So today is all about Jason Todd, the second Robin and currently Red Hood. Here is another character in the DC universe with quite the complicated history. I'll just write about the basics since there are multiple lines you can explore when you research this character. Jason Todd was an orphan who was recruited by Batman after trying to steal the tires off of the Batmobile. His mother was a drug addict who died of an overdose and his father was muscle for Two Face who disappeared mysteriously. Jason took over when the original Robin, Dick Grayson, grew up to become Nightwing. Batman takes him under his wing and trains him to become the new Robin.
The fans however didn't like this version of Robin or Jason Todd for that matter (this origin is a revamp from the pre Crisis days) and as such the Powers that Be decided to let the fans decide whether he would stay or not. They held a vote during one of the story arcs. During the "Death in the Family" story Jason discovers that the mother he knew is not his real mother and begins to track her down. He find her only to discover she is being blackmailed by the Joker, forcing her to help him. This leads to a confrontation between the two that ends up with the Joker beating Jason with a crowbar, then leaving him in an explosion to die. The fans were asked to vote as to whether or not Jason survived, and the vote was against him living.
Not the end for this guy though, oh no. In some weird twist with the alternate worlds of the DC universe Jason comes back to life, is taken in by Talia al Gul and given a dip in the Lazarus Pits to restore his memory. He then trains himself all over again and begins his journey to becoming the Red Hood and exacting revenge on Batman and the Joker. There is a lot more zaniness to follow but not enough time to write about it all. Eventually Jason officially became the Red Hood, trying to redeem himself for all he's done. Thus beings the newest series that recently start Red Hood and the Outlaws. It's great by the way and one of the newer revamped series that I am most definitely picking up again.
Jason was definitely the darkest Robin to date. A childhood criminal who used excessive force when he became Robin. A really good watch if you want to take in more about him is the latest animated movie Under the Red Hood. Batman is voiced by Bruce Greenwood and Jason is voiced by Jensen Ackles (of Supernatural fame, I really love that man) and it even has an appearance by Neil Patrick Harris as Nightwing. Great, great movie. Jason's another one of those complicated characters who seem to exist in the grey area of the Batman universe. He's not sure where he belongs and quite where he stands. All he's really sure about is that he wants to belong somewhere and he wants to become his own person. Other than that he's making it up as he goes along.