I was just going to let the Batverse breathe for a bit after “Death Of the Family” but after all the lukewarm (to put it kindly) about some of Scott Lobdell’s writing, it is only fair to complement the best issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws so far. Batfans really have a reason to rejoice with this one.
With time to reflect upon the horrors that the Joker inflicted on him and the rest of the Bat family, Jason Todd seems ready to finally say goodbye to his past as Robin and everything that goes with it. But first, he says goodbye to the current Robin, Damian Wayne. This starts off a series of uncharacteristic conversations for Jason. Something that may have seemed obvious to readers but maybe not to the character is how much in common he and Damian have. Outside of both being Batman’s sidekick, they are the Boy Wonders with the most unresolved rage. The mention of their team-up in Batman Inc. and Jason’s attempt to relate to the boy are strangely touching. Their dynamic is further deepened by the fact that Damian’s mother, Talia al Ghul, is the responsible for Jason being resurrected in the Lazarus Pit.
The Outlaws take a bit of a backseat here, and rightfully so. But they have their own telling interactions with the Bat family (or lack thereof). While Jason was held captive, Roy Harper grew into a leader for the fledgling Teen Titans. But with the Red Hood back in charge, what is his role now? He has a funny skirmish with Damian as Roy is more than prone to indulging his immature side. Jason invites Koriand’r into Wayne Manor but she refuses as Todd’s Robin predecessor Dick Grayson is in there for the moment. Jason and Dick’s conversation about her is interesting as Nightwing is the one that comes off cold. He then ventures into cave where Batman gives him as encouraging a complement as he can. After a last look at his old room and a warm talk with Alfred, he tries to make his way out but there is one last laugh for the man who once murdered him.
Lobdell shows a greater understanding of these characters in this issue titled “Don’t Let the Door Hit You On the Way Out!”. The art varies in this book from all the different artists but they have really outdone themselves this time. Ken Lashley has done most of the Suicide Squad covers. Ardian Syaf’s work on Brightest Day was flawless. Along with Robson Rocha, they have made this the best looking Red Hood in addition to it being the best story thus far. The cover from Mico Suayan is just plain lovely also. Lobdell’s stumbling block has been consistency. Here’s to hoping that he capitalizes on this momentum.