Death of the Family Review: Red Hood & the Outlaws #15 by Scott Lobdell & Timothy Green II (Batman)

Review:  Red Hood and the Outlaws #15

“It Only Hurts When You Laugh”

Published by DC Comics

Written by Scott Lobdell

Art by Timothy Green II

Coloured by Blond

The Plot

The issue opens up with Jason Todd being surrounded by Detective Bullock and members of the GCPD while having Isabel in his arms having just overdosed.  Jason has to forcefully make his escape and eventually takes control of a GCPD cruiser.  Unfortunately, he is not alone and is not prepared for the attack.  Meanwhile, Starfire and Arsenal are talking to one another half a continent away.  She is admiring his apparent vast amount of knowledge.  Back to Gotham City and Jason’s Red Hood mask has a crowbar sticking through it while he is lying on the ground paralyzed from a toxin.  This is of some interest because of Jason’s statement when he first enters the cruiser prior to his abduction.  The Joker tries to get a reaction out of Jason with a stand-up routine, but is unable to.  Jason is able to utilize some old tricks in order to overcome  the toxin.  Jason is then subjected to another one of the Joker’s gags.  At the same time, Bullock believes Jason’s story that Isabel is the case of a forced overdose.  While Bullock is attempting to contact Jason, Arsenal manages to intercept the message and determines that Jason is in trouble.  Red Hood awakens to find some things that may indicate that the Joker might not be bluffing about knowing who he is.  The Red Hood is then ready to fly off the handle, but falls into another trap where he finds some unexpected company.  Starfire and Arsenal arrive in Gotham City only to find that some other heroes are in need of some assistance.

The Breakdown

I wanted to see what would happen between these two as they’re history with one another is more violent than with other members of the bat-family.  Jason is a hardass and I expected him to not provide the Joker with much to work with.  There were a couple of things that I did like early on in the issue and it involved Jason’s reaction to Isabel and Bullock.  He’s far from perfect, but he does have some redeeming qualities about him.  This is what makes him more enjoyable to read rather than him always operating and acting like the anti-hero.  He’s definitely harder than the rest due to his background, but he does possess that innate sense of justice at the same time.  When I read the first issue of this book, I absolutely detested the dynamic between Kori and Roy.  However, this issue was more amusing as far as their relationship is concerned.  I also did smirk at Kori’s belief about Jason and what he is in comparison to the rest of Gotham City.  I was also glad to see Roy actually taking a leadership role at the end of the book with the other heroes.  Some familiar characteristics from the pre-reboot Roy Harper would make me want to possibly read more of this book.  This is actually one of the biggest reasons why I haven’t picked up this book on a regular basis because I used to really enjoy pre-reboot Roy (and pre-Cry for Justice for that matter as well).  Jason getting too headstrong and falling prey to the Joker’s tricks was to be expected (with relation to the crowbar) and his general lack of discipline when he got angry was consistent with his character.  I also started to wonder what exactly the Joker knows when I read this issue.  The clues that he left for Jason to find were doozies and I officially started to fall for it as of this issue.  However, there is one way that the Joker could have ascertained this information without actually knowing who they are…we’ll see what happens though.  I want to see what happened with the unexpected guest that Jason found at the end of the comic.

BUT…

How the hell did Jason’s towel stay on during that entire fight? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad it did.  However, getting it to stay on for the walk from the bathroom to the bedroom can be tough going sometimes.  I know that Kori is from another planet and is still not familiar with everything about the planet Earth; however, she still comes across as a dumbass.  Perhaps it’s the way that she asks the questions that makes me think so, but nonetheless, it does annoy me a bit.  I mean, there’s being naive and there’s being a dumbass.  The fold-out Joker covers were pretty dang sweet the first couple of times around, but they’re kind of getting old now (I can’t believe that I used the word ‘dang’).

Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?

I have to say…Buy It.  This was a decent issue and I liked how Jason was portrayed in this one.  This made it more enjoyable for me.  This was a Joker issue and this comic did well at acknowledging the vicious history between these two characters.  I have not been picking up this title regularly, but part of that is because my purchase list is really high every month.  I might consider picking up the next issue or two after the conclusion of the Death of the Family storyline because I am curious to see how Jason’s character is handled (especially if this issue is any indication).  This issue had me officially wondering what the Joker’s game is and how he’s come across some of his intel.

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