Of all the Death of the Family tie-ins, there are two that have been even more anticipated than the primary storyline in Batman itself. The first is Batgirl confronting the Joker as a follow-up to the infamous graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke (1988), in which she was paralyzed from the waist-down after he shot her through the spinal cord. The second is the now-resurrected Red Hood facing off with the Clown Prince of Crime, who was murdered by him in the equally infamous Batman: A Death in the Family (1989). Both Batgirl and the Red Hood are out for blood, but it is the Red Hood who has already proven he has no qualms about ending someone's life, least of all the Joker's.
Anyone who has had a near death experience or who has been clinically dead for a window of time before being successfully revived can empathize with Jason Todd. Such experiences hollow the soul, so it comes as no surprise that the former Robin would have a less than principled outlook on life. Per his own experience, life and death are blurred, as are heroism and vengeance. The Joker enjoys deconstructing his victim's minds and his keyhole into the Red Hood's psyche is the rather unpleasant hand life has dealt him from day one. Raised in the gutters of Gotham City, surrounded by crime and corruption, Jason Todd's one silver lining was his adoption by Bruce Wayne, which enabled him to engage in the the war on crime as the Dark Knight's second junior partner. Unfortunately, he was sold out by his own mother and beaten to death by the Joker before his body was caught in a subsequent explosion. Life has not been kind to Jason Todd and it is only in death that he and the Joker share a twisted affinity for one another.
The Red Hood would have no difficulty in killing the Joker if he could manage to physically take hold of him for more than a second. The Joker, however, has several aces up his sleeves and he is going to drag out this special reunion by involving Red Robin and the Teen Titans. As with Batgirl, the next few issues will tell if the Red Hood will actually find an opportunity to take out the Joker or if the madman will once again have the last laugh.