Thursday, April 21, 2016

Superheroes Undercover

Since this is going to be a plot in one of the books I'm reading I thought it might be fun to go over a few different types of undercover missions some characters have done, some of the consequences and how it might affect the new storyline.

Booster Gold

There's a few different ones Booster has done like the short lived mission during the Bialya arc. Besides his "Greatest Hero you never heard of" cover Booster went pretty far for the role in Millennium making the world believe he sided with the bad guys. Unfortunately he didn't exactly tell anyone before he went through with it. Which led to the heroes doubting him when he did save the day. It made them believe he only turned against his allies because they were losing.

This happened partly because he was the new kid but it showed that many bought into his facade and thought the worst of him. To his credit Booster did have a good reason for not telling anyone as the Manhunters were everywhere making it hard to tell who to trust. They were watching him carefully to ensure he wouldn't try to stop them. Although attracting their attention was partially his fault as he had discovered Captain Atoms' Manhunter and not told anyone giving them the chance to corner him. Still I brought this particular example up to highlight the fact that going undercover can reveal some negativity the people you worked with harbor against you.


Dick took on the Renegade personal to infiltrate the Secret Society of Super Villains. He went a little too far at times like beating up Roy Harper but managed to turn Rose Wilson away from her father. Deathstroke wasn't pleased by this and got his revenge by helping destroy Bludhaven.

Stephanie Brown

This one was interesting because Stephanie needed to use her own ID since her father's history as a super villain gave her an in. Many fans assumed this was the reason she had to give up being Batgirl when the New 52 rolled around. Of course her character would be rebooted instead but it did seems a little silly (at the time) to think she might not have seen any fallout after this.

Problems Red Hood/Jason Todd might face

It's still too early to see how this is being done and for now we only have the solicits to go by. Is Batman working with Jason to give him an in with the Gotham underworld? Or is he working alone--which would make things even worse for him? The examples above do show some of the downfalls of going undercover that I'm curious to see if their be applied.

  • Revealing Negative Emotions: At present Jason still has some strained relationships within the family and superheroes at large. This could get downright nasty if everyone thinks he is really going bad and/or betrayed Batman. I could do without one particular character showing up but this has the potential to have some serious angst. Mostly if no one believes him when/if he reveals his intentions. 
  • Straining or Breaking Existing Bonds: The above is more about people that either don't like Jason or have a somewhat tense relationship with him. This one deals more with those that care for him and are on much better terms. Roy, Kori, Tim, etc. Those that he'd want to tell but couldn't which could lead to some heartbreaking moments.
  • Becoming the Mask: Jason coming to care a little too much about those around him (not the Outlaws themselves, others.) Given his history this is a likelihood (unless Lobdell just focuses on the Outlaws keeping to themselves.) Lines could become blurred, he could have to choose between keeping cover and another choice he'd normally make.
  • Villains Get Revenge: Whether his cover is blown or he pissed someone off there's a very real threat of making himself a target. Someone or something he cares about could be in danger.
  • Jason Todd's Identity?: This has become a major pet peeve for me but Jason doesn't hide his ID. During the DOTF tie in the art was changed to make Jason wear a mask when Joker captured him. If he's in Gotham then the ID needs to be protected, he met a friend named Gabby that recognized him (although she didn't ask why he's not dead?) others could make the connection.


  1. Actually, it seems as though Booster has gone undercover quite a bit! I never really thought about it before.

    I can see where Jason might have a tough time of it however.

  2. I had to pause when I was writing this just to pick one time Booster went undercover. Thought I remember that time he pretended to be Killer Moth being pretty funny.

    For Jason I can see this being pretty miserable with only people he has he doesn't known well (Outlaws) or maybe Batman. Bruce isn't always so great with the emotional support.