It'll Surprise YouWritten by: Scott Lobdell
Art by: Dexter Soy, Veronica Gandini and Taylor Esposito
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: July 27, 2016
This is my first crack at reviewing a Redhood title as Eric has always been the resident expert when it comes to Jason Todd. I have read and enjoyed Red Hood in his various books in the New 52/DC You, so it's not like I am a newb or anything. However, if Scott Lobdell does his job, it shouldn't matter if I am a veteran reader or someone fresh off the boat who just happens to stop at a newsstand and grab Red Hood Comic for some reason and then read it instead of looking for an apartment or a job. So, did Lobdell do his job and is there anyone out there looking to employ a middle aged man with no real skills who will work for a ham sandwich? Let's find out...
The issue opens "Years Ago" as we see a young man in a red hoodie stealing the tires off of the...Batmobile?!?! I guess that would be more shocking if we haven't seen it before, but I always love seeing it. What am I talking about? Well, it looks like Scott Lobdell is using his Rebirth issue to go back to where it all began and give the reader the origin of Red Hood.
I don't know if I've been beaten down by other Rebirth issues trying too hard or I just love this origin story, but I liked this one right from the start. I love how nice Batman is and how can you not smile as he eats fast food in the cape and cowl? The answer is, you can't! This scene also has the big line in the issue when Batman tells Jason, "You just have to give people a chance...They'll usually surprise you."
After seeing the awesome progression from street urchin to Robin, we get the the present where Jason is pulling off awesome motorcycle stunts, looking badass as the Red Hood and possibly shooting cops. It leads to a little street meeting with the Mayor that also leads to a one-on-one with the Dark Knight. Awesome!
Okay, throughout this whole part, I was wondering what the fuck was going on. However, it wasn't the angry confusion I usually walk through life with, but an exciting confusion where I was hoping what I was seeing wasn't really happening.
The fight ends with Red Hood besting Batman (again, awesome!) and getting back to his meet and greet with the Mayor. Again, things get good confusing when it looks like Jason straight up executes the Mayor and whether it was real or not doesn't seem to matter when the whole thing is broadcast of the evening news. The court of popular opinion is now in session.
Jason is watching as well and when the bartender (or course he's in a bar) mentions the Joker, we get back to This is Your Life. Joker + Crowbar + dynamite + Batman holding a dead Jason = a very familiar scene that I still love seeing. Afterwards, we start to see what Lobdell is getting at here when Jason is approached by a False Face Society goon who asks him to join their little gang.
The picture comes further into view when Batman visits Jason and we find out he didn't exactly kill the Mayor or the police, but is still a badass. A badass who can get into places Batman only wishes he could. I'm not talking about the Water Buffalo Lodge here. The issue ends with Jason throwing the "give people a chance" line in Batman's face and one last look back at Jason at his happiest.
I know that some people will pish posh this issue as retread, but I liked it a lot. What better way to get everyone up to speed by showing us how it all began while setting the seeds for the Rebirth. Listen, I wanted to see Bizarro and Artemis as much as the next guy, but am happy with what we got and am excited about this book.
I have always been a Dexter Soy fan and I like the look of this book in general. I actually like the present day stuff a whole lot more than the flashback stuff which bodes well for my future enjoyment.
Bits and Pieces:
Longtime Red Hood fans won't be getting much new information here, but I think everyone will enjoy starting everything fresh and new. Yes, this is an origin story, but it also shows where Red Hood stands now and I'm excited to get everything going.