2. Jason Todd – Former Robin, Current Red Hood.

Of all the major character changes the return number 2 on this list probably threw me for the biggest loop of the entire event. When I began collecting comics Jason Todd, the short-lived and forever memorialized second Robin, had been cold and in the grave a couple of years before I even entered my first comic book shop. By that time, the young Tim Drake was learning the ropes as the new Robin. Jason Todd’s death, while a bit of a gimmick at the time, would prove to become a bedrock moment in the evolution of Batman and Bruce Wayne’s mythology throughout the inter-Crisis

From the beginning then, Jason Todd was the lost Robin. This was also the time before the Internet when your comics news was slim at best, and I had no access to the past issues featuring Todd. So, for me, Jason Todd, was the Robin costume put on display, he was a ghost, a tragic accident that Batman, Bruce Wayne could never fully overcome. It would shape how Bruce would take to Tim, and how the Batman would train his new Boy Wonder. In death, Jason became more consequential then he ever would have become had he stayed on as Robin.

An early hint that the editorial minds at DC were looking to bring Jason Todd back came during Jim Lee and Jeoph Loeb’s Batman: Hush run. The company floated a trail balloon to gauge fan reaction by placing him the story-arc and then performing a bate and switch on reader’s by making it appear that Todd had been Clayface the entire time. Fans were split, but the reaction was enough to bring him back from the dead.

Today Jason Todd seems like DC’s answer to Deadpool; and that’s a shame because with Todd’s tortured past he could easily be written as DC’s answer to Punisher, and we all, across this world, would be happier. Fanboy lamentations aside, the story-arc “Under the Red Hood” by Judd Winick is really well done. The anger Jason feels towards Batman for not avenging his death and killing that Joker is raw, not to mention the betrayal at seeing Tim in the Robin costume. Jason looked to Bruce like a father, it appeared to Jason that he didn’t matter at all, because in the end, he was just replaced by Tim.

Previous: Ted Kord Jamie Reyes, the Blue Beetle.
Next: Tim Drake – the greatest Boy Wonder of them all.

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