Review: New Talent Showcase 2017 – Red Hood & Duke: Roll Call

[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]

Writer: Tony Patrick

Artists: Minkyu Jung, Pete Pantazis

 

Summary

DC Comics’ 2016 Writers Workshop alumni Tony Patrick takes on the characters of the Red Hood and Duke. Red Hood takes Duke on a training mission to test him, but have the two of them bitten off more than they can chew? Featuring an all-star cast of characters.

Positives

Tony Patrick is a screenwriter, and it shows as he has a great sense of dramatic pacing. What would be a simple fight scene is transformed into an intense battle. The use of panels is amazing for someone new to comic books. While some of this might be Minkyu Jung’s work, the spacing and placement of panels is fantastic for guiding the readers’ eyes.

Another way Patrick’s past as a screenwriter shows is in his dialogue. As said, this could be just a fight scene, but the dialogue throughout elevates it all just that much more. He understands the characters (excluding one or two lines which I’ll touch on) and the banter between them adds to the tension.

Patrick doesn’t relax either. When given Red Hood and Duke to write, he managed to work in almost every major Batman rogue. It comes across like he had fun writing the story and that always adds to the reader’s enjoyment.

 

Negatives

In a few places, the dialogue is a little off. I can’t in good conscience write a review and not bring up the fact that Duke says the phrase “daddy issues.” It jumps right off the page and doesn’t fit with the banter the two characters have. It feels a little Whedonesque, which doesn’t fit with the story, as immediately after this there is a reasonably tense scene between the Joker and Red Hood.

Likewise Red Hood’s line “there’s a reason they call me the Red Hood” isn’t particularly good. It’s a bit clunky and almost clashes with his character. On one hand, he’s trying to teach Duke a lesson in combat, but his dialogue contrasts the sincerity of his lesson. These are minor complaints, but as a new talent it’s something to look at.

 

Verdict

Tony Patrick is one to watch from this DC New Talent Showcase. A screenwriter with a lot of experience with drama brings his skills to Red Hood, Duke and Batman’s Rogues. Despite a couple of dialogue hiccups, the story is engaging, entertaining and full of well-paced action. Patrick is a natural who’s script is only complimented by the crisp art of Minkyu Jung.