Batman has been protecting Gotham City for decades now. He has since employed the same methods and morals in that time, but the crime only expands. As the Dark Knight increases his tactics, so too do the bad guys increase theirs. It seems that this dance will be going on until the end of time, but maybe that’s an indicator that someone else should fight for the lives of Gotham’s citizens. With all of the Bat-Family heroes put into consideration, we have decided that Red Hood is the most deserving of the bunch. Jason Todd was the second Robin who was killed by the Joker and later resurrected by the League of Assassins.
In that time, he’s gained the proper experience to become a ruthless anti-hero- one who isn’t afraid to what’s necessary to get the job done. Because of Gotham City’s ever-increasing crime problem, perhaps it’s time to get someone a little more unhinged to take the stand against supervillains. Red Hood has all of the necessary experience, more than enough willpower, and a different moral compass that we feel would make him the hero that Gotham needs. Here are 15 reasons why Red Hood should be Gotham City’s new protector.
15. WILLING TO KILL
One big trait that has defined the Dark Knight for years is that he won’t kill. He feels that the line of killing is what separates him from the bad guys. Once you cross that line, you become no better than them. While there’s certainly merit to that, there is an argument to be made the other way around. By not killing the supervillains, they continuously break out and end more lives as a result.
Here is where Red Hood comes into play. He has demonstrated a willingness to kill ever since he came out of the Lazarus Pit. If a sinister villain threatens Gotham, Red Hood will deal with him once and for all. The Joker would be no more. Penguin and his goons would be taken care of. Two Face wouldn’t be struggling with his multiple sides. Gotham’s folks would be safer.
14. IMPRESSIVE ARMORY
Because Batman isn’t willing to kill, he also refuses to use any sort of firearm. His parents were killed by a gun so long ago, and he decided that he would never be like that. However, this puts him at an extreme disadvantage against most criminals, because they’re usually armed with all sorts of weapons to take down the Caped Crusader at a distance.
The Red Hood wouldn’t have this problem. Not only does he carry guns at all times, but he is extremely skilled with them. Anyone else with a rifle wouldn’t be able to get a shot off before Jason Todd but a bullet through their heads. Not only that, he has several other weapons at the ready that Batman would never use.
13. STILL YOUNG
One problem that Bruce Wayne has faced for many years is that he will get old. There are actually several DC stories that deal with this (The Dark Knight Returns, Batman Beyond). He knows that he can’t protect Gotham City forever, and because he won’t kill his rivals, the people would be in more danger than ever.
Jason Todd would eventually have that problem, but much farther down the road. He’s still fairly young and in his prime. If he were dedicated to saving Gotham City, he would be able to do it a few decades longer than Batman could. Coupling that with his license to kill, and Red Hood could very well clean up the streets completely by the time he is done.
12. NOT AFRAID TO ASK FOR SUPERPOWERED HELP
To be fair here, Batman does have an entire League of heroes he can call on when things get extremely hairy, but in terms of protecting Gotham City, he almost never does. He either chooses to fly solo or use other members of the Bat-Family (people who don’t have any powers). While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, when the villains of Gotham start using superpowers to their advantage, it might be time to call in the big guns.
Take Red Hood for example. This killer has made powerful friends in the DC Universe, the most notable of which being his team of Outlaws first depicted in Red Hood and the Outlaws. As of the DC Rebirth launch, Bizarro and Artemis have become his pals on top of Starfire and Arsenal. In short, he’s got a few big guns he can call in.
11. DOESN’T HOLD BACK
While we do applaud Batman for taking the moral high road, one obstacle that spawns as a result of not killing your foes is the fact that he has to hold back. Batman is a strong guy, and if he were to throw a punch too hard, he would instantly kill just about anyone he fought. He has to restrain himself in order to maintain his image.
Because Red Hood simply doesn’t care what he does to criminals, he doesn’t hold back at all. This would make him a more effective fighter, as none of Gotham’s villains ever hold back. Red Hood wouldn’t be afraid to get his hands dirty and would thus fight as brutally as he needed to. When dealing with the impressive roster of Gotham, that’s a good thing.
10. TRAINED BY POWERFUL PEOPLE
When Bruce Wayne wanted to become Batman, he trained around the world with multiple different people. When Jason Todd was resurrected by the League, he knew that in order to take Batman on, he would have to do the same. However, he went above and beyond his old mentor in that department.
Not only was he trained by the League and around the world, he was also trained by the All-Caste: a group that predates even the League of Assassins. Those people actually taught Ra’s al Ghul how to fight, and those are the people who gave Red Hood a lot of his combat know-how. One could argue that he’d be more capable than even Batman, but it’s clear that there’d be almost no opponent that could outmatch him.
9. WOULD TARGET THE JOKER
If there’s one thing the Red Hood is known for, that would be dying at the hands of the Joker. After the fans of the comics hated the character, they essentially voted for him to be killed. Because of this, the writers had Joker kidnap and beat him with a crowbar until he was a bloody mess. Then an explosion finished the job.
When he returned to Gotham, Red Hood’s first mission was to kill the Clown Prince of Crime in an act of revenge. The only reason he didn’t was because of Batman. Given the opportunity as Gotham’s protector, Red Hood would go after the Joker first and kill him. This would mean that Gotham City would be immediately rid of their most notorious criminal and mass murderer. Thank you, Jason Todd.
