Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Red Hood/Arsenal #13 Review and *SPOILERS*

Get Out of Here Roy, Ya Bother Me

Written By: Scott Lobdell
Art By: Joe Bennett, Belardino Brabo, Juan Albarran, Jose Villarrubia, Dave Sharpe
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: June 8, 2016

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

It's time to say goodbye to Red Hood/Arsenal and it's funny because even though I originally really dug this book, it has certainly gone down hill over the past few months and it's strange to think that Red Hood will continue "Outlawing" into Rebirth.  I'm really at a loss for words here because what do you say about Jason and Roy's time as Rent-A-Bat since it was bogged down with Joker's Daughter and the Iron Rule?  It all just seems like nonsense, but maybe this final issue will give us a redeeming quality that will allow us to open Jason's Rebirth book with a smile and forget about all the garbage we got before............ maybe.  In our previous issue we saw Roy kidnapped by his former team the Iron Rule and made the subject of a internet voting game, where the trolls out there in interwebs land would decide whether Arsenal lives or dies.......... and from the way the votes were coming in, it doesn't look to good for our archer.  Things might come around though because as that issue closed we saw Jason find some secret weapon in Roy's workshop that appears to be just what the doctor ordered in saving Arsenal's life........ plus we know that Roy will be in Titans so I guess there isn't too much worry going into this.  Okay, let's jump into this issue and see how these two best friends part ways and if it's amicable.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

When our issue begins I immediately get disappointed partly because I was wrong as hell in my review of the previous issue where I was talking about how it seemed that Roy had built himself some kind of rudimentary Mother Box or as I liked calling it before getting completely shut down with what's actually going on "The Step-Mother Box".  Anyway, Jason found something in Roy's workshop that seemed to make his day in the previous issue and because I saw a "PING" my mind went straight to a Mother Box, like any good DC fan would, but as it turns out I was completely wrong and that ping was actually from a locator that found Roy and that's it.  The other reason that I was immediately disappointed was because this thing that Jason found is revealed here to be....... trick arrows that "put out nuclear energy".  I have that in quotes because that's how it's described in the book and that's all the description that we get.  This might have been cool if we had a little more background on the Iron Rule and what their power sets were because besides for me knowing that Roy supposedly killed them with a nuclear strike and that they didn't stay dead..... that's all I got.  Apparently though, these trick arrows when they strike the Iron Rule turn them into the Tar Man from Return of the Living Dead.......... or like a ice cream sundae on a hot day........ they go melty.  

So yeah, Jason starts taking out Iron Rule fools left and right with these trick arrows until Roy gets him to cool it by getting in between him and a member of the Iron Rule and for some reason Jason is beyond pissed at this whole situation.  Yeah, it's got to be a nuisance to rescue somebody from certain death from the Class of Nuke 'Em High, but Jason seems to be taking all this a little too personal.  This continues when he comes across Joker's Daughter again and she almost goads him into killing her....... which is a shame because Jason was making great strides a few months ago with taking a "No Killing" stance and I thought this worked really well with all the time that he was getting with the Bat Family during the Robin War and Batman and Robin Eternal and I was finally starting to think that Jason would finally get on that goddamn family painting at Wayne Manor, but with him killing off the Iron Rule and almost making Joker's Daughter eat a bullet, it looks like Jason's summer playlist will be featuring Alice Cooper's No More Mr. Nice Guy and it will be in heavy rotation.  

In the end, Roy puts a stop to the tense situation between Joker's Daughter and Red Hood by simply tazing the teenage terror, but it seems that Jason has already decided to end Roy and his partnership because we get a scene where Jason is pretty much telling Roy that he's too good to be running around with the likes of Jason and it's so over the top that it comes off like one of those classically cliched scenes where you're trying to release a animal back into the wild but it doesn't want to go so you have to get nasty....... I wish I had a better example, but the first one to come to mind was when John Lithgow was trying to get Harry the bigfoot to go back into the woods even though he had become a member of the Henderson family.  So that's all she wrote with Jason and Roy's partnership.......... but that's only fifteen pages of the book.  The rest of the issue comes off to me as an experiment in what this book would look like if it got the Batgirl treatment and it just seems pointless as hell because it's just supposed to be a cartoony look at Jason and Roy's first meeting when they took on that gang from the Warriors that dressed as baseball players........ That's what happened right?

That's it for this series of Red Hood/Arsenal and it's crazy to me that for the final issue we didn't even have enough story to get a full page count so a backup had to be added and that just came off as nonsense to me because of the Saturday Morning Cartoon style it was approached with.  The whole short story that this issue was though just came off forced as hell because Jason just needs to be a dick to drive Roy away so that he can get back to his Outlaw roots in Rebirth........ which could be cool, but I wish it was handled a little bit better than this because it seemed like a total reversal from everything that the character has become in this series.  Let's not forget the "Put Out Nuclear Energy" arrows because as far as I know Jason knows less about these characters than I do because I was at least privy to a flashback and I still didn't know that these characters powers and life itself was based on them having nuclear energy....... I guess you could come to that conclusion if you're taking a leap for something, but I don't think that Jason had any knowledge of these fools so this whole final showdown just comes out of nowhere with Red Hood having a secret weapon.  It's just not a lot of fun and the most I can say for this issue is that the art was decent........... except for Joker's Daughter's muppet eyebrows, but the art only goes for three quarters of  the book and then we jump into cartoon territory for the first meeting between these two and all of that just comes off as pointless nonsense as a way to leave us on a positive note, but with the type of asshole Jason was just being a couple of pages ago, it really doesn't work.  

