Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Red Hood #51 Review

King Of The Hill

Written By: Shawn Martinbrough
Art By: Tony Akins, Stefano Gaudiano, Paul Mounts, Troy Peteri
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 24, 2020

Jason Todd has dropped the Outlaws and is going solo as he makes his way back home to Gotham City. With a city full of Bat-Family members, what is Red Hood's place in all of this and what's he going to do to continue to be on the up and up.... and hopefully not get Batman to brutally kick his ass again?...... I guess we'll have to wait and see, but this is the first step in finding out so let's jump into this issue and see what this next chapter in Jason Todd's life holds for him. Let's check it out.

For this first issue of this new creative team's run, we're introduced to low-level street gangs who want to be more than they are and plan on doing this by high jacking some guns being smuggled in my the Black Mask, but even before Jason Todd hits town, it seems that this section of Gotham, "The Hill", has its own protectors, which like we've seen from Clown Hunter taking up protection duties in The Narrows because of the Joker War, this group of people, especially one costumed protector, who we'll see throughout the issue makes sure that this gang doesn't go and get too big for its britches.  

Now that sounds simple enough, but the way the story is told just doesn't work for me because we're introduced to a ton of characters and it feels like we're just dropped into their lives and have missed a ton of information about who they are, what they do and their relationships with each other, which even includes Jason Todd and his relationship with Dana Harlowe, a woman who Jason not only seems really close to because she's been watching a property that he owns for the past twelve years, but Jason also seems like he has a significant past with her family that we don't really talk about here....... which just kind of goes with another problem that this book has...... there's barely any Red Hood because there's just so much to take in here, like a shoe mogul who likes to make shoes based on Gotham villains and who plans on upping his cred by being associated with Killer Croc on top of the other gang activity that this book focuses on. It's just an odd read that I hope just stumbled out of the gate and eventually finds its footing as it continues.

All in all, I liked the art in this book. It had a retro feel that I enjoyed and only really wish that the colors were a bit more vibrant. As for the story...... I just wish it was told in a way that made it accessible for me to know what was going on and not like I just walked in on somebody in the middle of a conversation that I have no frame of reference to. Not to mention I could have dealt with a bit more Red Hood in this book, not to mention knowing what Jason Todd's connection to this neighborhood and the people in it is. There's a lot I'd like to know and hopefully, it will all become clear as the story progresses and hopefully in a way that feels natural but as of right now, I'm not exactly sold on this new direction for Red Hood.

Bits and Pieces:

Everything about this issue feels like it's completely removed from the rest of the Red Hood series in not only the way the book looks but by the way the story is told and all the new characters that are just thrown at us without a clear understanding about who they are or what their true motivations are. Having a new feeling though isn't horrible, I enjoy the art here but I wish the story gave me information instead of just throwing headfirst into the deep end because with this new concept for Red Hood....... I'm still learning to swim.


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