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Which Robin Story Was Too Dark For Batman: The Animated Series?

There have been hundreds of exciting, thought-provoking, and sometimes downright disturbing stories that have helped readers truly understand the darkness of "Batman" since its conception over 80 years ago.

One such arc is that of Jason Todd, Batman's second Robin after Dick Grayson. The character is not introduced in "Batman: The Animated Series," which came out in 1992. As a result, the series focuses on the third Robin, Tim Drake, well after Dick and Jason would have already left Batman. 

The reason why Jason doesn't appear is because his story is so dark that it didn't seem appropriate to air it. Though there are a variety of retellings, the second Robin —who later becomes Red Hood — is fated to be mercilessly beaten and killed by the Joker.

Though some consider Jason Todd's story too dark for the cartoon, the "Batman: The Adventures Continue" comics found a way around it. In the 12th issue, fans got to see exactly what "BTAS" had in store for Jason, even if it wasn't on screen. Here, they were able to depict the demise of Batman's student and friend. 

In the previous issue, Jason is kidnapped by the Joker and Harley Quinn. He is beaten with a crowbar, under the guise of paying for his violent crimes throughout Gotham.

Harley stops the Joker

Jason Todd is considered one of the most hated characters in DC Comics. However, that doesn't make his death any less disturbing, especially when the Joker becomes much more aggressive in his torture. 

Upon seeing the Joker harm him in a way that will certainly kill him, Harley starts to have second thoughts. She is thrown out of the warehouse, but this buys her time to find Batman. 

Batman arrives in time to stop the Joker, but a fiery inferno threatens the lives of everyone in the warehouse. Jason pleads with his mentor to kill the Joker and end it once and for all, but Batman sticks to his principles. He saves his nemesis, and in his attempt to stop Batman, Jason causes the fire to spread. He ends up being swallowed by the explosion. 

Batman tries in vain to find his body but must conclude that his student has lost his life. 

Jason Todd in other media

In addition to this comic, there have been other versions of Jason Todd's death. The original event in "Batman: Death of The Family" had Jason's mother present during the torture, instead of Harley. Though he is also injured by an explosion, this comic had the Joker intentionally set off the bomb, whereas in "The Adventures Continues," the fiery inferno that occurs nearly ends the Joker's life as well. 

Jason's demise is also depicted in other animated — and darker — projects, as well as video games. The most notable is "Batman: Under the Red Hood," which shows his kidnapping and assault at the film's beginning. Five years later, a mysterious vigilante called Red Hood makes his way into Gotham City. It is soon revealed that he is actually Jason and was brought back to life via the Lazarus Pit by Ra's al Ghul. 

Red Hood later serves as a mentor to Tim Drake in "Titans," and like other renditions, has suffered at the hands of The Joker. 

The character also appears in the third game in the Arkham Series, "Arkham Knight." It is revealed that he was kidnapped and tortured by Joker, who convinced him that his mentor had abandoned him. This inspires Jason to get revenge, something that he had been planning since the very first game. As Arkham Knight, he tries multiple times to kill Batman, but in the end, the Caped Crusader gets through to his former sidekick, and together, they stop Scarecrow.