Bits and Pieces:
Red Hood/Arsenal really leaves us on a terrible note, where things just happen for no real reason other than to get Jason on his own again for his Outlaws Rebirth title.  Hell, we don't even get a full page count to tell this final tale because there just isn't enough story so we get a cartoony look of when Jason and Roy first met that really does nothing for me.  This title has been struggling for awhile now and sadly this issue is just more of the same nonsense, but because this is the finale it just accentuates how this arc had really nothing going on at all.  



Mark said...

I guess that the backup is how they met as of Rebirth, because that is sure not how they met in the New 52. It kind of rubs salt into the wound that their friendship/partnership ends like this.

Eric Shea said...

and that was such an awesome scene too....... I may be wrong, but I think that was our first look at Jason's Robin costume in the New 52 and that flowing yellow cape kicked ass.

Mark said...

I think we actually see Jason in his Robin costume a few times in flashbacks in Red Hood and the Outlaws. I remember something about Jason being sick, and Bruce deciding to stay in and watch a movie with him instead of going on patrol. I don't know. I there was popcorn involved. Taking a step back though and looking at the backup on its own merits it is actually kinda fun. I even kind of like the detail that Roy has a yellow trucker hat instead of a yellow robin hood like hat.

Eric Shea said...

I forget the story line, but it sounds like something that would have happened in Nanda Parbat for when Jason had to give up his best memory....and we find out that it was a night in on the couch with Bruce having popcorn and watching movies. Great scene.

Deron said...

I didn't like the artwork. I didn't mind the Robin and Speedy era bit at the end. I thought it was a nice way to end the book. Jason's realization to Roy about breaking up the partnership while on the surface may have seemed like a setup for Rebirth, I came away from this with a different perspective altogether. Jason said something to the effect that the people who wanted Roy to die weren't the people that he wanted to protect anymore. I thought it was cool that those people were the ones who ultimately talked Jason out of the rent-a-bat business. Scott could use this tidbit going into Rebirth next month. I thought the issue was decent, but not great.

Anonymous said...

Five years with a bottom-of-the-barrel book, and Jason was still more relevant as a character when he was pushing daisies. Sigh...

Jim Werner said...

hey, there is a reviewer out there that gave this issue a 10/10!!!

Unknown said...

I want what ever fucked up drugs that review is on. They sound amazing if he gave this a 10 :)

Unknown said...


Dark_Tzitzimine said...

A few things

-The backup story is drawn like that because is meant to be a homage/shotout to silver age comics.
-Said backup is a bookend for Jason and Roy's story together in the N52. Not that different to how the animated UtRH movie ended with a flashback to Jason's first day as Robin. And no, it wasn't meant to end the book in a positive note
-Jason DID knew the skills of the Iron Rule due fighting them back in issue 9 while they were in the Nethers
-While Jason will indeed go back to his old ways due editorial mandate, the way Lobdell set up this was very logical and organic. Through this series Jason has tried again and again to redeem any enemy they face but he was played as a fiddle by JD and worse yet, the same people he tried to protect dogpiled on Roy just because they could. All of this left Jason bitter leading to his decision to break his partnership with so Roy wouldn't be dragged by Jason's cynism.

This is a huge development for Jason since is the first time where he legitimely decides to put the well being of someone else before his own.

Action Jackson said...

Didn't care for how this ended. In my opinion Jason should have killed J.D along with the iron rule. The way I see it is Jason put all his chips on JD, and when she couldn't change it was like Jason couldn't change. Jason wanted the Heroes way to work but it doesn't. I am happy at the fact Jason's going back to killing evil people, which is a great way to show that Jason cares a great deal more about what's right vs what liked by society. This Red Hood/Arsenal series was not as good as Red Hood and the Outlaws, but had good character interactions with Between Roy & Jason. I wish them both luck on there up coming series.


Anonymous said...


I can't remember, did Lithgow use a real goat when he tried to goat Harry into leaving?


Eric Shea said...

Nah, Lithgow was a hunter and Harry found a mounted head of a goat or ram or some unholy monster animal that they tried to hide earlier in the film...... and thus, through bigfoot shaming Lithgow changed his sport hunting ways.

Anonymous said...

Too funny. I was mocking you.

You meant to say that Joker's daughter was trying to "goad" Jason. Not "goat" him.

Eric Shea said...

did I write goat? Well, it's time for a little editing magic.......... unless I did mean goat..

BluePrint said...

Fully agree with everything you've mentioned. Even going back to The outlaws there has been a consistent growth with the development of jason and roy thay I've enjoyed.