Jason Todd Is Utilizing One Of Batman's Most Effective Crimefighting Weapons

jason todd's red hood

Red Hood has been the black sheep of the Batfamily for a long time. Though he works with and gets along with them all (to varying degrees), his tactics aren't something they can always get behind, even with Batman giving his unofficial seal of approval to Jason Todd's team of Outlaws. Still, it's not all bad, as his tactics haves allowed him to embed himself as something of a crime lord within Gotham's underbelly, disrupting some less than savory operations on more than one occasion. The distance from the Family has been Todd's greatest asset since his return from the dead, and in his solo issue of Batman: Prelude to the Wedding, he gets to use that distance for his own gain.

With the wedding between Batman and Catwoman swiftly approaching, Jason finds himself enlisted by his dad to watch over Selina's bachelorette party in secret. (Read: spy on her, something Jason immediately calls Bruce out on.) After agreeing out of the kindness of his heart, and also a rather fair price of $150,000, Jason spends the night tailing his future surrogate mother and listening to her friends talk about Nightwing being the hottest Bat-hero in Gotham. What begins as a fairly boring night changes, though, after fellow Outlaw Bizarro warns Jason of criminal activity not far from the nightclub Selina and her posse are hanging out in.

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Jason beats down the men, all of whom are wearing gold Anarky masks, and subsequently ties them all up. He then proceeds to act like his father, leveraging the urban myths about the Red Hood to his advantage. As is the case with Batman, there's a lot of mystery surrounding his identity and origin, and Jason leverages that mystery with his hostages. Like a camp counselor telling a scary story, he ominously discloses how Joker was once a member of the Red Hood Gang, and the circumstances that led to him adopting the Red Hood moniker as an antihero, telling them that only one of those stories is the truth.

Of course, all of them are more or less true, but Gotham being the place that it is, it's hard to separate truth from fiction; there are probably grown adults in the city that still believe Batman is an actual bat, for example.

Jason Todd being Jason Todd, he steps things up a notch beyond Batman's tactics, throwing out the possibility of him being a zombie who eats souls, an apparent callback to the four evil Robins we met during Dark Nights: Metal, controlled by the Batman Who Laughs and all of them who only knew the singular word "crow," itself calling back to Jason's infamous pummeling by way of crowbar. Of course, in its own way, this is completely true -- Jason is technically a zombie, if by no other definition than him coming back to life after a period of being dead.

In the grand scheme of things, it's a relatively small moment in Red Hood vs. Anarky, something that serves as a way for Jason to become aware of the gold-faced villain's presence in Gotham City. But it's a moment that says a lot about the people of Gotham; namely that for all the incredibly weird stuff that goes on there, from immortal secret societies that attack the city one after the other to monster mud men, even the more relatively mundane things like a crime boss in a red helmet has his own mythology surrounding him. With the exception of the Joker, every crime boss in Gotham has a relatively well known origin story, but the Red Hood's remains an enigma, and likely will for a long time.

The Red Hood has always frightened Gotham's criminals because of how far he's willing to go, and he likely became doubly intimidating when he started running around with aliens, Amazons and Kryptonian clones. But in the end, the thing that makes him truly scary is that no one really knows where he comes from.

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