Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
on 31 January 2012
A new vigilante is in town and he's shaking things up for Black Mask, the new crime boss of Gotham. But when Batman steps in he finds that this new guy happens to know lots of things about him, things his enemies don't know, couldn't possibly know. But who could know Batman so well, who could be... under the red hood?
I think most people coming to this book will know who it is under the red hood, so much so the subtitle of the book should be "The Resurrection of Jason Todd". Jason, the second Robin, was famously murdered by the Joker in the book "Batman: A Death in the Family" and became Batman's biggest failure. But hey this is comics, it's all middle story, nothing's forever. Superman died, Green Arrow died, and they're both alive, why not Robin too?
The book is actually pretty good. Besides some shaky dialogue characterising Batman as an extremely grumpy and unlikeable man (the back and forth between him and Nightwing was unlike the way their relationship has largely been written), the plot was full of action and intrigue moving forward at a blistering pace and throwing a few curve balls at the reader. I especially liked the final confrontation between Batman and Red Hood, I think what most people expected to hear wasn't what was said and that's always a good thing, that a writer can surprise like that. Think you know what motivates Jason? Think again. And of course Joker is knee deep in it as usual.
But I think the biggest problem most people have with the book is how Jason was brought back from the grave. It's included here at the end and I have to agree it was a bit convoluted. Remember that the means to resurrect the dead exists in the Batman universe, they're called Lazarus Pits, but rather than simply use this device Winick goes for an even more out there explanation that probably turned a lot of people off the story proper.
That said, this is a fine Batman book that I had a blast reading. Winick underwrote Black Mask a bit until the end when we saw his viciousness come through, and as I've said the final showdown between Batman and Red Hood is an instant classic and very moving. If you love Batman then you'll get a lot from this book, I know I did.