What Are Jason Todd's Medical Options If He Loses His Face?

Posted by BatWatch (2349 posts) - - Show Bio

Losing Face

The internet is all abuzz speculating that Red Hood might be losing either his face or his life in the conclusion of Death of the Family. All of the speculation originates from DC's WTF Certified gatefold cover for April's issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws where the Hood is seen missing his face. Weird.

To see this article with images, Click Here.

At the end of all this, I'll speculate on the likelihood and effect of Jason losing his face, but for the moment, let's just presume that Jason is indeed about to lose his gorgeous Bruce clone good looks. If Jason loses his face, is he doomed to be a freak forever, or can modern medical technology save him?

Science Marches On!

Everybody complains about the rising cost of health care these days, but few people take the time to consider just how far the medical profession has come in the last century. It used to be that if you got sick, you pretty much just died, but now, we not only are able to sustain life for much longer, we can nearly maintain a high quality of life indefinitely. Nearly. It really is astounding when you look at the big picture.

One of the places where medical science has advanced by leaps and bounds just in the last decade is facial reconstruction.

As of a decade ago, there was...kind of a way of reconstructing a face. Using Jason as an example, skin could be taken from his buttock or back and sewn across his face. The skin would grow into place eventually, and Jason would have a fleshy covering for his head, but butt skin is not face skin, and this procedure only succeeded in creating a “flesh quilt” kind of mask. In other words, you had skin on your face, but it did not look very pretty, and you could not use it to convey any expressions.

Now, medical science has advanced to the point that people can slap on and off a face without batting an eye. Okay, well that is an exaggeration, but take the case of Tommy Kirkland who recently was diagnosed with brain cancer. The surgeons peeled back his face, removed part of his skull, took out the cancer, shoved everything back into place, stitch, stitch, stitch, and he was good as new.

A complete facial recovery should be possible for Jason if his original face were left intact. There have been several modern examples of people getting their faces ripped off (How? You don't want to know) and later getting their faces reattached without any major problems. If Joker has Jason's face under a tray, and the Bat Clan is able to quickly defeat the Clown Prince, there is no reason Jason should not be able to regain his dashing good looks and fully functioning face.

However, you really can't trust Joker to be thoughtful enough to keep Jason's face intact for him, so what are Jason's options if Joker destroys Jason's face? Surprisingly, his options are still pretty good.

The medical profession has now managed to do a complete facial reconstruction surgery taking facial tissue off of brain dead donors. Doctors have managed to attach foreign noses and tear ducts to a needing body, and both the sense of smell and the ability to cry have been fully integrated. The full face transplant is still a very new procedure, but in the study I researched, the face transplant recipient retained over fifty percent of his regular facial movement.

Keeping in mind that Jason Todd lives in the DCU where extreme things happen every day which dwarf real life science and that Jason's ex-mentor has money coming out the wazoo, it seems like a safe bet that Jason could be completely restored even if he does lose his face.

Predictions

As for the likelihood of Jason losing his face, I don't buy it. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like Snyder has kept all the major plays of the story close to Batman the title and Batman the character, and I don't see Jason getting his face snipped as playing in to the overall narrative of Death of the Family. Jason has barely even been in the main story arch.

Personally, I wonder if this might simply be an issue featuring Two-Face. The cover would clearly work with Harvey's motif, and Jason and Harvey have a history. Pre-Flashpoint, Two-Face was responsible for the death of Jason's father. I have no clue if that is still cannon, but if it is, it would explain both the split mask and the death imagery.

I had some more thoughts on the matter, but my sick sleepiness is starting to catch up with me again, so I think I'm going to end it here so I can crash. (I've been fighting a nasty bug for the last couple of days) The good news is that if Jason loses his face, the handsome devil can be back to normal with minimal long term consequences.

For more news, reviews, and commentary for the entire Bat Family, check out BatWatch.net.

#1 Posted by Teerack (5176 posts) - - Show Bio

Realistically he's need a lot of surgery to get some kind of new eye lids if that's even possible, the rest would be pretty simple. Regrowing skin is easy sense they made the skin cell gun, he would just look uglier because the skin wouldn't have any facial characteristics. It just be skin.

Online
#2 Posted by BatWatch (2349 posts) - - Show Bio

@Teerack: Well, if they can do a face replacement and include tear ducts, I imagine they can include the eyelids.

#3 Posted by JonSmith (3980 posts) - - Show Bio

Don't forget, we're dealing with one of the sons of the richest man in Gotham, and owner of a global corporation. Not to mention said man has connections to aliens, who in turn have technology vastly out stripping that of today's tech. While extrapolating on what modern tech could do for Jason, don't forget his father has access to stuff WAY beyond modern tech. And while Jason may be reluctant to go see him, even for this, do you really think Kor or Red Arrow wouldn't make him ask Bruce for this?

And once he did, do you REALLY think if Bruce went to Superman for his medical tech in the Fortress of Solitude, or Wonder Woman for the magics of the Amazons, either of them would say no?

Granted, Bruce is even more stubborn than Jason, but when it comes to his family, Bruce will do whatever it takes to make them alright.

