Red Hood

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Red Hood
Jason Todd as Red Hood on the cover of Red Hood/Arsenal #10 (May 2016). Art by Dexter Soy.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First comic appearanceAs Joker:
Detective Comics #168 (February 1951)
As Jason Todd:
Batman #635 (February 2005)
Created byBill Finger (writer)
Lew Sayre Schwartz (artist)
Win Mortimer (artist)

The Red Hood is an alias used by multiple fictional characters and a criminal organization in comic books published by DC Comics.[1] Jason Todd is the most well-known character to assume the Red Hood identity in the main DC Comics continuity while the Joker, who is Jason's killer, had also previously assumed the Red Hood identity.

Fictional character biography[edit]

The Joker[edit]

The Red Hood first appeared in Detective Comics #168 (February 1951), in the story "The Man Behind The Red Hood!".[2] In this original continuity, he became the future Joker; a flashback reveals that a criminal, who at that time called himself the Red Hood after the (seemingly) eyeless red dome-shaped hood worn by him, attempted to rob a playing card factory. While chased, he fell into a catch basin full of chemicals, which disfigured him, then escaped by swimming to safety (a breathing apparatus inside the hood preventing him from drowning). Driven insane by his change of appearance, he recreates himself as the Joker. A decade later, the Joker resumes the guise, while another criminal attempts to adopt the identity, too.

In Batman: The Killing Joke, writer Alan Moore added the new detail that the future Joker, at that time a cash-strapped, unsuccessful comedian, had been made to adopt the Red Hood guise by a gang of criminals so that he could play the patsy for them. This story presented a darker version of the origin and introduced the idea that the Joker acted as an unreliable narrator concerning his own past.

A retcon appears between the Batman #450–451 story line The Return of the Joker and the one-shot graphic novel Batman: The Man Who Laughs. In The Return of the Joker, the Joker resurfaces after his apparent death at the end of the Batman: A Death in the Family storyline. The Joker rummages through his belongings, finds the Red Hood costume and wears it for a robbery in order to regain his confidence and become the Joker again. Batman: The Man Who Laughs is a retelling of the Joker's first appearance, a few months after the Red Hood's plunge into the chemicals, thus tying the story into both Batman: Year One and Batman: The Killing Joke. Here, Batman is in possession of the Red Hood costume, presumably having discovered it on the banks where the Joker washed up after his swim in the chemical basin.

Jason Todd[edit]

Jason Todd as Red Hood on the cover of Red Hood and the Outlaws #29 (May 2014). Art by Philip Tan.

Another version of Red Hood appears in the Batman: Under the Hood storyline running through Batman comics, written by Judd Winick. Jason Todd, the former Robin killed by the Joker in Batman: A Death in the Family, is revealed to have been resurrected by Ra's al Ghul via the Lazarus Pit. But the pit changes him and his emotions and he becomes the new Red Hood. His debut culminates in a fateful confrontation with those he feels have wronged him. He beats the Joker with a crowbar (mirroring the way the Joker had tortured him before killing him with a bomb) and later kidnaps him. The new Red Hood assumes control over various gangs in Gotham City and starts a one-man war against Black Mask's criminal empire. He actively tries to cleanse the city of corruption, such as the illegal drug trade and gang violence, but in a violent, antiheroic way. He eventually comes to blows against Batman and other heroes, including Nightwing, the new Robin (Tim Drake), Onyx, and Green Arrow.

In the second story arc of Batman and Robin by Grant Morrison and Philip Tan, Jason retakes the Red Hood mantle. With the goal of making the very concept of Batman obsolete, he puts a lot of effort into public relations: he drastically alters his Red Hood costume to look more like a traditional superhero outfit, and recruits his own sidekick known as Scarlet. In their war on crime, Red Hood and Scarlet freely kill criminals, villains and anyone who gets in their way, even the police. After all of Red Hood's killings, he leaves behind a calling card which states "let the punishment fit the crime". He describes his vendetta against Dick Grayson as "the revenge of one crazy man in a mask on another crazy man in a mask".

