Thursday, January 14, 2016

Red Hood/Arsenal #8 Review and *SPOILERS*

Gotham Underground Revisited....... For Some Reason

Written By: Scott Lobdell
Art By: Javier Fernandez, Blond, Dave Sharpe
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: January 13, 2016

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Alright boys and girls, the Robin War is over and that means that our favorite Robin, who was killed by the Joker can get back to what he was up to before all the hubbub.  Only problem is, as we saw at the end of the previous issue, Arsenal and Joker's Daughter were sucked into the ground by some lava monsters............. yeah, even though I love comic bookery nonsense, this just might be a little too much even for me.  Hopefully I'll be proven wrong though and this issue will rock me like some sort of hurricane.  Let's get into this issue and see what's what and if Jason Todd can get into the Gotham Underground and save his pals.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins with a backstory on how a hundred years ago Gotham flooded out it's Nethers section because it was full of layabouts and hoodlums....... and probably some sort of economic reason as well.  For some reason we're shown during this history lesson that a man and his wife were killed during the flood by some gangster, but with all of us knowing that Gotham was and is a terrible place, this little scene of death and destruction could have simply been replaced by Jason telling us about hearing stories when he was a kid about what happened to the Nethers............ which we get anyway.  So Jason uses the urban legend knowledge he retained from when he was a child to swim in Park Lake and find a secret entrance to the Gotham Underground.  Once inside, he's immediately attacked because folks from the Underground aren't about to let a sun loving outsider down in their home.

Elsewhere in the Underground, Arsenal is being tortured so that an old lady can get information about why Roy is hanging out with J.D. and it seems kind of excessive because she's all about worshiping Charon, who Joker's Daughter overthrew to gain control of the Underground, but now he's back and has Duela all tied up and without her funky face....... So yeah, torturing Roy for the company that he keeps just seems a little harsh, especially after being kidnapped by lava monsters........... that shit's traumatic.  Eventually though, Roy escapes, takes out his captors and convinces the old broad to tell him where he can find Joker's Daughter so he can get his rescue on......... even though he's really not all about it.  J.D. on the other hand seems like she'll just be hanging around awhile so Charon can tell her his big new plan on dragging all of Gotham into the ground with his new buddies, the lava monsters........... who are apparently from the deepest of the deep underground caverns, if ya didn't know.

In the end, after Jason beat the hell out of some Underground fools, he eventually gets them on his side when he finds out that they're just afraid of five individuals who have come from the surface and terrorize them.  With Jason doing the whole hero thing lately and not just killing bad guys for the fun of it, he's all about helping these slobs, even though he still needs to find his friends........... and almost immediately he runs into these five, known as the Iron Rule and as our issue closes, Jason lets them know that he's their worst nightmare......... like he's some bad ass from an 80's movie.......... yeah, I like that a bit. 

That's it for this issue of Red Hood/Arsenal and after reading the last issue and seeing Arsenal and Joker's Daughter being sucked into the ground by lava monsters, I have to say that I wasn't too excited about jumping into this issue and after reading this issue........ I'm still not excited.  It seems really strange to pick up on where Ann Nocenti left off with the Gotham Underground from her Catwoman run, especially since that story was terrible.  I don't know if Scott Lobdell is all about correcting mistakes at this point like he's trying to do with Joker's Daughter........ which I do love what he's done with that character so far, but the Gotham Underground should have been left dead and buried because it might as well just be "The Place Where Anything Can Happen and Anyone Can Show Up".  It's a total wildcard and it's because of this aspect that the stories haven't been very fun and this issue isn't an exception because we're dealing with so much shit........... which really isn't anything yet because nothing really went down.  The art though was really enjoyable and I'm happy as hell that Red Hood resumed wearing his old costume, which I hope just wasn't a left over from his time during the Robin War because I just hate the new costume and hope that it never returns.  The only problem that I really had with the art side of the book was that while our main characters looked great, everyone else in this book came off really rough and made the whole thing come off uneven.  If talking about art is your thing, let me just tell you that the colors were awesome as hell and my personal favorite thing was how red Red Hood's mask was........... I don't know what I'm talking about anymore, the colors were great, the art was half decent, but the story was really boring.

