Graphic Novel Review: Batman: Red Hood – The Lost Days by Judd Winick

Batman: Red Hood – The Lost Days by Judd Winick

Before watching Under the Red Hood, I knew very little about Jason Todd. I knew there was a Robin that had died, but being as I was never a big DC fan growing up, I never read about his death or even had much insight on the character. I enjoyed the movie Under the Red Hood, and it prompted me to read more about the history of the character and find out about his return.

I’m not a fan of comics bringing back characters whose deaths have such a strong impact on the other characters involved. To me, that cheapens a character’s death and the changes that he/she brought about in this fictional world. But I’m going on a whole different tangent.

This comic chronicles the years leading up to Jason Todd’s return to Gotham. He’s found barely alive by Talia al Ghul who has an unhealthy obsession with Batman and at first sees Jason as a means to getting to Batman. After being put in a pit by Talia to be made whole (an overall bad decision), Jason spends the rest of his years training for his return and his revenge, acquiring new skills that he hadn’t learned during his time as Robin, funded by Talia.

Jason is an interesting character. I don’t think he can be called a true villain. He does things that go against the “good” standard, but in his own twisted way, he is trying to do what Batman taught him. However, unlike Batman, he feels that a hero has to serve the same cruel punishment as the scum they fight, that doing the things they do doesn’t make him any less “heroic.” He believes it makes him “realistic.”

Jason can’t be called a true hero either because of his actions that go beyond that “good” standard. He’s also not afraid to take out anyone who stands in the way of his goals of wiping out the criminal element. For him, it’s less about protecting the people who need protecting and more about getting rid of the criminals using their own tactics. It’s better to sacrifice a few to the greater cause than allow these criminals to hurt the masses.

I’m still not sure how I feel about Jason coming back, but the stories that are written about him show a character who obviously still wants to impress Batman and still has strong familial ties to the Bat Family and vice versa. He annoys them, but they still care about him and treat him like the wayward son that needs saving.


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