#4 Posted by Teerack (5176 posts) - - Show Bio

@JonSmith: Don't remember Batman using any of that when Barbra was in a wheel chair :P

Online
#5 Posted by JonSmith (3980 posts) - - Show Bio

@Teerack said:

Don't remember Batman using any of that when Barbra was in a wheel chair :P

... Let's chalk that up to Batman realizing Barbara was more useful as Oracle than Batgirl. Rather cold, admittedly, but she was one of his soldiers, not one of his sons.

#6 Posted by akbogert (3180 posts) - - Show Bio

@Teerack said:

@JonSmith: Don't remember Batman using any of that when Barbra was in a wheel chair :P

That's because they still haven't developed a technique for healing fridging, even of the non-fatal variety :P

#7 Edited by BatWatch (2349 posts) - - Show Bio

@JonSmith said:

Don't forget, we're dealing with one of the sons of the richest man in Gotham, and owner of a global corporation. Not to mention said man has connections to aliens, who in turn have technology vastly out stripping that of today's tech. While extrapolating on what modern tech could do for Jason, don't forget his father has access to stuff WAY beyond modern tech. And while Jason may be reluctant to go see him, even for this, do you really think Kor or Red Arrow wouldn't make him ask Bruce for this?

And once he did, do you REALLY think if Bruce went to Superman for his medical tech in the Fortress of Solitude, or Wonder Woman for the magics of the Amazons, either of them would say no?

Granted, Bruce is even more stubborn than Jason, but when it comes to his family, Bruce will do whatever it takes to make them alright.

It would be interesting if Bruce said, "I'll do this for you, but you have to reform your ways. That would create another layer to the already tense dynamic between Jason and Bruce, but I agree with you that there is definitely the technology to restore Jason's face available.

@Teerack said:

@JonSmith: Don't remember Batman using any of that when Barbra was in a wheel chair :P

Well, a spinal injury is much more serious than face scarring. I don't think it is unreasonable to think that neither the Amazons nor Kryptonians have medical technology of fixing something that delicate.

@JonSmith said:

@Teerack said:

Don't remember Batman using any of that when Barbra was in a wheel chair :P

... Let's chalk that up to Batman realizing Barbara was more useful as Oracle than Batgirl. Rather cold, admittedly, but she was one of his soldiers, not one of his sons.

Ouch. That's very cold indeed. I don't think Bruce would deprive one of his operatives of the best care possible. I would much rather assume its just not available technology. It does seem like there should have been a story line addressing that though.

#8 Posted by dementedtheclown (747 posts) - - Show Bio

I predict his new name will be RED FACE, and he will be the most ruthless villain of them all.

Or Jason has been Joker this whole time in disguise.

#9 Posted by End_Boss (725 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah, I think if Batman failed to stop Joker from hurting Todd again, he would go off the deep end for good. I think he'd make a much more interesting character as a villain, anyway.

#10 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

Maybe Jason can get some skin from the body skin that was cut out of the skinned Alfred ?

#11 Posted by BatWatch (2349 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert said:

@Teerack said:

@JonSmith: Don't remember Batman using any of that when Barbra was in a wheel chair :P

That's because they still haven't developed a technique for healing fridging, even of the non-fatal variety :P

What's a healing fridge?

What Barbara needs is a healing punch like we saw in The Dark Knight Rises. Whack!

@dementedtheclown said:

I predict his new name will be RED FACE, and he will be the most ruthless villain of them all.

Or Jason has been Joker this whole time in disguise.

You know, what's funny is that I've been forced to think about this plotline so much that I've played around with crazy ideas like that. I was thinking earlier today that it would be interesting if Alfred were in league with the Joker, but obviously, that's ridiculous. Anyway, its kind of fun to let your mind go weird places.

@End_Boss said:

Yeah, I think if Batman failed to stop Joker from hurting Todd again, he would go off the deep end for good. I think he'd make a much more interesting character as a villain, anyway.

Nah, I'm not with you there. More tragedy between Joker and Todd would just seem cliche at this point. More importantly, Red Hood is one of the few heroes in the DCU who uses lethal force, and that makes him a more intelligent hero in my mind, and his lethal ways give the perfect prodigal son excuse for Bruce. If he were a flat out villain, Bruce would have no excuse not to stop him, and do we really need another villain with a personal stake against Batman? I don't think so.

@colonyofcells said:

Maybe Jason can get some skin from the body skin that was cut out of the skinned Alfred ?

Ooh. Morbid. I think Alfred will come through this alive. Don't count your butlers before they're skinned.

#12 Posted by akbogert (3180 posts) - - Show Bio

@BatWatch said:

Don't count your butlers before they're skinned.

Although this technically means not to assume Alfred lives until we know he lives, I still think it's the takeaway quote of the day.

#13 Posted by Dark_Vengeance_ (14586 posts) - - Show Bio

Tommy Elliot?

#14 Posted by BatWatch (2349 posts) - - Show Bio

@akbogert said:

@BatWatch said:

Don't count your butlers before they're skinned.

Although this technically means not to assume Alfred lives until we know he lives, I still think it's the takeaway quote of the day.

Glad you liked it. (grins)

@DarkKnightDetective said:

Tommy Elliot?

(chuckles) Yeah, that thought crossed my mind too. Hush does seem perfectly suited to this situation.

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.