Kings, Bats, & Hoods – Background info on “Kings”

I’ve had what you would call a busy week. I just wrapped previews for The Cherry Orchard up at Piccolo on Sunday (opening this Friday at 8pm, btws). And to celebrate my first chunk of free time in over a week and a half, I wrote two short comic book scripts. What can I say, I hate being bored. Both “Decoys” and “Kings” are already up on the website, so you can read them if you want, but I’ve decided to do a little something different this week. Both of these scripts are unlike anything I’ve ever written for one major reason: I’d never attempted to write something that took place in either the Marvel or DC Universes. I’ve only ever written comics with characters that are wholly my creation, but I wanted to expand my experiences and write some very different stories.

And today, I’m going to be going a little further into the story of “Kings”, but also write a little bit about why I wanted to write this story about Jason Todd and what I would do if given the chance to write the monthly adventures of the Red Hood.

Jason Todd was once Batman’s sidekick Robin (the second one) and adopted son. Batman took him in when Jason was living on the streets in one of the most crime infested parts of Gotham, Crime Alley (the very same part of town where Batman’s parents were murdered). After dying and coming back to life (ah, comics), Jason is now operating as a violent criminal anti-hero known as the Red Hood who has turned his back on all of Batman’s rules as he uses guns and kills criminals in order to clean up the streets of Gotham City. That’s who the Red Hood is, and it’s a short simplification to try and catch everyone up on the who and what of Jason so that I can write about the “why”.

I don’t think of the Red Hood as the “Anti-Batman”, but rather as a twisted version of Batman. He’s a Batman that was raised on the streets, dealing with drug dealers and pimps from a very young age and being forced to have a very pragmatic view on crime. Jason Todd wasn’t raised in a mansion with attentive parents or a surrogate father/butler like Bruce Wayne. He didn’t grow up in the circus, or in a private school with rich parents, or in a clan of secret ninja assassains (ah, comics) like the other Robins respectively. It’s something that I touch on in “Kings”, and it’s really the cornerstone to why I like the Red Hood. He’s someone that looked at how Batman was fighting crime and realized that it just doesn’t work in the real world.

After his death, Jason was viewed as the biggest failure of Bruce Wayne’s adult life – being unable to save Jason’s life echoed the loss of his parents with the added blow that he could have prevented it this time. In Jason’s resurrection as the Red Hood, he is shining a spotlight on the biggest failure of Batman’s – his inability to truly stop crime in Gotham City. It’s not that the Red Hood’s strategy is better, but his tactics of controlling drugs and crime by running the show rather than just beating up drug dealers one/two at a time makes more logical sense. There is realistically a better chance of success for Jason’s plan, at least in terms of mitigating deaths and drug related violent crimes.

I don’t want to just write about what happens in “Kings“, since if you want to you can read up on it yourself, and instead I want to write about what comes next were I to continue writing the adventures of Jason Todd. In this story I created two characters that will become more important as the story progesses, those being Silk and Thomas Carter. Silk would go on to become Jason’s partner as the Red Hood continues his quest to control all drug trade in Gotham one neighborhood at a time. This quest hits a major roadblock, and Jason  and Silk are soon forced to work with the main drug kingpin that runs downtown Gotham’s criminal empire, even as they plot to bring him down and take over his organization for themselves. All the while, Detective Carter of Narcotics is trying to put all of the pieces together and, along with his special task force, take the Red Hood down once and for all.

One day I’ll write the whole story, and hopefully it’ll see the stands too. You never know what’s going to happen, after all.