After Barry Allen's involuntary tampering with the continuum, Red Hood is shown, along with Arsenal and Starfire, as one of the Outlaws, a close knit group of anti-heroes. Still not above killing, and still angry at the world, Jason has now reverted to the street clothes costume, forgoing his feud with Batman for stealthier, more cloak and dagger missions. Eventually, Jason and Batman reconcile and call a truce between them.[3][4]

In an interview for the Infinite Crisis hardcover, Jeanine Schaefer states that Geoff Johns originally planned to reintroduce Red Hood as the Jason Todd of the Earth-Two universe, but such plans were discarded.[5]

Red Hood Gang[edit]

In The New 52, a 2011 reboot of the DC Comics universe, a gang called the "Red Hood Gang" appears in issue #0 of Batman (vol. 2). A young Bruce Wayne, not yet Batman, had recently returned to Gotham to start his crime fighting career. One of Bruce's early targets was the Red Hood Gang, which he managed to infiltrate undercover. Unfortunately for Bruce, the leader of the Red Hood Gang knew his group had been infiltrated and managed to weed out a disguised Bruce as the culprit. Though the Red Hood Gang attempted to kill him, Bruce manages to escape into the sewers after the police show up to break up a robbery. The Red Hood Gang eventually follows him into the sewer system, but a prototype motorcycle hidden in the tunnels allows Bruce to escape. The Red Hood Gang is later seen outside of Bruce's apartment, scoping it out for their next hit.[6]

The Red Hood Gang subsequently reappeared in the first story arc of the "Zero Year" event, "Secret City", where five months prior to the birth of Batman, Bruce gets involved with the Red Hood Gang to spoil their plans to sink a pickup truck full of men who refused to join their ranks. During this encounter, it is revealed that the Red Hood Gang's ranks have expanded. It turns out their leader had since begun blackmailing innocent Gotham citizens into joining the group, threatening violence against them if they refused to be his henchmen.[7] They eventually steal an airship belonging to the Penguin and several weapons from Wayne Industries. Bruce discovers that the Red Hood Gang has been doing business with Bruce's uncle, Philip Kane, who was selling them weapons after being forced to join the gang. When Bruce discovers this, he goes to tell Alfred, but a bomb from the Red Hood Gang to "welcome him back to the city" blows up the apartment.[8]

The motivation of the Red Hood Gang comes to light, and it was revealed that they had been inspired by the impact that the murder of Bruce's parents had upon the city. The murders of the famous and beloved Doctor and Mrs. Wayne had made the residents of Gotham fearful, since if even the rich and powerful could be gunned down by a random criminal, no one was safe from being harmed by crime. Embracing nihilism, the Red Hood Gang killed, robbed, and caused suffering in order to make the average citizen know their lives are worthless and they can and will be murdered at any given moment.[9]

The culmination of the Red Hood Gang's campaign of terror was their plan to take over the Axis Chemical Plant and use its resources to create a flesh-eating bacteria. Bruce Wayne, as Batman, lures the Gotham City Police Department to the plant. During the battle that ensues, Phillip Kane is mortally wounded by the leader, who accuses him of betrayal. The police raid the plant and the gang is arrested, while Batman goes after the leader, who ultimately falls into a container of chemicals rather than be taken alive. A few days later, police discover the body of the assumed leader of the gang, Liam Distal, stuffed into a barrel of lye. The lye had dissolved the better part of his remains, meaning there was no way to tell when he was killed and placed there. Bruce surmises that the Red Hood Gang leader he encountered was an impostor and had killed Distal and taken his place, but there was no way to confirm it or know when the impostor murdered Distal.[10] Afterwards, the remaining members of the gang were then killed in an explosion caused by the Joker. It is assumed that after this event, the Red Hood Gang is officially defunct.[11]

Alternate versions[edit]

DCAU comics[edit]

An animated version of the character appears at the end of The Batman Adventures #8. It was meant to be a subplot to be resolved later, but the cancellation of the ongoing series prevented that. Though the creative team (Dan Slott and Ty Templeton) behind the story are hoping for a chance to resolve it, they have yet to do so. It has been stated that this Red Hood is someone crucial to the DC animated universe.