8. MORE COMPELLING
Batman has been around for quite a long time, and because his story has been told for decades, he’s not that much of a compelling character anymore. He knows where he stands in terms of his morality, and the majority of his stories nowadays come from the external problems he has to face rather than the internal ones.
Red Hood, on the other hand, is a much more compelling character. After being a killing criminal, he moved over to a more heroic side but still struggles with his morality at times. He’s not sure what he wants to do with himself and thus has more room to fully grow into his own. His stories as the hero of Gotham could be just as much about him as they would be about the villains he fights.
7. MORE THEMATIC
The only thing that scares Jason Todd is the one person who killed him: the Joker. Because of this, he decided to create his persona on an old costume that the Jester of Genocide wore before he became a psychopath. That’s how he became the Red Hood.
Keeping that in mind, how much more thematic would it be that a hero created by the Joker would be the one to protect Gotham? It would present a much more metaphoric concept. There would literally be two sides of the Joker warring over Gotham’s soul. And in causing so much chaos, the dastardly villain would have created his own death at the hands of Red Hood: his old persona. That would be a comic worth looking into.
6. CAN DEFEAT MAGICAL FOES
One thing that the Justice League isn’t well equipped to do is fighting magical foes. That’s why they organized people like Swamp Thing, Etrigan, and John Constantine to form the Justice League Dark. When a magical threat comes to the world, it’s this team who is called to action.
However, with Red Hood, he has a means of dealing with more mystic enemies. In Red Hood and the Outlaws, he came across a weapon called the All-Blades. These magical swords can actually cut down foes who dabble in the dark arts. While the Essence did break them later on, who’s to say that Jason wouldn’t figure out another method of dealing with magical foes or find some other weapon that could do the same?
5. SCARIER THAN BATMAN
Batman employs a lot of scare tactics in order to make his enemies tremble in their boots. However, the fear he brings can be overcome, as there are several lines that he’s not willing to cross. And once you break that initial barrier of seeing the Batman for the first time, he’s not all that scary.
Bring Red Hood into the mix, and you’ve got something worth being scared of. He’s much more unhinged and will do whatever it takes to achieve his goals. If he’s got you in his sights, there’s nowhere you can hide where he couldn’t find you. In that sense, he’s scarier than the Dark Knight because he follows through with his threats. It’s not all theatrics with Red Hood — it’s the real deal.
4. HAS A BIG JOURNEY AHEAD OF HIM
While this probably could’ve been factored into “more compelling,” we wanted to highlight this point on its own. Batman knows who he is. Nightwing knows who he is. Even Tim Drake knows who he is and what he wants to do with himself. The only member of the Bat-Family who has yet to realize what they want out of life is the Red Hood.
This is something that would be greater explored if given the chance to protect Gotham City. The way he dealt with criminals would change as he discovered something new about himself. He doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life, and seeing that move forward as he protected the innocent citizens would be interesting to watch. As the people adjusted to this new way of crimefighting, so too would Red Hood be adjusting himself as he learns to grow as a character.
3. NEVER BACKS DOWN
One thing that is true of most of the Bat-Family is that they never back down. This was a philosophy that originated from Bruce Wayne himself. Even when he was broken by Bane in Knightfall, he didn’t give up and eventually returned to the cape and cowl. Red Hood, like his old mentor, employs this method as well. When fighting for what he believes in, he never backs down.
While this is a similarity between him and Batman, the reason it would serve Red Hood’s crimefighting career better is how willing he is to get the job done, no matter the cost. It’s this trait working with the rest of his ideas that makes it worthy of its own spot on the list. Remember how much work he put into giving Batman the slip in Batman: Under the Hood.
2. BECAME A HERO FOR HIRE
Profit is something rarely explored when it comes to heroics, but there have been a few times where it became a theme. Marvel did it with their Heroes for Hire being Luke Cage and Iron Fist. DC also played their hand with the Rent-A-Bat service starring Red Hood and Arsenal.
The reason this would make Red Hood a better fighter for Gotham is because, primarily, he would have to have some sort of income to get more toys and equipment. Secondly, it would make him more in tune to the smaller scale things going on in Gotham City. He would thus have a much better grasp over how crime functioned within Gotham, and be better equipped for how to handle any situation that may come his way.
1. HAS A COOLER COSTUME
While this definitely comes down to personal preference, it’s hard to argue that Red Hood’s costume isn’t cool. Being a much more militaristic approach to Joker’s Red Hood costume, Jason Todd created an outfit that was not only imposing, but extremely memorable, while still paying tribute to his mentor and his roots.
Sure, Batman’s costume is cool and classic, but the more unique design seen on Jason Todd’s uniform deserves some recognition as well. It’s so drastically different from any hero Gotham has ever had that it stands out as a result. While it may not allow him to be more “stealthy”, he has more than enough fighting skills and weapons to make up for it. The look is what we feel a hero in 2017 that has sworn to protect a crime-infested city like Gotham would, and should, wear.
Do you agree that Red Hood should become Gotham’s protector? Let us know in the comments!
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