Red Hood is famous for his complex relationship with Batman, but a throwaway comment from Flash could completely change his perspective.
Warning: contains minor spoilers for Aquaman & The Flash: Voidson #1
Jason Todd and Bruce Wayne have had a contentious relationship since before Jason’s death. The pair’s morals clashed from the beginning, even during Jason’s tenure as Robin. Batman suspected Jason of murdering a man just before Jason’s own death, and when Jason returned to the land of the living in a blaze of bloody glory, it didn’t exactly dispel Bruce’s suspicions. Whether he outwardly expresses it or not, Jason looks up to Bruce as a father and constantly seeks out his approval, both as Robin and as Red Hood; although as the latter, Jason often feels that Batman views him as a failure, or as a lost cause.
Flash would be able to ease Jason’s worries with a single throwaway comment from Aquaman & The Flash: Voidsong #1, written by Collin Kelly and Jackson Lanzing with art by Vasco Georgiev. Flash tells Iris he’ll just tell Batman he can’t do monitor duty, but that in Flash’s words, Batman will “…be disappointed and grumbly and compare me to, like, whichever of his Robins he’s mad at today…” Especially recently, Batman’s Robins have been irritating him, and while Flash has been a firsthand witness to this, his comment doesn’t single Jason out as the Black Sheep or failed apprentice.
Although in Flash’s mind this is undoubtedly just a meaningless complaint, it wouldn’t come across that way to Jason. Jason has repeatedly clarified that he believes Bruce sees him as a uniquely reprehensible failure. This isn’t without its merits, as Jason has indeed committed crimes to a degree far worse than the other Robins. Bruce is hard on Jason when they’re together, but Flash’s casual remark suggests Bruce doesn’t bear Jason any additional ill will that anyone else picks up on. They just see that Batman is, as usual, irritated with his Robins, and Jason is lumped in with the pack. Bruce views Red Hood’s newest irritating misstep the same way he views Nightwing’s newest irritating misstep and Damian’s newest irritating misstep.
Flash and Red Hood don’t interact often. However, even if he doesn’t hear it from Flash, hopefully, someone else in the Justice League will gently let Jason know that Batman views Red Hood the same way as he views all his other Robins: as his own child, whom he loves (and will continue to love) regardless of his mistakes.
Aquaman & The Flash: Voidsong #1 is available now from DC Comics!
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