Spoilers for “What the #!@% is Task Force Z” in Detective Comics #1041 ahead!
If there was any question about Red Hood’s status with the Bat-Family, then recent events have settled the issue. In “What the #!$% is Task Force Z,” a back-up feature in Detective Comics #1041, on sale now in print and digital, ace reporter Deb Donovan has a close encounter with Red Hood – and he’s wearing the new outfit Batman gave him in Batman: Urban Legends #6, also on sale now.
Red Hood is Jason Todd, the second person to bear the mantle of Robin. After being brutally murdered by the Joker, Jason would return to life and assume the persona of the Red Hood, doling out extreme justice on Gotham City’s criminal element. Red Hood used guns and did not hesitate to kill, which put him at odds with Batman. Furthermore, Red Hood has harbored feelings of anger and resentment towards the Dark Knight, both for failing to save him from the Joker and for failing him as a mentor. Needless to say, the relationship between the two has been tense, but in recent months it has thawed. Red Hood recently gave up using guns and he has tempered his anger, although it sometimes can still get the best of him. At the conclusion of his story in Batman: Urban Legends #6, Red Hood received a brand-new costume from Batman, complete with a Red Bat symbol on it. It was an enormous gesture on Batman’s part and readers can see it play out in Detective Comics #1041.
In the story, written by Matthew Rosenberg, with art by Darick Robertson, colors by Diego Rodriguez, and letters by Rob Leigh, reporter Deb Donovan is chasing a story. The Arkham Knight has been murdered, and everyone Deb talks to about it tells her to back off – even Batman. Earlier in the story, someone slipped a note in Deb’s pocket, and at the end of the issue, readers learn it was Red Hood, who Deb finds in her apartment, sitting at her kitchen table eating her cereal.
While the image of Red Hood sitting at the kitchen table chowing down on cereal is an amusing one, what’s most notable is that he is now wearing the new outfit Batman gave him. This is a huge deal. Since his return to the land of the living, Red Hood has had a stormy relationship with his former mentor, but now Red Hood is learning to let his anger go and opening his mind to new ways of fighting crime. It has paid off, as Batman has fully accepted Red Hood back into the Bat-Family.
Batman needs all the allies he can get, especially right now, and Jason wearing the suit provided to him by Bruce implies he’s ready to properly rejoin the fold. Red Hood’s status in the Bat-Family has been touchy at times, but now he is officially a member once again, and readers can see it in Detective Comics #1041.