Now that Jason Todd is both among the living and back behind the wheel in his head, it’s time for Batman to pay for not avenging his death. But can this former sidekick kill his idol?
Written by Judd Winick
Art by Pablo Raimondi and Cliff Richards
Colors by Brian Reber
Letters by Pat Brosseau
Edited by Michael Marts
Cover by Billy Tucci
Previously in Red Hood: The Lost Days: When Superboy Prime punched a wall in the pages of Infinite Crisis, he changed reality as we knew it. One of those changes was resurrecting the second Robin, Jason Todd. After having crawled out of his grave, Jason was found by Talia Head, the daughter of Ra’s al Ghul, who tried to care for and heal him. Try as she might, Jason’s mind was too far damaged for him to recover fully from his many physical and mental traumas. As a last resort, Talia took Jason to one of her father’s Lazarus Pits against orders and pushed him in. Newly recovered, Talia grabbed Jason and fled with him to a cliff where she gave him supplies and information then pushed him into the waters below. Now Jason is on a mission to discover the world that went on without him and the reasons why he was never avenged.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO FIRST?
Jason finally reclaims the ability to think for himself and the first thing he does is the same thing any rock star on a World Tour does; trashes a hotel room. But unlike the rock stars of the world, Jason does it after reading a news paper saying “Batman Returns Joker To Police Custody”. Meanwhile, Talia finds herself in the hot seat with her father after having disobeyed his orders. Jason wanders the streets as his anger festers and grows. He recalls thoughts of his death and the pain of resurrection when suddenly he finds that he’s being followed. After ditching his shadows, Jason makes a deal to fly with a mercenary transport to Gotham city.
Angry and with nothing else on his mind other than punishing Batman for caring so little about him, Jason comes up with a plan for revenge. Using the money that Talia set up for him, Jason set to broker two deals; one to buy weapons and one to sell them. Once the Penguin was involved Jason was ready to make his move. He leaded word of the exchange in places that he knew would work its way back to Batman. Once a time and place was set up, Batman arrived to stake it out … leaving the Batmobile unguarded. Moving very slowly, Jason placed a bomb on the under carriage of the car and waited for Batman to return to it. Jason’s finger eagerly wished to push the detonator as Batman drove out of sight. Later, Jason explains his decision not to press the button was because Batman’s death would have been too quick. He wanted Batman to know he’d done it too. Talking with Talia, Jason asked her to help him with his revenge. She accepted.
WHEN DO WE GET TO THE GOOD STUFF?
Sometimes it feels like I’m one of the only people who are a fan of Jason Todd. I know there are quite a lot of people that don’t care for him, but for me he works. That being said, I was very eagerly looking forward to this mini series. I was a little disappointed that the first issue was essentially the same thing as Batman Annual #25 that came out during the Under the Red Hood days. I really looked to this second issue to start filling me in on the “lost days” details that the title suggests. So far, not much is actually being fleshed out and the pacing is very slow. Not to say that the issue is bad, but it’s not what I was expecting from the series so far. If your looking to get caught up on what happened so far, here it is: Jason is alive, Talia pushes him into a Lazarus Pit to heal him, and Jason goes to Gotham to kill Batman for not killing the Joker but doesn’t. There you go.
It seems to me that the largest part of this story is Jason’s attempt on Batman. Which is something that could have probably have been done in a page or less. It just feels too stretched out. Adding in these over drawn minor events is starting to raise questions for me. Such as: Did Batman ever discover the undetonated bomb on the Batmobile? I’m sure he did. He’s Batman after all. Then why wasn’t that a topic of importance in his comics prior to Under the Red Hood? You’d think that if placing a bomb on the Batmobile was as difficult as Jason says it is, it would have raised a red flag long ago. Not to mention all of this took place during what some would call the “Bat-jerk” age of extreme paranoia. Another major question is that if Ra’s al Ghul is so against Jason, then why allow him continued access to the bank accounts that Talia set up for him? I’m sure something like that would not have passed Ra’s notice. And by the end of the issue, Jason is speaking with Talia outdoors. I thought that Talia had both lost track of him and was “grounded”. What happened there? Seems like whenever someone tries to expand on a smaller event, they don’t double check their work to see how it fits in with everything else and further complicate things. I can see how this wouldn’t bother some people, but it really stuck out to me.
A TALE OF 3 ARTISTS
This issue has two artists working on it for some reason. Pages 1 and 10-22 were done by Pablo Raimondi while the remaining pages of 2-9 were done by Cliff Richards. Their work is close enough that you don’t notice the difference when the issue switches them. I have to say that I would have preferred if Mr. Richards had done the entire issue instead of Mr. Raimondi. Raimondi does an adequate job but when compared to Richards, his panel direction and placement on a white background doesn’t seem to be as effective as Richards’ is with the black backgrounds. I really like Richards’ portrayal of Talia (specifically on page 7). However, these two fine artists take a back seat to the incredible cover art of Billy Tucci. Now, I have to qualify that statement with saying that I’ve been a fan of Billy’s for quite some time. Recently at Wizard World Philadelphia, I got my Red Hood: The Lost Days #1 signed by him (and I don’t normally get my things signed). Despite my preexisting fondness for Billy’s work, I still say that I would love to own a print of his cover for issue 2 and I liked this piece before I discovered Billy was the artist.
THE LOST DAYS WERE LOST FOR A REASON
After a first issue that feels like I read it years ago and a second issue that feels like it didn’t need to exist, I’m not sure how much hope I have left that the series is going to deliver the kind of story I was hoping to get. Funny thought though; at times I had to remind myself that this wasn’t a Brightest Day resurrection we’re dealing with and should stop wondering when the White Lantern ring would appear on his hand. It’s just a fair issue if anything. It tells a story. Not a necessary story but a story none the less. I give this issue two and a half stars for leaving me completely luke warm.