Under the Hood: Thoughts and Comments

Under the Hood was Judd Winick's story of how Jason Todd, dead for the past decade or so, came back to life as a ruthless anti-hero. And now they're going to make a movie version of it for the summer.

In general I'm against heroes coming back from the dead, with the exception of Stephanie Brown, but that's another story altogether. And even Jason's return is somewhat implausible, in the sense that surely Batman would've discovered at some point where Jason was, or Ra's al Ghul would've told his greatest foe that his daughter had Jason under her mentorship. Judd Winick was wise in leaving the story behind Jason's return for the end of the two-volume miniseries and instead focus on Batman.

Right after War Games, where Stephanie Brown "dies" and Batman calls it quits with Oracle and Leslie Thompkins, he has to deal with a vigilante called the Red Hood who's been killing drug lords and threatening mob leader Black Mask (responsible for what happened to Stephanie). When Batman finds out that the Red Hood is Jason, his biggest failure has come back to haunt him- even more so than ever when Jason urges Batman to kill the Joker so that he won't hurt anyone else.

Good points about the movie:

1) Neil Patrick Harris plays Nightwing- NPH first played the hilarious Music Meister in his titular Brave and the Bold episode. We can expect that his Nightwing will be snarky and cheerful to Batman's grim demeanor.

2) Red Hood has a great design-
Cool, menacing, and pays homage to both Batman and the original Red Hood [Mr. J before his chemical bath] (kinda like Jason reborn has two fathers: Batman and the Joker).
3) Emotion in it is real- From the clips provided, you don't need words to voice Batman's agony when he comes across Jason's body in the opening.

4) They cut out the improbable backstory considering Jason's sordid mother - who led to Jason being killed since she betrayed him to the Joker. Good riddance!

Now the low points:

1) THIS is our first introduction to animated Jason? No appearance in Brave and the Bold? I kinda want to see this bad Robin in action on the television screen before I see his death; also, contrary to what Andrea Romano said, the pre-Crisis Jason was an adorable and goofy redhead who tried his best to fill Dick's shoes.

2) No Tim Drake- Tim Drake's importance lies in the fact that he keeps Batman from going over the edge, and still providing hope that he can still have a Robin. With no successor, Batman may as well sink into lethal Dark Knight Returns angst where he's murderous and willing to use guns. Also, Tim and Jason have an interesting dynamic that greatly contrasts their individual interactions with Dick, Robin I.

That said, I'm still looking forward to this movie. About time the movie-verse got to Jason Todd; he's like the Gwen Stacy of the Bat-verse given his history.

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