Robin vs. Red Hood

Tim Drake may be the most “normal” of the Robins.  He’s not a former circus acrobat.  He didn’t live on the streets as a homeless thug.  He wasn’t raised by the League of Assassins.  Sure, his parents were famous world-traveling archaeologists, but for the most part, Drake grew up normal and well-adjusted.  More importantly, after Dick Grayson left the position to become Nightwing, and Jason Todd’s dislike by the fans prompted his early death, Drake stepped into the role to both critical and fan acclaim.  He served as Robin just shy of 20 years, from 1989 to 2009.  For the current generation reading comics, Drake is their Robin.

We go back a little in time to the mid-2000s.  Todd (now Red Hood) just came back to life, and enraged over Batman’s refusal to avenge his death and a new, younger Robin patrolling the streets of Gotham.  Also, Todd’s insane.

You, my friends, get to witness the first encounter Todd and Drake ever had in Teen Titans #29, written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Tony S. Daniel.  Lucky you.

On weekends, Drake fights crime with other sidekicks in the Teen Titans.  I mean, they’re all accomplished superheroes in their own right, but being smack in the middle of puberty makes it difficult to join the Justice League.  Oh, and one night, Todd broke into the Teen Titans headquarters to beat the crap out of his replacement.

Yes, I find it as weird as you do that he somehow made an adult Robin costume.  As for the two fighters, Drake’s smarter and a far better strategist, but he’s smaller and weaker than Todd.  By this point, Todd may have actually had more training – he learned alongside Bruce Wayne’s old mentors during the years everyone thought Todd was dead.  Though to be fair to Drake, he does use a stick.

Look, despite Red Hood’s bonafide supervillain status, his anger isn’t totally unjustified.  I mean, he’s definitely going about this the wrong way, but he believes with all of his heart and soul that his death meant nothing to Batman and the others.  Drake replaced him fairly quickly and the Joker continues to run free and happy.  Is Todd wrong?  Absolutely, though hard to convince him otherwise.

I just want to make sure you remember that when Todd was Robin, his costume didn’t have pants.

Todd’s biggest weakness has always been his temper.  Maybe his victim mentality.  Either way, the dude is way overdue for therapy.  The adult Robin costume may be the biggest warning sign yet.

By the way, the evidence strongly backs up Drake’s claims.  Batman will never forgive himself for letting Todd die under his watch.  Makes for powerful character development and whatnot.

Unfortunately, victory goes to Red Hood.  But even in defeat, Drake is still a badass.  C’mon, buddy, do you think you’re that good now?  Do you really, Tim?

And like all good Bat people, the Red Hood disappears into the night, leaving his call sign for any other Teen Titans who dare cross him:

Okay, that dude seriously needs professional help.

If you want to see Drake and Todd battle again, they clash in Batman: Battle for the Cowl #2.  And instead of two Robin costumes, both are wearing Batman suits.  Stuff like that just happens.  By the way on a final note, in the rebooted DC universe, Drake never became Robin, instead crime fighting as Red Robin from the moment he stepped into the Batcave.  So this story may not have ever happened in the new DC canon.  Though you know where it’ll always be alive and well?  That’s right, I’m pointing to my heart.

3 Comments on “Robin vs. Red Hood”

  1. Fishy says:

    How long was Jason Todd before he came back to life? In comic years, not real-life years.

    • Jason Levine says:

      I believe with the New 52 stating Batman’s crimefighting career only spanning seven years now (as opposed to the 15-20 before the reboot), I can’t imagine he stayed dead longer than a year. Continuity’ll drive you crazy if you try to follow it too closely.

  2. Most of this comic was just starting in the 1980, Happy too see you made it!!!!!!

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