Review: Red Hood #52
[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
After making his dramatic return to Gotham City, Jason Todd finds himself in the middle of a turf war between a violent gang aided by Killer Croc and a new group of vigilantes dedicated to protecting his old neighborhood of the Hill.
When a childhood friend is targeted for assassination by a vicious new crime lord on the rise, the Red Hood must forge an uneasy alliance with the vigilantes to save her.
Red Hood #52 wants us to consider what it means to be a hero. That is positive. What does it mean to you? Can you be a hero if you don’t punch bad guys? Is that really the only option? Sure, Gotham is a hellscape run by criminals, so violence seems to beget violence, but is that really the only option? Writer, Shawn Martinbrough wants us to think about it. So, I shall.
Tony Akins and Stefano Gauidiano continue to put their stamp on this new Gotham neighborhood. I am really enjoying my time walking around here. They make everything quite visceral. I mean, comic books are two dimensional, so it takes a great artist to really make us climb inside. Oddly enough, I think I have pretty good idea what this neighborhood smells like.
Red Hood #52 is once again not really about the titular character. Is that a problem? Well, if you are buying this book because you want to see Jason Todd, it is. Obviously, this story is Jason adjacent, so there is that. I hate to be a person to crap on someone else’s art, because I don’t have any of these skills, but I really, really dislike the way Jason looks in this. As Red Hood, I am totally fine. I like the new mask, it is time period appropriate. I like the get up. The action sequences are fantastic. However, the way he looks as Jason, just does not work for me. I will have to think on it a bit more over the months to come. Watch this space.
Red Hood #52 is still working hard on building this new world post Joker War. Jason is supposed to be the hero, but maybe he isn’t. There is an excellent commentary about what it means to be a hero. That is an excellent conversation to have in this book in particular. I am not sure if I like Jason being the good guy, but I am willing to find out.