Wednesday, March 20, 2013

SPOILERS: Red Hood and the Outlaws #18

Jason lays unconscious in a bed within Wayne Manor, being tended to by Alfred, who believes Jason should be in a real hospital, despite Bruce's wishes. Inside Jason's head, he's having a bit of a mental experience with a giant manifestation of the Joker, who seems intent on finishing the job for a second time. Before Alfred leaves Bruce and Jason alone, he lets Bruce know that there won't be any physical damage, and Jason should wake up soon. Once Alfred leaves, Bruce begins to speak with Jason...

Bruce tells Jason about the moment where he stopped worrying about him, it was during their training, where Jason seemed to begin to take responsibility for himself. This is all well and good, but in Jason's mind, he's currently running from the Joker. Cornered, Jason decides to fire back by jamming a few sticks of dynamite down the Joker's throat.

Then, after the Joker is dealt with, Ducra reappears, because she don't need no body or life to teach Jason some lessons. Ducra scolds Jason for not using the All-Caste's training for good, and holding on to his rage after all that time. Ducra warns Jason that his rage will eventually bring nothing but sadness and death to those he choses to keep close, as Jason sees the bodies of all the Bat allies dead, as well as Roy and Kori hanging from a tree.

Then the scene shifts to all the Bat children piling on Jason in his redhood mask, until Bruce pulls him from the abyss. We see the scene where Bruce gives Jason his second chance by offering him the position of Wingman, to which Jason is unsure how to react. Bruce tells Jason that there is too much blame between them, and while they've both done things they came to regret, it all has to be let go.

Just then, Jason wakes up. Seeing Bruce, Jason tries to tell him he's sorry, but all Bruce does is hug him.


The Good: 

This was a great closure to Lobdell's run on the title. It really brings everything full circle, and leaves Jason in a truly new standing within the DCU. Say what you will about Lobdell, but he's really progressed Jason's character from the standstill it had been in since his return. It's great to see characters grow, and Lobdell really seemed to reach that target he aimed for, in terms of Jason.

The Bad: 

One, there is no reason to have the Requiem logo on this issue. Two, you're telling me Jason almost died from acid burns to the face, and there's no physical damage? Arlight.

The Bottom Line: 

As I said above, Lobdell really came full circle with getting Jason out of that "I'm mad!" rut he had been in for god knows how long. To have him fully reconciled with Bruce is big, and a great way for Lobdell to leave things as James Tynion comes on. Lobdell and I may have some differences (well, more just me not really digging his Teen Titans) but I've consistently enjoyed Red Hood, minus some bumps in space, and he definitely left the title with his best issue yet.



  1. Lobdell did bring his A game on this one, no doubt. I see this only moving upward and forward with Tynion steering the ship.

    A must read for any fans of the Bat-universe. Jason in particular, of course.

  2. Like you said, this issue brought it full circle, especially with the conversation with Ducra and her saying that he has been defined by the Joker. My favorite issue I read this month, so far.

  3. So is Jason's face okay? How does this square with next month's not-so-WTF cover?