Dan Slott mentioned that the background of the character would tie into a subplot concerning Lucius Fox, the Valestra mob (from Batman: Mask of the Phantasm) and the Powers Family (including an infant Derek Powers from Batman Beyond)

Though the comics storyline was never followed up, Dan Slott told fan website The Worlds Finest, "Had Batman Adventures continued, Dan Slott said, The Red Hood would have been revealed as Andrea Beaumont’s mother, Victoria Beaumont, who also happened to be the real head of the Valestra mob. Years ago, she faked her death in an attempt to get her family away from the Valestra mob, and was disappointed to see her family eventually fall into their clutches. However, when she saw what happened to her husband, and what eventually became of her daughter, she felt it was time to not only get revenge on the Valestra mob, but take Gotham for herself. Inevitably, this would have led to a devastating confrontation between her, Batman, and Andrea Beaumont."[12]

Batman '66[edit]

A version of the Red Hood appears in Batman '66 (which is based on the 1960s Batman TV series). This version of the Red Hood is Professor Anders Overbeck, a psychiatrist who was brainwashed by the Joker through his malfunctioning brain regulator machine.

In other media[edit]


  • The Joker incarnation of Red Hood appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Jeff Bennett.[13] This version is a heroic alternate reality version of the Joker and is shown to be an extremely capable fighter, able to hold his own against multiple members of the Injustice Syndicate. In addition, he wields projectile weapons shaped like spades (a reference to his mainstream counterpart's playing card motif). Like his original counterpart, Red Hood was disfigured after falling into a chemical vat at the Ace Chemical Plant but he was already a superhero and was deliberately thrown in by Owlman, leaving his sanity 'bent but not broken'. In the episode "Deep Cover for Batman!", he tries to rally his world's heroes (alternate versions of the villains from the "normal" universe) against the Injustice Syndicate but they are defeated. Red Hood escapes and tries to use a device to recruit help from the 'mainstream' Earth but he is captured by the Injustice Syndicate. After Batman is attacked by Owlman (sent to Batman's universe on a reconnaissance mission), he journeys to Red Hood's dimension. During scenes in this episode, Red Hood's face is shown albeit in shadow which shows a bit of green hair and a wide grin that clearly resembles Joker. After the heroes are freed and the villains defeated, Red Hood thanks Batman and hopes his counterpart can return the favor. Sure enough in the next episode "Game Over for Owlman!", Batman is forced to team-up with the Joker in order to defeat Owlman (who has been impersonating Batman and ruining the Dark Knight's reputation).
  • The Joker version of Red Hood is alluded in the Teen Titans Go! animated series. In the episode "Sidekick", his helmet appears in Batcave.
  • Two different versions of the Red Hood Gang appear in the live-action Gotham television series.[14]
    • As seen in the self-titled episode "Red Hood", the first version of the Red Hood Gang consists of Gus Floyd (portrayed by Michael Goldsmith), Clyde Destro (portrayed by Jonny Coyne), Trope (portrayed by Peter Brensinger), Regan (portrayed by Kevin T. Collins), and Haskins (portrayed by Peter Albrink). The Red Hood identity is conceived by gang member Gus Floyd who made the red hood mask to wear over his head. The Red Hood Gang are first seen where they rob a bank. A security guard tries to stop them only to be knocked out. The Red Hood Gang makes off the money and the red-hooded member throws the money to the crowd as a diversion for the police. The Red Hood Gang then plan their next move at Kleg's Auto. After Gus mentioned that the wearer of the Red Hood should lead the Red Hood Gang, Clyde Destro shoots Gus Floyd and takes his red hood mask to lead the Red Hood Gang. James Gordon and Harvey Bullock find the body of Gus at Kleg's Auto. The Red Hood Gang then raids another bank claiming that they want the bank's insurance by stealing its vault money. Clyde is later approached by Trope wanting the red hood mask to impress his girlfriend. Upon arriving at Clyde's apartment, Bullock finds Clyde on the ground with a bullet wound on him while Trope has gotten away. As Bullock wants the names of the Red Hood Gang members, Gordon found the denied loans where Clyde is revealed to be a baker wanting money from the banks that rejected him. Upon finding a clue of the next bank heist, the three remaining members of the Red Hood Gang are confronted by the police which leads to a shoot out where Trope, Regan, and Haskins are killed. While the police officers still at the bank are not looking, the red hood mask is later found on the sidewalk by an unknown young boy. Upon donning the hood, the boy mimes shooting the police officers. According to the "Gotham Chronicle" website, Clyde survived the gun wound and is in police custody.[15]
    • In the episode "Mad City: Anything for You", a second version of the Red Hood Gang appears. This group had Butch Gilzean as their secret benefactor and consisted of an unidentified leader (portrayed by Michael Stoyanov) and some unnamed members. The second Red Hood Gang first appeared where they crashed Mayor Oswald Cobblepot's press conference and destroyed the statue of Getrud Kapelpot. Upon Barbara Kean and Tabithia Galavan finding out his connections with the Red Hood Gang and not wanting to find him with the group, Butch Gilzean used his Thompson submachine gun to kill the entire Red Hood Gang by the time Oswald Cobblepot and Chief of Staff Edward Nygma arrived. Later on at Mayor Cobblepot's party at The Sirens, Nygma had figured out Gilzean's connection with them. Nygma and Victor Zsasz set up a series of events at the party that exposed Gilzean's connection to the Red Hood Gang.
  • Jason Todd will become the Red Hood in season 3 of Titans.[16]


