Friday, March 3, 2017

Batman: Red Hood The Lost Days #1 Review - Retro Review



“The First Step”

Writer: Judd Winick
Artist: Pablo Raimondi
Colorist: Brian Reber
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: June 2, 2010
Review by: Deron Murphree 

Follow Deron on Twitter @DeronMurphree

 Hello comic book fans! I figured I’d take this opportunity to do a little retro-review about a story before the Under The (Red) Hood arc in the Batman comics. I am referring to the mini-series entitled, Red Hood, The Lost Days. These are the events that happen prior to a newly resurrected Jason Todd having an unexpected reunion with his former mentor, Batman. Are you intrigued yet? Let’s find out what happens in this opening issue.

We open with a terrified Talia al’ Ghul in the grip of her father. He asks her if she’s knows what she’s unleashed upon the world. Ra’s al’ Ghul tells her a curse has now befallen on not just Gotham, but the entire world.

We then cut to years ago with Ra’s and Talia discussing some family business matters. Talia assures her father that business will be carried out as usual. But upon hearing of Jason Todd’s recent demise, Talia’s focus tends to shift toward the love of her life, Batman. She is worried about his mental state. Batman practically raised Jason from the streets and she has heard rumors of his growing aggression on the criminal element of Gotham.



Talia al’ Ghul goes about having her associates monitor Batman’s activities from afar and is able to locate the whereabouts of Jason Todd. For several months, Talia checks in on Jason Todd’s progress. Even in a quiet and lethargic state, Jason is able to make short work of his would-be attackers in a training session. Their sources have seemingly confirmed that Jason dug himself out of a coffin after having been buried and the DNA tests confirm that he is not a clone. This is indeed the real deal. Ra’s reiterates the importance of keeping this information a secret from Batman. Talia agrees.

Meanwhile we are given a scene where one of Joker’s men are being interrogated as he recounts the beating of Jason Todd with a crowbar at the hands of the Joker. A nurse at the hospital confirms Jason’s escape from the mental health facility several months back. One of Talia’s men tells her that Jason’s grave was disturbed and unearthed with evidence to suggest that Jason had crawled out of it.



We are then taken to another fight scene involving Jason and some of Talia’s goons. He goes through them like it’s just another walk in the park. The doctor observing the altercation comments that it’s almost as if Jason’s reacting on a kind of muscle memory. Jason does not interact verbally only through physical violence. It is almost like an autistic form of behavior that Jason Todd is exhibiting. Talia is not buying what the doctor is selling and demonstrates this by striking Jason, who in turn does not reciprocate the behavior. Talia points this out to the doctor who is left speechless.

At one point, Talia talks to Jason and lets him know of the Batman’s current behavior. She tells him that Batman considers him his biggest failure. A single tear rolls down Jason’s cheek.



 Shortly afterwards, Ra’s al’ Ghul’s patience has been all but exhausted. He pulls the plug on this whole Jason Todd endeavor citing it to be a waste of his resources. He considers Jason to be a piece of brain damaged meat and a lost cause. Ra’s wants Jason gone in the morning but Talia vows that he’ll be gone tonight.  

The issue ends with Talia al’ Ghul pushing Jason Todd into the Lazarus Pit towards an uncertain future.

Bits and Pieces:

I thought this issue read like a brilliant first chapter to an epic novel. The artwork did not distract me from the story at all. I was particularly fascinated with the portrayal of Jason Todd’s current psychological state. Since we are dealing with comics, there’s not much to go on in terms of the effects of the brain after death. I am not a neurologist but one could speculate that there would be some type of damage towards the brain as a result of asphyxiation. I hope that writer, Judd Winick explores this a little bit more in this mini-series. All in all, a spectacular start to an already addictive story!

9.2/10
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2 comments:

  1. Great review Deron. I remember when I first picked this up, this was supposed to be the story that Lead up to Under the red hood, with parts of the "Hush" story Peppered through it. And reading it I felt like this story should have been included in that arc to give readers a true understanding of the character of Jason.

    Are you going to continue the rest of "Lost Days"?

    ReplyDelete
  2. That is an affirmative. Currently scheduled to review all six issues.

    ReplyDelete

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