Wednesday, December 19, 2012

SPOILERS: Red Hood and the Outlaws #15

With Harvey Bullock and the GCPD bursting into Isabel's apartment, Jason gives them the rundown of what needs to happen, and they're going to do it, or he'll make them... turns out he has to make them, as he is forced to engage the cops, but goes easy on them. When all is said and done, he informs Bullock is to take Isabel to the hospital, while he borrows his car. Jason intends to go back to the Batcave to warn everyone Bruce is full of shit, but turns out Bullock may have had a guy in the back seat he didn't know about, and Jason soon passes out after a dose of gas, and some laughs.

Elsewhere, Roy and Kori are flirting, what else is new?

Jason wakes up in a nondescript location, with Joker practicing some of his standup. Jason is apparently "paralyzed" but soon reveals to the Joker that his training put him through a lot of paralyzing toxins he's grown immune to, and starts kicking the crap out of him. Jason goes for the crowbar, to get a little revenge, but Joker has an electrical charge running through it, which knocks Jason out again.

Elsewhere, Bullock has taken Isabel to the hospital, and a cop turns over her phone, not believing the story, thinking she's just an average junkie. Looking through the phone, bullock finds a very often contacted "J/First Class" person listing, and calls it, letting him know he believes that it was a set up and wants to get to the bottom of it. On Kori's island, Roy and Kori... busy, hear in, thanks to Crux's tech that allows them to hear anything transmission they want, and they learn that Jason is in trouble, and set out for Gotham.

Jason once again wakes up, in his hood now, and begins to get taunted by the Joker, who Jason tells isn't convinced he knows everything. But Joker leaves him little clues from the past, a slug that was taken out of his father, a recreation of his mother's overdose, and soon, Jason starts to question that maybe Joker does know, maybe Joker is telling the truth, but none of that matters, as Jason soon finds himself falling through a trap door, right next to a knocked out Tim Drake.

Roy and Kori finally get to Gotham, and in a terribly portrayed two pages, somehow find their way to the Teen Titans who are also in town.


The Good:

The interaction between Jason and Joker is interesting, as always. Made for an interesting read, even if I'm not hot on some of the concepts, it's pretty engaging. 

The Bad: 

I still don't like the "Joker choreographed Jason's life" revelation... just don't like it one bit.

Moving on... the art. Okay, I'm done. I'm done just saying "I've already said I don't like it" I'm going to say what I really want to say. I hate to rag on a guy so much, but Timothy Green II just isn't working for me. The first few pages with a different inker made things look a bit better, but not much. Soon after it, it looked like the old inker, and everything went to hell again for me. The problem is, this just looks mediocre, there's a huge lack of detail, in Jason's mask, Joker's get up (IE, missing the "Joe" label, his face barely looking like it isn't attached properly, etc.) and so on. The fact that the Bat office has seemingly settled, and that's the best word to use, on this as the art to take Kenneth Rocafort's place, is just down right sad. I was fine thinking that this would be fill in until a real permanent artist was picked, but every month I see the same name listed in solicits, I just get more and more disappointed. DC has a bad habit of throwing who-the-hell-ever onto an open art position on a low selling book, which... makes sense in a way, but Red Hood sells pretty well, and the fact that they're not committing better talent to it is sad. The worst part about it is that this is the crossover, this is the big fucking Joker story, more readers than usual will be picking up the title, and this is what they get. Put it next to Greg Capullo, Eddy Barrows, Brett Booth or Patrick Gleason, and one stands out in a really bad way.

Finally, I've seen people try and apply a bit of justification as to why some things are just plain wrong, like Jason's mask. Most notably, I read in the Red Hood and the Outlaws Facebook group, fans just saying "oh, it was an old version of Jason's mask that Joker swiped." Well, I'm going to burst that bubble... No, no it isn't. That's just how Green draws the helmet. It's just wrong, and here's why, because I'm in a great mood tonight. (Blame Catwoman)

Issue #11, Kenneth Rocafort's last issue, Red Hood in space.

That's what the helmet looks like. Features and all, nose, sort of mouth.

Here's the helmet from the same arc, same location, when Green took over.

And there goes all the features, just a flat surface, that once again, is wrong, and just as it appears in this issue.

Finally, let's look at a scene from Teen Titans #15, which obviously picks up immediately right where Tim and Jason were left...

And there's the nose and mouth again! Same helmet! Not old one, and not like it's a miscommunication, since it's the same writer.

So sorry Hoodies, I realize you're probably trying to make light of a bad situation, but you're just lying to yourself. It's wrong.

And I have to stress, I'm being super critical, I know... but I'm really not trying to be a dick. This just isn't working for me. It's not like I hate Green's art. For instance, I liked his stuff on the Animal Man Annual and the pages he's been doing during Rotworld. His style fits there, it just doesn't fit on this book, and it just bothers me to this degree, because this book used to be one of my favorites, and among the top five of best art at DC, in my book.

The Bottom Line:

Despite the largest "Bad" section I've ever written... probably... the story is okay. If there was some better art, I'd probably give it a point higher, but the at times interesting story mixed with the bad art creates this weird vibe, where I want to read the book, but it just bums me the hell out. 



  1. I've never really liked the "featured" Red Hood mask. Always felt it looks ridiculous. Almost like a mediocre rendering of the Red Skull or something.

    1. That's besides the point. The fact is, like it or not, the featured version is what it's supposed to be, and is being incorrectly drawn now.

  2. who was the artist who did the essence back-ups in issues 11 and 10, I think he would have been great on the book.

  3. What can you say? The ladies love the "helmet" ....

  4. 1. This was the crossover issue I was looking forward to the most, and it did not disappoint.
    2. This might sound crazy, and admittedly stupid, but I get the feeling that's a different person under the Joker's face. Here's why, they've made a big deal about the joker's eyed being different, even different from what they used to be. Considering his eyes are the only things that didn't change when the Joker cut off his face, I think they are trying to say that the eyes behind the face are literally not the same. And my top candidate for whose behind the mask is, and this is where it gets insane and dumb, Two Face. I came up with his name while reading Red Hood. It was when Jason was in Bullock's car and we see Joker's face, and his two differently colored eyes. And I thought Two Face is the only villain I can think of with two differently colored eyes. Again, I'm probably wrong and will be proven wrong when Two Face appears in one of the two remaining back ups.

    1. Or artists and colonists just aren't doing their jobs. It's not Two Face. And there's only one back up left, 17 is all Capullo

    2. Two Face is a stretch, but they have been focusing on his eyes, so I think there's something to that. And how does Tim Green making the eyes two different colors mean that he's not doing his job?

    3. The two different colored eyes are a thing Batman colorist FCO came up with. Read Batman, that's how his eyes look. I meant colonists aren't doing their job correctly when they AREN'T two different colors