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Batman’s Latest Test Proves Why He’ll Never Give Up on Red Hood

Truth & Justice #12 shares a touching moment between Batman and Red Hood that reveals why Bruce Wayne won’t ever give up on an embattled Jason Todd.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Truth & Justice #12, by Jeff Trammell, Rob Guillory, Jean-Francois Beaulieu and Becca Carey, on sale now.

There are so many stories in the DC Universe that detail the emotional tug of war that’s occurred between Batman and Red Hood over the years. Sometimes, Bruce seems so frustrated with Jason, it even comes to blows as he just doesn’t want his former Robin killing, not just in Gotham, but in general.

The Bat knows it’s a line Jason won’t be able to walk back from, so that’s why he’s always enforced more stringent rules in the city towards his ex-protege. However, while it seems like Bruce does come close to giving up on Jason, Truth & Justice #12 reiterates why this won’t ever happen.

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Jason’s been doused by Dr. Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow’s most potent fear toxin, putting him through a nightmarish mindscape that finds the vigilante fighting the Bat-family and also, thinking he’s destined to become the Joker. Ultimately, Jason embraces the fear and turns it into his strength, knocking Scarecrow out. Their encounter ends with Jason holding a gun to the villain’s head, ready to pull the trigger as this new war cost him the life of his former best friend, Max.

However, the next page has him on a rooftop overseeing the cops cleaning up the place. The Caped Crusader shows up as Jason reassures him he didn’t kill Scarecrow. Batman isn’t worried, though, as he says he knew Jason would have shot Crane with a rubber bullet, leaving a scar on the skull as a reminder. It leaves Jason annoyed as he quips about the all-knowing Batman using predictive technology or clairvoyance. It’s pure reflex because no matter what, the cynic in him believes Bruce was waiting in the shadows with a Batarang to stop him in case he really did plan to pump Crane full of lead.

But the Bat makes it clear he trusts Jason, which is why he didn’t even arm himself for the moment. In fact, Bruce just watched it all unfold from the darkness, admiring how Jason broke out from the fear gas and avenged his friend.

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It shocks Jason but before he could thank the vigilante, Batman disappears into the night, making it a short but sweet reunion. Admittedly, it does seem like Bruce was testing him, and luckily, Jason passes with flying colors.

This is one of those turning points in their relationship because you can tell it brings down Jason’s walls and his overall insecurities about being the black sheep of the Bat-family. And while he’s annoyed that the Bat’s gone in the blink of an eye, Red Hood is grateful that despite their differences, Bruce still believes in him as a force for justice and has hope he’s meant for something great, even if it’s just redemption.

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