Friday, April 21, 2017

Batman: Red Hood The Lost Days #2 Review


“Baptism”


Writer: Judd Winick
Artists: Pablo Raimondi (Pgs 1, 10-22), Cliff Richards (Pgs. 2-9)
Colorist: Brian Reber
Letterer: Pat Brosseau
Assistant Editor: Janelle Siegel
Editor: Michael Marts
Cover Artwork: Billy Tucci
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: July 8, 2010

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We last left off with a newly resurrected Jason Todd being pushed into the Lazarus Pit by Talia al’ Ghul. Her father, Ra's al Ghul, warns Talia of the unknown variables associated with the pit. Instead, Talia chooses to roll the dice with fate and recklessly puts what’s left of Jason’s sanity at risk. There’s no doubt that Talia and the Batman have had a history with one another. The reasons for Talia’s actions in aiding Jason Todd remain unclear at this point. In fact, you could make the case that Talia’s actions are only serving to test the physical and mental resolve of Jason Todd. Let’s find out what young Jason is made of, shall we?
We open with Jason Todd not having the best of days. This is brought on by the headline in the local paper reading that Batman had returned the Joker to police custody. Jason is overwhelmed with rage, so much so that he takes it out on not only the furniture and appliances in his hotel room, but the establishment’s staff as well. He is overcome with a sense of angst and displays his cries in the fetal position. 


Meanwhile, Ra's al Ghul flips out on Talia reiterating to her that she does not know what forces she is trifling with in regards to Jason Todd and the Lazarus Pit. On the surface, she remains calm and confident towards her father. Raz fears a plague has been unleashed upon the Earth. 



We cut to Jason wandering the streets seething with rage. He feels betrayed and hurt that Batman has not avenged his death against the Joker. He doesn’t understand why the Joker is still alive. This is an interesting philosophical moral dilemma that has been compared to that of Adolf Hitler in the sense that would you kill a known psychopath and murderer. Depending on who you ask, the results are varied. Talia al’ Ghul has her men following Jason, but Jason’s able to pick up on this and quickly loses his pursuers.


Eighteen hours earlier, we see Jason Todd negotiating a flight overseas with some shady characters using cash up front. It is here where we learn that Jason’s in the market for some weapons of the military grade and he’s on his way to Gotham.



What makes this story so intriguing is the fact that Jason has done his homework in preparing for his inevitable showdown with the Dark Knight. He knows Batman’s habits and his patterns. Writer Judd Winick does an excellent job of describing the scenes with Jason stealthily and patiently placing a bomb on the bottom of the Batmobile. The art does a great job in depicting Jason’s facial expressions and implied emotions in that series of panels. In the end, Jason Todd does not use the detonator to blow up the Batmobile and lets Batman drive away.

After these events, we find Jason and Talia al’ Ghul having a conversation about the whole ordeal with Batman. It is here where we find out Jason’s true intentions. Jason says something to the effect that killing Batman at that moment would have been too easy. If Batman were to die at that moment, he would not have known that his killer, Jason Todd, had indeed returned from the grave. Jason is preparing for a one on one showdown with his former mentor and he has something to prove to Gotham’s primary residential vigilante. Jason’s revelation in this issue reminds me a lot of the Joker in that the Joker would often reveal himself before trying to exact the killing blow on Batman. In this sense, one could make the case that both Jason Todd and Joker share this detail in common. The issue closes with Talia al’ Ghul realizing that her father was right, in that Jason Todd is a pandora’s box that should never have been opened. Some things should probably have remained dead.

Bits and Pieces:

The artwork was split in this issue between Pablo Raimondi and Cliff Richards and the result left me feeling a little bit jarred. Don’t get me wrong both are good artists, but any time there are more than one artist on any given issue, it can take me out of the story for a moment. 
This definitely happened to me here. Judd Winick continues to unravel an engaging, yet fascinating ball of story-yarn here. Batman’s greatest failure has returned to reestablish himself among Gotham’s pantheon of heroes and villains. Heads are about to roll!

8.7/10


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3 comments:

  1. Glad to see your still at it Deron. My favorite part of this issue is the fact that Jason can 100% kill batman, kill him while he sleeps, Kill him while he's at work, or kill him when he gets in a batmobile. Next Issue is my favorite, Jason Starts his own training journey just like Bruce when he first becoming Batman.

    Question Jim, have you ever read Lost Days? What Pre Flashpoint Stories have you read?

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    Replies
    1. Shame now Jason is the bitch of Bruce tamed like a bat lapdog and has lost his edge. All he does now is mope about the past and he is haunted by his death. #NotTheRealJasonTodd

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  2. Thanks for the comment, Anthony. This series fills a lot of the holes between A Death In The Family and Under The Red Hood. It certainly grabs the reader right from the word go, in my opinion. I'm glad you're taking the time out of your day to read my nonsensical review. I'm currently trying to balance the real world with my Daredevil blog along with some occasional DC related stuff like this one. My goal is to do one of these a month until its completion. Thanks for reading.

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