  • The two major incarnations of Red Hood appear in the 2010 animated film Batman: Under the Red Hood, voiced primarily by Jensen Ackles (Jason Todd) and briefly by John DiMaggio (the Joker).[17] Jason Todd acted as the main antagonist while the original version was alluded during a flashback (which references The Killing Joke) of being "set up". It's also implied that several people have used the Red Hood persona.
  • The Joker version of Red Hood appears in Batman: The Killing Joke, voiced by Mark Hamill. The man who would be Joker assumed this alias when he took some criminals to Ace Chemical Plant which led to a confrontation with Batman. Unlike in the comic however, the Red Hood tripped and fell inside the chemical vat.
  • A version of Red Hood makes a cameo appearance in The Lego Batman Movie. This version is a separate character from the Joker and his identity is not revealed. The Red Hood appears as one of the villains the Joker uses to attack Gotham City and later Commissioner Gordon's retirement party.

Video games[edit]

  • The Jason Todd incarnation of Red Hood's suit appears as an iconic gear set style called "Gotham's Outlaw" in DC Universe Online.
  • The Jason Todd incarnation of Red Hood will appear as one of the four main playable characters in the 2021 video game, Gotham Knights.

Batman: Arkham[edit]

  • The Joker version of Red Hood appears in Batman: Arkham Origins. In an interview with Harleen Quinzel, the Joker has a brief flashback sequence in which the player controls his Red Hood guise. His Red Hood appearance then becomes a character trophy that the player can freely view in the Extras menu. Details on the Red Hood can also be found on Batman's casefile board, revealing that the Red Hood, prior to the ACE chemicals encounter, had conducted various daring heists against Gotham City, and had caused enough damage in his schemes that then-Mayor Hamilton Hill to make his arrest via the GCPD a high priority, stolen over $300K, causing Kane to demand for him to be unmasked (although Batman's notes on the matter imply that he may not have actually been responsible for that crime), with his actions costing Gotham well over a million paper bills, with Commissioner Loeb eventually declaring that the Red Hood was "run out of the city." Like in Under the Red Hood, the crime-board also implies that the Red Hood may have been multiple people rather than just one criminal.
  • The Jason Todd version of Red Hood appears in Batman: Arkham Knight, voiced by Troy Baker. Towards the main campaign's end, the Arkham Knight reveals his identity: Jason Todd. During their final confrontation, Batman damages the Arkham Knight's visor, prompting Jason to discard and reveal a red domed helmet underneath. Jason later adopts the Red Hood persona in his own DLC storyline and becomes a murderous vigilante with extreme measures, such as the use of guns and lethal force.[18]

Lego Batman[edit]

  • The Jason Todd version of Red Hood is a playable character in Lego DC Super-Villains, voiced by Cameron Bowen.


