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Written By: Scott Lobdell Art By: Denis Medri, Blond, Dave Sharpe Cover Price: $2.99 Release Date: November 11, 2015
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Things have been crazy for Jason Todd and Roy Harper since Kori left the team and it looks like the crazy is coming full force here since this is a Joker's Daughter issue. Woah! Turn that frown upside down little troopers. I know we've all had our issues with this incarnation of the character, but this could be the issue that makes us forget all that terribleness that has come before....... it's not likely, but crazier things have happened. So yeah, while Red Hood and Arsenal were in Gotham taking care of Underbelly, Jason discovered that Bruce was still alive and we all had ourselves a moment while Jason just basked in the happiness he felt at Bruce simply being alive, but it wasn't all good feels going on because while that was going down, it also looked like Joker's Daughter went and splattered Roy's brains all over the ground....... it was a rollercoaster ride of emotions and all that nonsense. Let's jump into this issue and see the fate of Arsenal and what a league of villains that have come together have against our former Outlaws...... you know, besides the fact that Red Hood has killed the majority of them in the past......... Let's check it out.
This issue begins to my surprise with what looks like Roy Harper actually dead. Yeah, I know having Roy die in the sixth issue of a Red Hood/Arsenal title doesn't make much sense and obviously we'll have something to show us that Roy is still alive and well, but I just didn't expect to see Joker's Daughter deliver Roy's "dead" body to a team of villains that we've seen get together throughout this series. That's right boys and girls, Joker's Daughter is apparently trying to get into The Hero Manifesto and what better way than showing up with one of their enemies?........ or is this one of those "over-qualified" type situations? Anyway, besides for The Hero Manifesto being completely pissed that this little psychopath knows who they are, which is Suzie Su, Palette, Dr. Sara Phina...... and two nano-bot mimes, the team comes around to Joker's Daughter when she claims to be able to kill Red Hood as well. Apparently, the whole reason for this team is to be a sorta Rent-A-Bat like Roy and Jason were doing, but made up of villains and besides for all of these people being on the "Kill Red Hood" trolley because of them hating Jason Todd, it makes fiscal sense to take out the competition as well......... only thing is, I have no idea how or why Suzie Su or Palette were brought back to life. Was it to simply be apart of an international villain A-Team? Even stranger, it seems like this team isn't all that interested in killing our heroes either, it's all business and someone has hired them to do it.
With the taking out Underbelly job done, Jason Todd plans on blowing this pop stand, but is a little worried when Roy doesn't make their flight and becomes even more worried when a woman starts screaming on the plane. This was the perfect opportunity to make a Nightmare At 20,000 Feet reference from the Twilight Zone, with Jason or someone yelling about something on the wing, but instead after Jason sees Joker's Daughter on the plane's wing with a chainsaw, he simply goes out to fight the threat and to hopefully save everyone on board.
Don't worry, the plane had just taken off and after something as crazy as two people fighting on the wing, the pilots are preparing to land again. During the fight, Jason saw something familiar in Joker's Daughter's actions and in her eyes..... he saw himself when he first came back to Gotham all pissed off and trying to avenge his death. What I'm talking about is, Joker's Daughter is fighting Jason, but her heart really isn't into killing him it seems and after she falls off the wing, she leads Jason back to The Hero Manifesto.
In the end, Roy comes to and we find out that Joker's Daughter simply shot him in the back of the head with a paint ball.......full of brains, to only make it look like she killed him and Roy begins his escape by killing Suzie Su, Palette and Sara Phina.....which leads to him making a strange connection in what he's feeling to what's going down in Titan's Hunt...... which just seems really forced. Finally, our duo are reunited and Jason convinces Roy to let Joker's Daughter be apart of the team, if only to give her the same chance at redemption that they found in each other....... which I'm sure most people who have read anything to do with Joker's Daughter will be furious about this addition to the Red Hood/Arsenal title, but I have to admit that I liked everything I saw of the character here and she just might find personal and fan redemption in this series. Before our heroes can go celebrate their new hire, it looks like the War of The Robins has begun and what would a War of The Robins be without Jason Todd?
That's it for this issue of Red Hood/Arsenal and even though this did a fantastic job in actually making me like Joker's Daughter and getting me to be excited about what she'll be doing in the future, this just isn't that good of an issue. We have Joker's Daughter knowing everything about The Hero Manifesto and everything about Red Hood and Arsenal..... just because and we're never really given a reason why Joker's Daughter would trick the Hero Manifesto into thinking she wants to join up or even what her ultimate goal was. You could say that it was all to join Red Hood and Arsenal, but that's never really shown to be her intent. On top of all that, we're never shown how or why any of these villains were brought back to life other than to be a bunch of mercs for hire....... again, you could probably say that Sara Phina did it because they were going after Red Hood, but it's never really explained. They're just there to take out Jason and Roy for some shadowy figure we never get to see. It feels like this was supposed to be fleshed out more, but with this tying into War of The Robins I think it was simply cut short and had to wrap the way it did to convenience that story. As for the art, I've really grown to love Denis Medri's style, especially combined with Blond's colors and I really like what they did with Joker's Daughter here. I could still do without the costume redesigns, but hey, you can't have everything right? So yeah, high hopes for what's coming next in the Robin War, but this just wasn't up to snuff.
Bits and Pieces:
Even though this issue is the culmination of everything that we've been seeing from the beginning of this series, it feels like this story suffered due to Red Hood's future involvement in the upcoming War of The Robins arc. Everything just felt forced to get to an ending, whether that ending was satisfying or not....... Sadly, it was not. If you've loved the art in this book like I have, then you'll love it here as well...... especially what Denis Medri does with Joker's Daughter and hell, speaking of Joker's Daughter, this issue might be worth the price tag simply for this being the first time that I didn't despise the character and that's a large feat in my book.