Jason Todd is the second Robin, and he later becomes Red Hood. The DC Icon has featured prominently in the franchises for Gotham Knights, Injustice, and Arkham. Today, I’m going to explore how Jason Todd has emerged as one of the best characters in DC-based video games.
In the “Arkham” universe, Jason Todd is an incredibly important and central figure. Though Jason was nowhere to be found in the first three installments, Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, and Arkham Origins, he is the titular character of the fourth game, Arkham Knight. In that game, Jason Todd only dons the mantle of the Red Hood after the conclusion of the primary storyline.
As in the source material, Jason Todd was the second Robin, filling the position after Dick Grayson aged out of the role and became Nightwing. Jason was rebellious, hard-headed, and somewhat reckless. Eventually, The Joker kidnapped Jason and held him captive in an abandoned wing of Arkham Asylum, torturing him for months.
Joker was jealous of Jason’s close bond with The Dark Knight and spent countless hours trying to turn Jason against Batman and brainwash him. Once Jason broke and admitted that he had come to hate Batman and all that he stands for, The Joker faked Robin’s death, sending a video of the “murder” to Batman, ending Bruce Wayne’s search for his lost son.
Afterward, The Joker’s torture of Jason Todd continued for months, with other inmates joining in the brutality committed against the former Robin. Harley Quinn was particularly heinous towards the young Boy Wonder because as Joker’s obsession with Jason Todd grew, so did Harley’s resentment. Harley even gave Jason his title of “Arkham Knight,” mockingly calling him “Arkham’s knight in shining armor” one dark and dreary night at the asylum.
JASON TODD BECOMES THE ARKHAM KNIGHT
Eventually, Jason escaped with the assistance of Deathstroke, and even though Jason believed it was through his cunning and perseverance that he escaped, Joker had actually orchestrated the whole thing. He knew that putting Jason and Deathstroke together on a quest to bring down Batman would be the perfect way to continue his greatest joke yet-the tragedy of Jason Todd.
After a long period of training, assembling armed forces, and preparation, Arkham Knight teamed up with Scarecrow in a plot to take over Gotham. Their assault on Gotham City was so meticulously planned, so well-thought-out, and so unexpected that it became Batman’s final fight.
Before he hung up the cape and cowl, however, Bruce Wayne learned the truth about Jason Todd/Arkham Knight and begged his son to change his ways. Though Jason’s decision to listen to Bruce and rejoin the Bat-Family comes far too quickly, without nearly enough development to make his turn believable, this quick shift happened all the same. It resulted in Red Hood helping Batman in the final fight against Scarecrow.
After the events of the main game, Red Hood dons a new suit, complete with a red Bat-symbol, and promptly murders Black Mask and several of his goons, effectively dismantling Mask’s criminal enterprise.
JASON TODD IS THE UNDERRATED KING OF INJUSTICE
Red Hood in the Injustice universe is a force of nature. Once again, Jason was the second robin, killed by The Joker, and revived by a Lazarus Pit. When the League of Assassins brought him back to life, they remained in hiding, quietly biding their time.
After the evil Superman of Injustice was defeated by the Justice League, Red Hood and the League of Assassins stepped out of the shadows. Jason went on to fight for the League as a gun-toting version of Batman, mocking his mentor before defeating him in combat.
He went on a mission to defeat the Suicide Squad, killing some members and teaming up with others in order to rescue Damian Wayne, his younger brother and another Robin. Though Damian and Jason have something of a mutual understanding, Jason’s anger over Damian’s accidental manslaughter of Dick Grayson/Nightwing keeps the two from becoming true friends.
After Ra’s al Ghul murders countless innocents with the Amazo weapon, Red Hood abandons the League of Assassins and teams up with Damian to stop them.
After beating the “Multiverse” mode of Injustice 2 with Red Hood, fans are treated to a special ending. Red Hood narrates the following, as an image of the now-dead Professor Pyg, Red Hood, and a terrified Sasha (In the comics, she becomes Scarlet. This is one of her only appearances after the Post-Crisis era) scrolls by.
“That. Felt. Good. Titanium composite hollow point bullets with a C4 kicker. Fastest, most explosive ammo in the world. I made them myself. With the invasion over, Bruce and Superman started fighting again. I wasn’t down with either of them. On the one hand, the Regime’s right. Scumbag murderers and rapists deserve to die. But on the other hand, I’m no fan of government authority. Especially the dictatorial variety.
So while the world’s finest fight each other, I fight for the people. The weak. The innocent. Anyone who can’t protect themselves. When they cry out for a savior, I’ll answer. As for the criminals that threaten them? They need to know that their actions have consequences. That the Red Hood is coming for them.”
JASON TODD IS NOW PLAYABLE IN GOTHAM KNIGHTS
Gotham Knights is a new DC game where players can play as Tim Drake (Robin), Red Hood, Nightwing, or Batgirl. Each character has a unique playstyle and role to play in unraveling the mysterious murder of Bruce Wayne. This iteration of Jason Todd is a bit unorthodox in his large stature and his ability to utilize mystical energies for combat and movement.
When Jason Todd was brought back to life, he trained with many people in preparation for his return and confrontation with Batman. One of those groups included the All-Caste, warrior monks who taught Jason to tap into his soul energy. It is through the practice of their teachings and the effects of the Lazarus Pit that Red Hood can use magic as such in Gotham Knights.
In Gotham Knights, Jason Todd is a brawler, and his attack patterns are more violent than his teammates, but he is no killer. In this continuity, he embraced Bruce Wayne’s code of non-lethal justice before his passing, allowing for a genuine relationship with his Bat-Family siblings.
Jason Todd has unique, engaging and dynamic storylines in Arkham Knight, Injustice 2, and now Gotham Knights.
Which video game version of Jason Todd/Red Hood is your favorite? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media!