The tragic mystery of the Red Hood reveals the hidden horror of his resurrection

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Although the Red Hood has experienced many tragedies, none of them was more terrible than his resurrection. As the former Robin once said, Jason Todd was not thrilled about returning to the land of the living. In fact, he can say with certainty that he would prefer to stay dead.

While serving as Batman’s second Robin, Jason Todd was brutally murdered by the Joker in the 1984 film Death in the Family. Later revived by Talia al Ghul as a disastrous gift to Batman, Jason returned as the Red Hood. Despite the fact that Jason Todd and Batman are more alike than either of them will ever admit, the Red Hood has been presented as a villainous figure, often contradicting the bat family. However, DC Rebirth saw Red Hood turn into an antihero as he struggled to make sense of the new indecision to kill. At one point, Jason ran with a rebooted version of Outlaws, consisting of Artemis, Amazon, and Bizarro, a clone of Superman.

Red Hood meets his teammates for the first time during a secret mission in which he works for Black Mask. In Scott Lobdell and Dexter Soy’s 2016 film Red Hood and Criminals #3, Jason is forced to witness Bizarro’s horrific birth. Watching the clone almost drown, Red Hood can’t help but reflect on his unfortunate resurrection, stating: “Not everyone wants to be alive.” Given the violent nature in which he was resurrected and his powerlessness to stop it, Jason’s rebirth is not a moment to celebrate, but a traumatic and terrifying memory.

Watching Bizarro come to life in the same way destroys the trauma of the Redcap’s origin. The issue tells about the birth of Bizarro, as well as about the moments of Jason’s resurrection. The parallels begin when Talia gently lowers Jason into the Lazarus Pit. However, in the following panels, Jason panics in a haze of green water, blind to everything except his pain and the frightened expression on Talia’s face as he floats to the surface. Jason states that Talia’s horror may have been caused by who he became, pointing out the bitterness over how his rebirth changed him.

Unlike other superhero resurrections, Jason Todd’s return as the Red Hood was forced upon him by fate. It’s important to understand that Jason didn’t get a say in his rebirth. Like Bizarro, Jason was forcibly awakened against his will, terrified and confused as he drowned in Thalia’s embrace. As Jason said, he doesn’t want to be alive, which is reflected in the way he treats his resuscitation and his memories of Talia.

Given the terrible way he was resurrected, it makes sense that Jason Todd is not happy to be alive again. Although fans of the antihero may disagree, it seems that for the Red Hood to stay dead may have been a kinder fate.