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Red Hoods Origin Retcon Stole His Heroic Destiny

Jason Todd was introduced as a carbon copy of Dick Grayson but a retcon to his origins actually takes away his original passion for becoming Robin.

One of the most beloved yet controversial members of the BatFamily the hero Jason Todd who was once the second Robin and is now Red Hood once had a more meaningful backstory to inspire his crimefighting until it was retconned away.
Modern readers are probably much more familiar with Todds modern origin. Ever since Crisis on Infinite Earths Jasons parents have been Catherine and Willis Todd with Catherine dying of a drug overdose and Willis abandoning his family to be a thief and henchman of TwoFace leading Jason to live alone in Crime Alley. This version of Jason was far more aggressive than Dick leading Nightwing to think Jason Todd wasnt cut out to be Robin. While this retconned origin story may have been more interesting and set Red Hood apart from Dick Graysons origin it was also a massive character assassination of his original parents.

Jason Todd first debuted 1983s Batman #357 by Gerry Conway and Don Newton as the son of two circus acrobat performers Joseph and Trina Todd an almost exact replica of Dick Graysons 1940s origin story except Todd had bright orange hair. In his original story Joseph and Trina were everyday heroes who were tasked with helping Dick Grayson in tracking down a mysterious gangster only to tragically be killed by Killer Crocs villainous plans. Joseph and Trina were killed trying to help people and their deaths inspired Jason to take on the mantle of Robin and act as a hero in honor of his brave deceased parents.

Its clear that Jasons original origin would even make Batman feel lucky. In the Crisis on Infinite Earths universe reboot DC decided to give him a more original story and journey to become Robin. While Todds initial introduction painted him as a carbon copy of the original Robin the changes to his origins in postCrisis on Infinite Earths was a true character assassination of his original parents and inadvertently led to his death at the hands of the Joker.

Instead of Jason Todd deciding to become Robin to honor the bravery of his deceased parents he instead became Robin to take the path that his neglectful parents did not one of heroism and honor. Jason was portrayed in a completely different light as a rude and brash young man who first met Bruce Wayne when attempting to steal the tires off of the Batmobile. This recharacterization of Todd was not liked by readers at all to such a high degree that readers actually voted to kill off the character in the infamous Batman A Death in the Family storyline beaten to neardeath by Joker before being killed with a bomb. Jasons fandecided death was later retconned after Todd was revived but his death at the hands of Joker and incredibly depressing origin have stuck with the character ever since giving him some stunted character growth. Ever since his retcon.

Todd has been an antihero a hyperviolent member of the BatFamily who always has beef with another character and while his modern depiction is beloved by many it is also clear that Red Hoods strictly heroic destiny was taken away from him when his origin story was retconned. Jason Todd has had an incredibly hard life first as a troubled youth in Crime Alley before being killed as Robin and returning as the traumatized Red Hood a trajectory that could have entirely been avoided if DC Comics had kept his original heroic origin and instead made him a unique and different member of the BatFamily in other less lifealtering ways.

About Yashwa Malik

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