Batman: Urban Legends #4 sees Red Hood biting off more than he can chew, which has him say three words that strike terror in the Dark Knight
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the story “Cheer: Part 4” from Batman: Urban Legends #4 by Chip Zdarsky, Eddy Barrows, Eber Ferreira, Marcus To, Adriano Lucas and Becca Carey, on sale now.
It takes a lot to terrify Batman. As someone who uses fear as one of their primary weapons, Batman has conquered it time and time again. With a villain like Scarecrow in his rogues’ gallery, Batman is used to confronting such fears on a regular basis. However, despite all this, some things can instill absolute terror in the Dark Knight — even something as simple as three little words.
The previous issue saw Batman and Red Hood’s partnership on the Cheerdrops case come to an end, with Jason going on his own once again. As Jason rushes towards a lead in hope of making up for past mistakes, he fails to see how dangerous things are until it’s too late.
Jason believed that the Cheerdrops supply building was abandoned because the supplier left in a hurry, however, he soon realizes it wasn’t abandoned at all. This was a trap set up by major Gotham villain Mr. Freeze. Jason tries to escape but Freeze is two steps ahead, having frozen the building’s exterior to prevent escape. His guns unable to work in the cold, Jason has no way of fighting back and does something completely unexpected.
As Jason reflects on how his dynamic duo never had the trust that the partnership required, he realizes trust is the only hope he has. With a freeze gun to his head, Jason tells Oracle that he needs help and utters the three words that terrify the Dark Knight — “I need Batman.”
Jason Todd has always been the type to go it alone. Most of his crimefighting career has been defined by his insistence on doing things his own way — even when he was Robin. As this issue highlights, going it alone was what got Jason killed in “A Death in the Family” by Jim Starlin and Jim Aparo. Batman warned Jason not to face Joker alone, but Jason ignored him. Jason didn’t understand how Batman could be surprised that he disobeyed him, showing just how headstrong Jason was and still is. The situation Jason is in now with Mr. Freeze is essentially the same as all those years ago with Joker.
Even Barbara realizes just how terrifying Jason’s words were. With no other response from Jason, she goes straight to Batman. When Barbara tells Bruce that Jason asked for him specifically, the Dark Knight’s face shows the absolute terror he’s feeling.
With those words, Batman is immediately reliving one of the worst days of his life. If Jason is asking for Batman’s help, he knows that Jason is in another “A Death in the Family” situation. Batman continually tells himself that Jason is alive and that he’s learned from Jason’s death, but it’s clear Jason’s words have shaken him.
Despite knowing it’s a trap, Batman hastily mounts a rescue for Jason. Batman’s behavior is more erratic and reactive than usual. He crashes the batmobile straight into an ice trap, bashes his body into the side of a car, and isn’t exactly gentle when freeing a frozen Jason. It’s clear that the fear of losing Red Hood has made Batman careless, and that might just put him in the same position as his former partner.
KEEP READING: Batman: Future State Puts Jason Todd in the Most Unlikely Dynamic Duo Yet
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