Kid sidekick dies. Kid sidekick returns from the dead. Kid sidekick turns into a villain. What else do you need to know?

Red Hood: The Lost Days #1
Writer: Judd Winick
Artist: Pablo Raimondi
Colors: Brian Reber
Letters: Pat Brosseau
Editor: Michael Marts
Covers: Billy Tucci and Francesco Mattina
Publisher: DC Comics

Previously in Red Hood: When Batman first started fighting crime, he ran into a character named The Red Hood, who may or may not have been a series of patsies posing as the head of a bigger crime organization. As the story goes (depending on whose story you are reading), the villain fell into a vat of chemicals, turning the character into the Joker.

Following the departure of Dick Grayson as Robin, Batman took Jason Todd under his wing and trained him to become Robin II. When an attempt to find his real mother went terribly wrong, The Joker beat Todd to death with a crowbar, and then dropped a building on him. Everyone in the world phoned in to tell DC to kill the annoying sidekick, and thus Jason Todd died in the pages of Death in the Family.

Enter Superboy Prime Punch! Jason Todd returns from the dead! Furious that Batman didn’t avenge his death, he takes up the mantle of the Red Hood to cause no end of trouble for the Bat-Family. This is the story of that transformation.


This issue picks up decades ago, or maybe it’s just a few months after the death of Jason Todd – I’ve never been able to understand DC’s justification/reasoning that everything that has occurred in the DCU has happened in the span of ten years. Ra’s Al Ghul, always one to keep tabs on his greatest adversary, informs his daughter Talia of Todd’s death. For the next several months/years, she uses League of Assassins’ resources to keep tabs on Batman and his changing mood, hoping desperately to find some way she can find a way back into his life.

Then comes that Superboy Prime Punch! that had so many of us shaking our heads, and quietly muttering, “Why DC? Why?” Todd is found by the League wandering the streets; a vegetable, with no emotional reactions, but still retaining all his skills as an expert martial artist. Fortunately, Winick dances around the Superboy Prime Punch! issue and leaves Todd’s resurrection a mystery.

Ra’s is very interested in Todd’s resurrection, as anything to keep Ra’s out of the Lazarus Pits is sure to make him the ruler of the world. Talia takes on the Todd investigation, but when it becomes clear that she wants to fix Jason in hopes of returning him to Batman, Ra’s orders the project halted. This prompts a rather unique response from Talia; throwing Jason into the Lazarus Pit in hopes it will cure him.

This is a very interesting project for DC to take on right now. First, there’s the new Red Hood direct to DVD animated movie coming out very soon, and second, Judd Winick already took on the return of Jason Todd in Batman: Under the Hood a few years ago. I’m glad DC is allowing Winick to write this prequel, but I think it will serve as more of a character study than any kind of gripping action/mystery story, as long time readers already know what comes next.

Winick has always been rather hit or miss for me when it comes to writing in the DC Universe. In Under the Red Hood, Winick brought a lot of action to the story, even if the emotional storytelling was a tad lacking. In this issue, it looks like Winick is finally giving readers the emotional, character driven story that we needed, and he’s doing it at a time when the character is starting to get a lot of new hype surrounding him. While I wasn’t a fan of Todd in Battle for the Cowl – especially in how it ended, I am interested in how a battered and broken shell of a hero, turns to the dark side to seek revenge on his former mentor.


There’s something in Pablo Raimondi’s work that reminds me a lot of the style that we see in current Marvel books, which shouldn’t be a surprise as he’s tackled many projects over there for years. It’s a different look that I personally don’t have a great affinity for, but it is nice. I particularly like the way Raimondi draws Ra’s at three different points in his life and we really see the effects of aging, as well as the hyped up rage resulting from a dip in the Lazarus Pits. It will be interesting to see how the artist’s style will transform a young looking Todd into a more mature villain over the next five issues.


There’s something so vaguely familiar about this entire issue, that those who have been reading the Bat titles for the last five years are going to think Red Hood is a reprint of something they’ve read previously. There are some interesting aspects to the story but it just seems to be one giant clip show with a few new elements thrown in. Those unfamiliar with everything Jason Todd will enjoy this as a way to catch up on their hero/villain history, and it is worth a read. The next couple of issues should reveal more, but for now, Red Hood: The Lost Days #1 is worthy of 3 Stars.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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  1. June 6, 2010 at 9:05 pm — Reply

    Jason’s return is all Lee and Azarello’s fault. When Batman #617 came out with the fake Tim Drake attack, everybody went nuts in fandom, and soon after the real Jason came back…

    I will say this, I don’t care much for the character, but the preview of this in various comics this month has made me think I need to pick it up.

  2. Kevin
    June 6, 2010 at 9:39 pm — Reply

    I hope you mean Jeph Loeb, Matthew. Otherwise, I’d love to read the Azz-penned alternate reality version of Hush!

  3. June 7, 2010 at 12:03 am — Reply

    Ooh, now that you mention it, that would be awesome. :)

  4. Brian G.
    June 7, 2010 at 6:56 am — Reply

    I know why this all seems familiar. It’s because this issue was already published as Batman Annual #25 but from Todd’s persepective instead of Talia’s. We didn’t learn anything new except that Talia cried when Tim came on board Bruce’s family. It was a good read and I suppose if you’re going to tell this story, you really do need to rehash these events. I’m just waiting for the next few issues to give me more info on Jason’s return. (mostly how he financed the take over of one of Bruce’s R&D companies.)

    I’m one of the few fans of Jason out there and I really like that he’s essentially the “Batman that kills” character. I just hope that this series gives me good reason to have bought it.

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