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Titans Makes Batman As Dark As Red Hood (& Fixes His Jason Todd Mistake)

Batman has become as dark as the Red Hood in HBO’s Titans, fixing the mistake Bruce Wayne made with Jason while hurting the mantle of the Dark Knight.

Warning! Spoilers ahead for Titans season 3 episode 13, “Purple Rain”

In the final episode of Titans season 3 it was confirmed that Iain Glen’s version of Batman has become just as dark as Red Hood. While it ultimately fixes Bruce Wayne’s mistake and repairs his relationship with Jason Todd, it does come at the expense of the Dark Knight’s mantle and Batman’s iconic one rule against killing. Despite the fact that Batman killing the Joker out of revenge for the murder of Jason Todd was everything the Red Hood of the comics wanted from his surrogate father, Titans takes the relationship between the two in a more ambitious and odd direction at the end of the season finale.

Titans season 3 starts out with Batman killing the Joker, but this is actually a fairly large divergence from what happens in the comics. While the Clown Prince of Crime does indeed kill Jason, leading to his resurrection as the Red Hood, in the comics Batman refuses to break his rule and take the drastic steps that Iain Glen’s visibly broken Bruce Wayne resorts to on Titans. This is actually a large point of contention between Red Hood and Batman, as Jason becomes embittered that Bruce refused to avenge his death and finally end the Joker’s evil for good. Wayne’s motivation in the comics is largely that he fears he wouldn’t be able to stop killing if he allowed himself to break his rule, but Titans‘ version makes a very different choice.

Related: Titans Perfectly Flips Season 1’s Controversial “F*** Batman” Line

The season 3 finale wraps up with a conversation between Bruce—who returns to Gotham after Donna Troy stopped him from committing suicide earlier in the season—and his surrogate son. Jason directly asks Bruce if he killed the Joker for him, and Bruce admits that he did. While Jason thanks him, he still chooses to go out on his own in the end, which feels like a fairly odd character decision. Based upon the comics’ depiction of Jason Todd, Batman does exactly what Jason always wanted him to do. While it came at the expense of breaking his one rule and tarnishing the mantle of the Dark Knight—arguably making him just as dark as Red Hood—it’s an act that should have restored and fixed their relationship.

Bruce-Wayne-Jason-Todd-Titans

While Batman’s role has been completely turned upside down and gone in some really surprising directions in the Titans universe, the idea that the Dark Knight would choose revenge and murder the Joker, only for it not to result in Jason and Bruce reuniting, is wild. It’s the one thing Jason Todd has always wanted from him in the comics. Even recent issues released in 2021 have revealed that the two share a dream in which Bruce finally kills the Joker, which they both believe would lead to a restored relationship as father and son.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case in Titans. As such, it feels like an incredibly uncharacteristic depiction for Jason Todd in response to Batman’s own uncharacteristic decision to chose murder. The compensation for Batman becoming as dark as Red Hood should have been a better relationship between the two, at the very least. Warner Bros.’ decision to have Jason go off on his own—believing there are some things you just can’t come back from—could pave the way for a Red Hood solo series on HBO Max in the near future.

More: Why Red Hood Doesn’t Fight [SPOILER] In Titans’ Season 3 Finale

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