  • The Jason Todd version of Red Hood is a playable DLC character in NetherRealm Studio's Injustice 2 video game, voiced by Cameron Bowen.[20]


  • An action figure of the original version of Red Hood was released as part of the Justice League Unlimited toyline, included in a six figure set.
  • In July 2014, DC Collectibles released a New 52 version of the Jason Todd as the Red Hood along with his teammates from The Outlaws (Arsenal and Starfire).
  • In 2015, DC Collectibles released a Gamestop exclusive Red Hood (Jason Todd) figure based on his appearance in the Red Hood DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight. In 2016, DC Collectibles released another figure of Jason Todd in series 3 of their Batman: Arkham Knight line, this time featuring a remould of the Arkham Knight figure's body, and a slight repaint of the Red Hood figure's head, depicting Todd's transition between his Arkham Knight and Red Hood personas.
  • Funko has released a Red Hood Mystery Mini in their Batman: Arkham Series line.
  • The Imaginext DC Super Friends line includes a Jason Todd Red Hood in the Series 2 blind bag set from 2016

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Greenberger, Robert (2008). The Essential Batman Encyclopedia. Del Rey. pp. 309–310. ISBN 9780345501066.
  2. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 245. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  3. ^ Red Hood and the Outlaws #1–#2 (2011). DC Comics.
  4. ^ Red Hood and the Outlaws #18 (2013). DC Comics.
  5. ^ Infinite Crisis (Hardcover ed.). p. 258. Well, Geoff's idea was to have Red Hood be the Jason Todd of Earth-Two. So he'd be this kid, who wanted to be Batman's sidekick. He sneaks into the Batcave, and the first thing he sees as he boots up the bat-computers is ... Batman murdered. And so he uses Bruce's stuff, training himself to take over for him. I think there was even talk of his possibly being Deathstroke's Robin.
  6. ^ Batman (vol. 2) #0. DC Comics.
  7. ^ Batman (vol. 2) #21. DC Comics.
  8. ^ Batman (vol. 2) #22. DC Comics.
  9. ^ Batman (vol. 2) #23. DC Comics.
  10. ^ Batman (vol. 2) #24. DC Comics.
  11. ^ Red Hood and the Outlaws #25. DC Comics.
  12. ^ " - The World's Top Destination For Comic, Movie & TV news". CBR. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  13. ^ "345552_FINAL_Publicity.jpg (image)". Retrieved 2010-12-29.
  14. ^ Moviepilot (4 February 2015). "The Red Hood Gang Comes to Gotham in February".
  15. ^ "Gotham Chronicle —". Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  16. ^ Del Rosario, Alexandra (August 22, 2020). "'Titans': Red Hood, Barbara Gordon And Scarecrow Set To Appear In Season 3 – DC FanDome". Deadline.
  17. ^ "New Batman DVD to peek out from 'Under the Red Hood' – Hero Complex – Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times.
  18. ^ Kato, Matthew (July 23, 2014). "Play As The Red Hood In Batman: Arkham Knight including his also the main villain of the story Arkham Knight". Game Informer. GameStop. Archived from the original on July 29, 2014. Retrieved June 21, 2016.
  19. ^ "Infamous: Gods Among Us: Joker Gets Three New Skins in 'Killing Joke' Pack". Gamenguide.
  20. ^ Craddock, David. "Injustice 2's Red Hood DLC Arrives on June 13". Shacknews. Retrieved 2017-06-26.

External links[edit]