Bits and Pieces:
Even though I still have high hopes for Red Hood/Arsenal and what it's doing with Joker's Daughter, I can't say that I enjoyed this issue because it just came off really boring and for some reason it decided that everyone didn't hate the Gotham Underground story enough and had to revisit it.  It will still probably lead to some funny moments and punching fools in the face like we love, but as of right now, I'm not impressed and wish we could get out of the Underground and get back into the light...... everyone likes light.......... except for people who are really light sensitive or get migraines....... but the hell with those people.  

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  1. Parts of this issue made me feel like I was reading a Rob Liefeld comic from the early 1990's, especially with the Iron Rule. I also fear that they're going to go with the wisecracking personality with Red Hood. Not sure if I like that or not. Jason needs his edge back. Would have liked to have seen more Joker's Daughter this issue as well compared to what we got. I am just a little disappointed with this one.

  2. This stories okay. I feel like Lobdell was told to keep Jason close to Gotham for Batman And Robin Eternal.

    I love the fact that Jason is referring to her as Duela. I've had a theory that Owlman from earth 3 is up to something and the reason we have been really introduced to Duela is that she is also from Earth 3. And maybe the reason she is so crazy is she is the reverse of Jason. Joker tortured and changed Jason, so maybe Owlman tortured and changed Duela. Lobdell has taken many aspects of his run with Jason Todd from the time Jason was on "the challengers of beyond". In that series we had Jason, Donna Troy, and Kyle Rayner. Some of the dynamics of that relationship I feel plays out in red hood and the outlaws.

    In the beginning of challengers of beyond Duela dent is killed by a cosmic being erasing anything that doesn't be long in the main universe. During Jason trip across the multiverse with his team of people that are not really a team the go to earth 3 and meet the Jokester who was the hero in Gotham while Owlman was the Villian. We find out from him that Duela is from Earth 3. I feel like Lobdell is trying to use story elements/plots from Pre flashpoint universe.

    Even this series is something that was suppose to be done in the pre flash point. I remember during an interview during one of my favorite series Generation Lost, there was going to be a story where Jason Todd and a archer named Conner Hawke where suppose to team up like a buddy cop movie. Which is what we are sort getting from
    Red Hood/Arsenal.

    I actually hope this theory pans out, because it will make Duela character make sense, and Red hood/Arsenal hasn't had there first serious arc yet we're taking out the Villian is all important like Joker in Endgame or Ras al ghoul in red hood and the outlaws yet.

    Jason, Roy, and now Duela(who can play like a Scalet sidekick character to both Jason and Roy) have an adventure trying to find out Duelas past and Look for Earth 3 Owlman.

  3. DC really needs to do something about this title. Either give it to someone competent, or just cancel it altogether. Lobdell's just treading water here. The characters are lifeless, and the plotting is going nowhere. It's like Lobdell isn't even trying to figure out what's happening two issues from now. It seems like this book is basically quarantine for all the mishandled characters that DC has to keep around, but no one actually wants to write.

    1. I agree this title needs more Focus, maybe giving to someone else would be better.

      But as far as this series goes it not life less. It's the small moments that Lobdell does great. The last couple of issues shows us some pretty good moment with J.D(Duela Dent) and I enjoyed Jason's talk with Bruce 2-3 Issue ago.

      What this series need is a good Villian. Series can only be as good as there Villian is. Here's hopeing for My Owlman Theory.

    2. The problem is that Lobdell basically writes for Tumblr. He throws in a cookie-cutter "feel good" moment so that it can get reblogged over and over again, but doesn't do anything to build up to those moments.

  4. Yikes! What happened to Jason Todd's "Hood"?!

    That mask of his in the first picture looks like they just recolored Destro's mask from G.I. Joe


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