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From Robin to Red Hood: The Many Masks of Jason Todd

From Robin to Red Hood: The Many Masks of Jason Todd

By Joshua Lapin-Bertone Thursday, August 12th, 2021

Tonight, Titans returns with its first season to debut exclusively on HBO Max…and what a promising season it is. Set at least partially in Gotham, it introduces Barbara Gordon, Tim Drake and classic Bat-villain the Scarecrow, while sending Jason Todd into a spiral that will ultimately result in the debut of his gun-toting alter ego—Red Hood.

But did you know that, for all its infamy, the Red Hood is only one of many identities Jason Todd has used over the years? Of course, you could be forgiven for not associating Jason’s other personas with him as they’re all hand-me-downs from other heroes. In fact, even the Red Hood is technically derived from the Joker’s early alter ego. It’s starting to become clear why Jason has such a big chip on his shoulder…

While it’s unlikely we’ll see Curran Walters’ Jason taking on all of these other identities on Titans, you never really know with this show. So before you dive into the third season, join us for this look back at the many masks of Jason Todd.
 

Robin

Costume: Jason wore Dick’s pixie boot hand-me-downs during his time as Robin.

Tenure: After months of lobbying for the job, Jason became Robin in Batman #368. Sadly, his career as Robin ended after the Joker murdered him in Batman #428.

Notable Moment: To be honest, the most notable thing Jason did as Robin was get blown up. It’s been 30 years and any movie that’s acknowledged him has either referenced or revolved around the murder.
 

Red Hood

Costume: No pixie boots for this antihero! Jason’s Red Hood outfit is a sleek black jumpsuit, with a cool leather jacket, and a bright red helmet.

Tenure: Jason was first seen as Red Hood in Batman #635. The identity was his idea of a sick joke, since it was once used by the Joker. Although he’s adopted many other personas since then, he’s always gone back to Red Hood.

Notable Moment: If you’re a Jason Todd fan, then there was something satisfying about seeing him beat the Joker with a crowbar in Batman #638.
 

Nightwing

Costume: Once again, Jason decided to rip off Dick Grayson. His Nightwing costume was no different than Dick’s, and the only way people were able to distinguish the two of them was their hair. Oh, and Jason’s FAR more bloodthirsty tactics.

Tenure: Jason trolled Dick by stealing his identity in Nightwing #118. After sparring with Dick a few times, Jason decided to go his own way in Nightwing #122.

Notable Moment: During Jason’s tenure as Nightwing, he mutated into a giant slug and began eating mobsters. Everybody in the Bat-Family collectively agreed to never mention that moment again…but we haven’t forgotten!
 

Red Robin

Costume: Another Dick Grayson hand me down! The Red Robin outfit was first seen in Kingdom Come #2 and Jason’s version is identical. The uniform is a mix of red and black, with a majestic bird symbol on the chest.

Tenure: Jason received the Red Robin outfit from Earth-51’s Batman in Countdown #14. However, Jason soon grew tired of going on cosmic adventures with Donna Troy and Kyle Rayner and decided to leave the Red Robin identity behind in Countdown #4. (Note: The Countdown series was published with reverse numbering.)

Notable Moment: Red Robin used a boulder to smash the Joker’s skull in Countdown #13. Even though it was the Joker from another reality, it didn’t make the experience any less cathartic.
 

Batman

Costume: Jason upgraded the traditional Batman outfit, adding extra armor, a belt of lethal weapons and a modified helmet.

Tenure: During a period where Batman was presumed dead, Jason watched a video of Bruce’s final message to him. Bruce pleaded with Jason to get professional help, and well…the former Robin didn’t take too kindly to that. As a result, Jason became a gun-wielding Dark Knight in Batman: Battle for the Cowl #1. He went a bit crazy and attacked his former allies before being defeated by Nightwing in Batman: Battle for the Cowl #3. Afterwards, Jason resumed his identity as Red Hood.

Notable Moment: Jason’s battle with Nightwing in Batman: Battle for the Cowl #3 was epic, even if it was heartbreaking to see the two brothers hurting each other.
 

Honorable Mentions

If you thought that was the end, then think again! While he was first training with Batman, Jason proposed the codenames Ishmael, Masked Avenger, Kid Dynamite, Tonto, Eagle, Domino, Cardinal, Bluejay, Wonder-Boy, and Flying Ace. It’s a good thing Jason settled on Robin, because yikes! (Also, that costume? Yeah, let’s put that one in the back of the closet and never look at it again, thank you.) While working with Batman Inc., Jason briefly took on the identity of Wingman, and more recently, in the Arkham video game franchise, he adopted the codename Arkham Knight.

While all of these other personas made for fun distractions, we’re glad that Jason’s largely settled into his persona as Red Hood. Though it wasn’t an easy process, and Red Hood is controversial, all of which should make this season of Titans must-see TV. We can’t wait to see Curran Walters finally go under the Red Hood!
 

Titans returns today with an all-new season on HBO Max. Not yet an HBO Max subscriber? Sign up today to enjoy the best of DC movies and TV.

Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DCComics.com and writes our monthly Batman column, "Gotham Gazette." Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.