The Way of the Word

3. April 2011

Awesome Ideas That Will Never Be

A couple of years ago, the Joker beat Robin, whose civilian name was Jason Todd, to death.

Some time later, Jason Todd returned from the dead in a covoluted and fairly silly way. The less said about that, the better.

Jason Todd took on the identity of Red Hood in order to wage a war on crime. This choice of alias was fairly bizarre, considering that the Joker used to be Red Hood before he became the Joker.

As it turned out, Jason, who hadn’t been the most stable of personalities to begin with, had become even more balanced. Death and resurrection will do that to you, I suppose. You could even say that he had become downright crazy.

During one of his clashes with one of the Batmans, Jason happened to find a time machine. Now, what do you do when you find a time machine? You’d probably go back in time to set things right. The classic “Kill Hitler before WW2” scheme.

For Jason, the matter was personal. He didn’t care about Hitler, but think of how many lives could be saved if The Joker had never been. Most likely, Jason’s own life would have been far far happier. Sadly, nobody knew who Joker had been before he had been Joker. Well, except that Jason knew, from Batman’s files, that Joker had been Red Hood. Jason also knew when Joker had become Joker.

Setting the time machine for that date, Jason went back. With his knowledge of the events, he made short work of Red Hood’s gang.

Only, Red Hood wasn’t there. Or rather, the only Red Hood who was there was he, Jason.

Batman didn’t know that. All Batman knew was that Red Hood was on a killing spree, murdering his own gang. Jason knew he couldn’t talk to Batman. Batman was too OCD about this killing thing. Even if Jason told Batman, Batman would still insist on bringing Jason in.

Jason ran.

Batman gave chase.

Until they got to a dead end. Jason hesitated. He was down to three options. One was to surrender to Batman. No. Not an option. One was to fight Batman. Also, not an option. He knew that Batman was a much better fighter.

That left the option of jumping into the vat of chemicals. Jason was sure he would be all right. The helmet he wore had a built-in air supply for just a case like this. He could dive in and get away.

So he did. But the chemicals seeped into his helmet. And they burned. Oh, how they burned.

Somehow, Jason Todd survived. He climbed ashore somewhere farther down the Gotham River. He made his way to a flophouse.

Why did he feel so strange? He lay down on the bed, not bothering to even clean himself up.

The next morning, when he stumbled into the bathroom, the face he saw in the mirror was not his own. It was chalk-white face, topped by a mop of unruly green hair. A face that he knew too well, a face that haunted his nightmares every night.

Destiny had played a cruel joke on Jason Todd. But  a funny one. Jason laughed.

And he would never stop laughing. Not even when, years later, he would beat his younger self to death to punish him for being so stupid.

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3 Comments »

  1. That’s pretty damn awesome, Jens.

    Comment by Anders Gabrielsson — 3. April 2011 @ 20:16

  2. Nicely done. yeah, great work.

    Comment by Michael Paciocco — 3. April 2011 @ 23:54

  3. Thanks, guys.

    Comment by jensaltmann — 4. April 2011 @ 07:47


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