Review: Red Hood #51
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Shawn Martinbrough
Artists: Tony Akins and Stefano Gauidiano
Colors: Paul Mounts
Letters: ALW’s Troy Peteri
Reviewer: Tony Farina
A new era begins for the Red Hood! With his Outlaw days behind him, Jason Todd returns home to Gotham City. While he plots what’s next for Red Hood, he tracks down a childhood friend now living in the Hill. As Gotham City reels from the effects of “The Joker War,” Jason finds himself caught in the crossfire between vigilante protectors of the historic neighborhood and a rising criminal element intent on seizing power.
I like the way that Tony Akins and Stefano Gauidiano are taking on Gotham. This is pretty realistic view of what is essentially a crime infested dump that has a huge upside. They are drawing it to look a bit like Detroit in that way and I think that is smart. It is a nice reflection on what is going on with Jason himself. He is a crime infested mess with a huge upside.
Martinbrough’s take on who Jason is going to be is clearly still cooking, but the inclusion of Dana as someone Jason can talk to and potentially team up with is pretty great. Honestly, the side characters are really stealing the show in this issue that is technically a first issue with the number 51 on the cover. That is smart. If we are going to get on board with this team, we need to get to know the characters and actually care about them. Great first step.
Red Hood #51 is officially just Red Hood. No outlaw nor Outlaws. Just Jason Todd. I am not sure if that is his strength. He is not funny enough or unlikeable enough. Just like Josie needs her Pussycats and just like Tom Petty needed his Heartbreakers, Jason needs his Outlaws. This book is moving slowly, so there is hope for more, but for now, I just miss the team.
Red Hood #51 starts with, what I hope is an intentional joke, but I can not be sure. A news reporter says, “After another unnecessary event, Gotham exhales, Again.” Man, I could not agree more. I hope that was a meta-commentary on the state of crossover land in the DC Universe writ large and the Batverse in particular. I have always liked this book best when it was the Outlaws and when Jason had a team. This is new creative team and it looks like they are going to try to give Jason some people about whom we can all care. Fingers crossed.