Warning! Contains Spoilers for Batman #138!Red Hood has long been the black sheep of DC’s Bat-Family, in large part because of his ideological differences with Batman and the other members of the Family over the issue of killing. While other members have tried to live up to Batman’s “no killing” rule, Red Hood has always been much more willing to use lethal force – but now, it seems that may have changed, against his will.

Preview pages for Batman #138 – by Chip Zdarsky, Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles – show the simmering conflict between Bruce Wayne and Jason Todd finally reach a boiling point.

In the issue, it appears that Batman will use a machine to strip Jason of his ability to fight people, reading him unable to kill, but also to function as a vigilante.

Related: Red Hood’s Bat-Family History Is Completely Redefined with One Line

Batman #138 Promises To Change Red Hood Forever

Just like every other Robin, Jason Todd was trained to never take a life. However, his death at Joker’s hands, and subsequent resurrection, changed Jason. Upon returning as the Red Hood, he showed absolutely no qualms about using lethal force. From Jason’s perspective, he tried to do things Batman’s way and nothing changed. Jason outright states that Batman’s method of inspiring fear in criminals only works if criminals can be made afraid; for the criminals that don’t feel fear, the only option Jason sees is to remove them. As Red Hood, he has killed hundreds of criminals since his return – but now, Batman #138 is set to completely redefine the character.

Batman Has Lost Sight Of How To Truly Help Jason Todd

DC has made attempts to soften Red Hood before, moving his character away from the use of lethal force, but this current attempt is their most definitive yet. Another distinction between Jason and the rest of the Bat-Family is his use of guns, which is a major thing that all members of the Bat-Family are taught to avoid. Previously, DC has had Jason forsake using guns, such as when he only used a crowbar as a weapon for a time; alternatively, there was a period where the character wielded guns, but exclusively used rubber bullets. Now, DC – with Batman as their proxy – is taking its most radical step yet to disarm Red Hood.

As the preview for Batman #138 depicts, Bruce Wayne is about to go to extreme measures to “help” Jason Todd. Using brainwashing technology, Bruce rewrites Jason’s mind so that if Jason does anything dangerous, such as fighting or trying to kill someone, he will experience paralyzing fear, completely shutting down his ability to act. This means Batman has completely removed Jason’s ability to act as a vigilante, especially a lethal one. Whether this will be a permanent change to Red Hood remains to be seen, but what is clear is that Batman has lost sight of what it means to truly help his wayward Bat-Family member.

Batman #138 is on sale from DC Comics now!

 Red Hood can’t kill anymore.  Read More