Red Hood: Jason Todd's Greatest Mistake COMPLETELY Shatters Him
Renaldo Matadeen
Red Hood vs Batman feature
Red Hood vs Batman feature
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the story "Red Hood and Batman: Cheer Part 2" from Batman: Urban Legends #1, by Chip Zdarsky, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Marcos To, Adriano Lucas and Becca Carey, on sale now.
In the DC Universe, there have been many fights between Jason Todd and Bruce Wayne, as Batman continues to hold out hope that he can one day make his former protege see the light. It doesn't matter if he's Red Hood or working as someone else, the Dark Knight constantly tries to engrave in Jason's mind that killing isn't right, not for him or any vigilante.
In Batman: Urban Legends #2, this philosophical debate reaches a violent fever pitch that totally breaks Jason, as he;s confronted with the harsh reality that he's killed again.
In the previous issue, Jason shot and killed Tyler's dad point-blank. He was an abusive junkie and a deadly threat to his mom, who's left barely alive in hospital. In flashbacks, we see that Jason went through similar problems with her mom's boyfriends, which explains why he responded to this new bout of toxicity from Tyler's dad with such venom, hate and aggression. From his point of view, he had to kill him or else he'd keep hurting people.
Back in his apartment, Jason realizes that he's crossed the line. With the help of Oracle, Bruce tracks Jason down, and as expected, a fight breaks out. Jason hates Batman's moral code and air of sanctimony that he exudes, but the Dark Knight knows how to deal with him.
Jason's emotionally compromised and a bit easier to beat down, and the Caped Crusader leaving him bloody on his knees. It seems like Jason's also letting the punishment happen because he feels guilty for his crime. Bruce wants him to stay down, warning Jason that his actions have consequences. However, Tyler runs in front of Jason to shield him, and this is the moment that breaks Red Hood totally.
Hearing Tyler call him a hero wrecks his psyche because Jason knows it's not true. If his mom dies, he'd be part of the reason that Tyler's now an orphan -- something he knows could destroy the kid's world.
As much as he thinks Batman is a failed parent and a wannabe god, he knows Bruce has always been right. It shows when he hugs Tyler, telling him everything will be fine. Jason's finally accepted that he's as bad as the monsters he tries to put down. The fact that Jason has this revelation right in front of Batman only makes it more poignant.