W/ Jason, there’s definitely a solid level of enthusiasm for being Robin, as he clearly has a solid, if harsh, sense of justice. He’s clearly someone who believes that the ends justify the means, especially so as Red Hood. It’s obviously something that’s a little more reserved at first, as he’s just starting out his time as a crime fighter, but you can see from the beginning that he’s got more edge to him than Dick and that shows in how he goes about being Robin. Of course, after he’s died, come back to life and gone off on his own, he no longer has to worry about Batman constantly watching over him and can thus further embrace that inner darkness.
Something else I’ve noticed w/ Jason is his place in a chain of increasing excitement over wanting to be Robin, at least among the first 3. It’s not that Dick didn’t want to be Robin, but he did have to be convinced and guided after he first comes to stay with Bruce. Jason was also recruited into the role, but definitely seemed to take to it faster, seeming pretty excited after Bruce just calls him Robin out of seemingly nowhere. Tim, on the other hand, escalates this to the point where he has to convince Bruce to let him become Robin, as it’s something not only that he wants, but also something that he sees that Batman needs.
I think Jason went to Felipe w/ the intention to kill him, even if he probably didn’t think it out too much, but got “lucky” when Felipe fell over the edge w/out Jason pushing him. That said, he’d still be alive had Jason never gone there, so the death is still on him. I feel like this works w/ Jason’s morally gray character, as it still gives him a sense of responsibility for the death w/out actually making him a full murderer. Obviously he didn’t really feel any remorse at the time, but it’s still something that could weigh on him in the long term. He could also use it as a bit of justificiation for his first murder as Red Hood – he already caused one person’s death, so in his mind, what’s the difference if he causes another directly?
Upon his resurrection, one of the last things Jason would’ve remembered was his mother’s betrayal, so I have to think that that played a role in making him more hardened and embracing his darkness. He put so much effort and emotional investment in finding the last (biological) family he had, that that alone probably would’ve been enough to break him. Combine it w/ all the other trauma of the Joker’s beating, dying and coming back to life, and you have a perfect recipe for disaster.
While he’s certainly not exactly the same, I’d say that he is, yeah. We saw shades of Jason’s brutality during his time as Robin, so I really don’t think him becoming someone as unhinged as Red Hood w/ the right (or wrong) push is much of a stretch.
First there’s the timing of it all. Ever since he was brought back in 2005, the comics have almost exclusively focused on Jason as the Red Hood instead of Robin, so current readers are much more likely to be introduced to him that way (I know I was). It’s certainly interesting to find out that he used to be Robin, but if they gravitate toward the character at all, it’s typically gonna be w/ the first version they were introduced to. There’s also the fact that Jason’s just much edgier as Red Hood, which makes him more appealing to a lot more readers.
As far as my opinion, while I definitely appreciate him as Robin, I can’t act like Red Hood is anything short of who he was always meant to be. He’s able to fully embrace who he is, and while that’s not always a good thing from a moral perspective, it’s certainly a hell of a lot more interesting from a character perspective. Plus, I also love his relationship w/ Batman more when he’s Red Hood. It’s interesting to see just how much Bruce will let Jason get away w/ before he steps in to intervene, and I also love how Jason calls him out on how his method doesn’t always work. That doesn’t make him inherently right about how he goes about crime fighting, but it’s another reminder that Bruce isn’t perfect – not only in his methods, but Jason is a walking reminder of Batman’s greatest failure. He may be alive now, but at what cost?