The Joker appeared in ‘Batman #1′ in 1940 and was supposed to be killed off to keep from recurring villains making Batman look inept. But creatives gave him longevity and the character ended up being The Dark Knight’s greatest foe. That much we know for sure. Yet, in what has been attributed to the Joker’s unreliable memory, comic book writers were given lots of leverage in depicting his actual origin. In his most popular back-story, the sadistic, goofy, criminal mastermind was once a lab worker aiming to rob his boss for a million dollars. In his guise of The Red Hood, he’s just a guy trying to get money by breaking laws. This is the genesis of what would become an incredible career in crime and we’re about to see him in live action for the first time ever.
Bruno Heller, the Executive Producer of ‘Gotham’ on the Fox network talked with Comic Book Resources, teasing a season finale that will introduce the Red Hood. Already a seedy world steeped in violence, petty wrongdoings and unspeakable villainy, Gotham City hasn’t seen anything yet. This pre-Joker depiction of the madcap madmad has what it takes to shake things up in ways we’ve yet to see. It was only a matter of time too, because ‘Gotham’ isn’t the least bit scared of introducing future rogue’s gallery members to the cast.
“There’s going to be an episode that involves the Red Hood…Which picks up that strand, the costume strand, and sort of gives a kind of philosophical base, if that’s not too pretentious a word. Why costumes? What’s the power of costumes? What’s the power of a mask? All of that groundwork will be laid sort of culturally for that side of the DC Universe before we start rolling into the more spectacular spandex type of deal.”
I like the way that sounds. Slowly build the foundation for a generation of costumed foes and friends. Though there shouldn’t be any Caped Crusader sightings for at least 10 to 15 years Bat-time, Heller attempts to lay a bit of groundwork for the eventual men-in-tights revolution.
That’s also what worries me though. Because there’s very little evidence that says the Red Hood had a very long career before Batman’s botched capture sent him falling into the chemical vat that destroyed him, creating the Joker. The way ‘Gotham’ plans on telling it, if they don’t change the origin entirely, Hoody gets a looooong career in malfeasance by the time Joker shows up. I’m fine with that because Jack Napier (the unofficial alter ego of both characters) is awesome. I’m just not too keen on so many of Batman’s peers and foes appearing on the show as grown men and women while Bruce Wayne is a pre-teen. The way the show tells it, a 35 year-old Batman’s gonna one day be fighting foes half a century old. I kind of liked the world where Harvey Dent and Bruce were closer in age than how the show depicts it.
Maybe I’m nitpicking. This show does that to me. As much as I like ‘Gotham,’ I just don’t like the way they’re haphazardly skewering the timelines. And I sure as hell don’t feel like we should be seeing so many of Batman’s future foes. But I really like the idea of the Red Hood showing up. He gets a bye.
However…maybe it’s not Jack Napier. Another version of the Hood’s story says the Red Hood Gang often recruits shady characters to lead their disreputable ventures in order to trick the cops. It could very well be someone else wearing the hood entirely.
Via – CBR