Batman and Robin: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Jason Todd’s Backstory


The second Robin, Jason Todd, has been a somewhat controversial figure among fans. When it was introduced, DC Comics was concerned that it was not as popular as its predecessor, Dick Grayson. When DC allowed fans to vote on Jason’s fate, it seemed like fans would rather see the character killed.

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As is often the case with comic book deaths, Jason would come back to life later. His anger issues and time spent at the Well of Lazarus helped him transform into the troubled young man found in the pages of modern comics. Some of his problems can be traced back to his difficult past. His harsh childhood may have made it impossible for him to possess more traditional heroic values.

10 Jason was introduced to help people relate to Batman

Robin Jason Todd before the crisis

DC believed that the Robin character had given readers a chance to bond with the Dark Knight. Robin was a more cheerful character than Batman. It was meant to act as the voice of the common people.

As Dick Grayson became more involved with the Teen Titans titles, DC Comics decided to come up with a replacement. Jason Todd first appeared in Batman # 357. He donned the Robin costume in Batman # 366, becoming the second person to do so.

9 His original backstory was a scam from the early life of Dick Grayson

bat Man

When Jason was first introduced, his early life mirrored Dick Grayson’s pre-Robin life. Jason was also introduced as a circus kid whose parents had been murdered by a Gotham criminal.

His parents were acrobats, known as Flying Todds. Trina and Joe Todd were aerialists who worked for Sloan Circus. They were working with Batman, investigating Killer Croc, when the criminal decided to kill them. Later Crisis on Infinite Earths, Jason’s origin story underwent some major rewrites, so it was no longer a carbon copy of Dick’s.

8 His parents were rewritten as terrible people

Todd Family from Little Red Riding Hood

The backstory of Jason Todd’s life after the crisis was incredibly different. In it, he was raised by Willis and Catherine Todd. After Willis was sent to prison, Jason had to take care of his drug addicted mother alone.

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Willis would not return to his family after being released. It is widely believed that he was killed by his boss, Two-Face. Catherine Todd would later die of a drug overdose, and the orphan Jason would have to fend for himself.

7 He grew up near Crime Alley

crime alley city-gotham-batman

Park Row was once a beautiful place to live. In time, the place would become part of a dilapidated ghetto. Park Row would be renamed Crime Alley after Martha and Thomas Wayne were killed there.

Jason grew up in an apartment building next to Crime Alley. After the death of his parents, he was forced to steal to survive. His life in Crime Alley helped him perfect his robbery at a young age. He finally met Batman in Crime Alley, near the place where young Bruce lost his parents.

6 Jason’s hair color keeps changing magically

When Jason was first introduced, he was given red hair to help distinguish him from Dick Grayson. When he was given the Robin costume, he chose to dye his hair to match his predecessor.

His story has been rewritten, sometimes stating that Batman forced him to dye his hair. Sometimes the fact that he once had red hair has been completely written down. Grant Morrison’s version of the character in Batman and robin would be seen sporting red hair.

5 He was a criminal before he became a hero

Jason-Todd-Batmobile

Jason Todd was forced into crime from a young age. After his father went to jail, he had to find a way to support himself and his mother. He was able to learn to be a criminal in the tough neighborhood around him.

Jason’s preferred crime seemed to be stealing wheels from cars. His first encounter with Batman came after he was cheeky enough to attempt to steal the wheels of the Batmobile.

4 He was 12 when he became Robin

Jason Todd Robin Characteristic

Dick Grayson’s age has fluctuated over the years. The age he was when he became Robin has never been set in stone. However, Jason’s age at the beginning of his career as Robin was set at 12 from the start.

After his first encounter with Batman, he immediately began training for Robin’s position. He was trained for about six months before Batman decided he was ready to be a hero, just a pre-teen when he became a crime fighter.

3 He had a completely different skill set than Dick Grayson

two young white men talking with text bubbles

Jason was often driven by his anger and could be impulsive and reckless. While Batman originally believed that Jason could be trained to be a hero, he eventually came to believe that Jason’s behavior was detrimental.

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Dick was known for his calm demeanor and skills as a strategist. Jason had a completely different skill set than his predecessor. His recklessness put himself and those around him in danger, and his anger and impulsiveness were often perceived as by-products of his troubled history. He didn’t seem as willing to be a hero as Dick.

two Jason was enrolled in a strict school to teach him to control

Batman Jason Todd

Before Jason was allowed to put on the uniform, Batman wanted him to learn some self-control. Jason was enrolled in a school run by a woman named Ma Gunn.

Jason quickly learns that Ma is involved in illegal activities. Jason flees the school and informs Batman of what is happening, helping Batman bring Ma Gunn to justice. Even before he became Robin, he had the opportunity to take down his first criminal.

1 The woman who raised him was actually his stepmother

Batman's mother Jason Todd

At some point, Jason discovered that Catherine Todd had been his stepmother. His biological mother, Sheila Haywood, had abandoned him when he was a baby. Sheila had been a doctor, but after participating in an illegal operation, she was forced to flee the United States.

He would eventually end up in Ethiopia where he started embezzling money. The Joker took advantage of the situation and began to blackmail her. When Jason located her, he turned his son over to the Joker, but the clown ended up killing them both.

NEXT: 10 Times Batman Was The Most Dangerous Character In The DC Universe

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