 258. "Well, Geoff's idea was to have Red Hood be the Jason Todd of Earth-Two. So he'd be this kid, who wanted to be Batman's sidekick. He sneaks into the Batcave, and the first thing he sees as he boots up the bat-computers is...Batman murdered. And so he uses Bruce's stuff, training himself to take over for him. I think there was even talk of his possibly being Deathstroke's Robin." 
  5. " - The World's Top Destination For Comic, Movie & TV news". Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  6. "345552_FINAL_Publicity.jpg (image)". Retrieved 2010-12-29. 
  7. Moviepilot (4 February 2015). "The Red Hood Gang Comes to Gotham in February".,manual. 
  8. "Gotham Chronicle —". Retrieved 18 March 2018. 
  9. "New Batman DVD to peek out from 'Under the Red Hood' – Hero Complex – Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. 
  10. "Infamous: Gods Among Us: Joker Gets Three New Skins in 'Killing Joke' Pack". Gamenguide. 
  11. Kato, Matthew (July 23, 2014). "Play As The Red Hood In Batman: Arkham Knight including his also the main villain of the story Arkham Knight". Game Informer. GameStop. Archived from the original on July 23, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2016. 
  12. Craddock, David. "Injustice 2's Red Hood DLC Arrives on June 13". Retrieved 2017-06-26. 
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