Red Hood & The Outlaws # 25 Remastered Review - Batman V Red Hood, 5 Pages of Excellence
Updated: Mar 27, 2020
• Veronica Gandini, Rain Beredo, Mad Pencil Studios (Colorist)
• Trevor Hairsine, Antonio Fabela (Cover) •Yasmine Petri (Variant)
• DC Comics (Publisher)
I remember when the first tease for Jason Todd's Return first happened during the Batman Hush arc back in 2002 and thought it was an inspired decision to bring him back after he was famously beaten to within an inch of his life and then blown up by the Joker.
Since that time Jason Todd has returned to DC Comics and has become more popular as Red Hood than he ever was as Robin. I haven't followed Jason since his return to comics but I picked up this issue based on the cover tease alone. The book is beautifully rendered by Trevor Hairsine & Antonio Fabela and depicts what looks to be an epic battle between Batman and Red Hood. I couldn't resist and dropped the $4.99 for what was promised to be an extra-sized Anniversary Issue.
The comic opens up very strong depicting a flashback sequence set during Jason's tenure as Robin. It's a desperate scene of Jason attempting to save Bruce from drowning. He ignores Alfred's warnings and dives further pulling Bruce out of a wrecked Batmobile. Scott Lobdell does a great job of establishing Jason's personality. He's a bit rough around the edges but he's still a hero. This comes across throughout the issue. The comic is split between Jason attempting to escape the police and Batman. The book also covers Artemis & Bizarro trying to escape a compound as it falls apart around them.
The main draw to the comic is the Batman V Red Hood fight. It's there that the book ultimately falls apart. The battle is entertaining but lasts about 5 pages out of a 48-page book. The fight doesn't even definitely end. The first encounter is about three pages. The second encounter is another engagement is another two pages. The art and plotting are strong in these moments but it becomes a deal-breaker when you're paying a premium price for a book that doesn't deliver.
Admittedly, I don't follow this series so I may be missing some of the context of the ongoing storylines between Artemis and Bizarro. At the end of the day, it shouldn't matter. Every comic is someone's first issue and there is no excuse selling your comic based upon a fight that seems to be thrown in just to sell a few extra copies.
Batman could have been removed from the issue and the story wouldn't have been changed much. The art is gorgeous throughout the issue but there are some paneling issues where its hard to make out what's going on. This may be due to the fact that there are several artists working on the issue.
The transitions between the fight and the rest of the issue are jarring. In both instances, I was felt lost. Now as a long time comic reader, the expectation is that I would go back and read previous installments, get caught up and stick with the series going forward. The logic doesn't work in this case because I'm not invested in anything that happens in the book and not enough is done to keep me engaged as a reader beyond this issue.
That being said, the book isn't bad. It's actually better than I remember from an art and story perspective, especially considering where Batman is now in his own series.