Red Hood: The Lost Days Review.
To preface, I've only been reading the Batman books for about a year. I figured the whole Batman: Reborn relaunch gave me a chance to jump on with relatively little problems. So, I've never read any of the Under the Hood stuff. I knew that Jason Todd was back via reality punch, I knew he was angry for the world, and I knew that he's an antihero at best and a villain at worst. I also know that he has a surprising handle on social networking and viral marketing due to his Batman and Robin arc. But other than that, he's kind of a blank slate to me.
So, we kick off this mini-series with Ra's a Ghul informing his daughter Talia about Jason Todd's death. Talia, being the concerned love interest of Batman that she is, keeps tabs on Gotham and eventually comes into the possession of one half brain-dead Jason Todd. She takes him in, cares for him, and is forced to make a desperate move when Ra's tells her that Jason has to go.
This was a shockingly engaging and enjoyable comic. For a mini-series that appeared to be filler material designed to suck in Batfanatics, Judd Winnick engages casual fans of the Batman family and makes the reader care about the story he has to tell. Winnick wisely chooses not to disclose how Jason Todd came back to life, nor does he focus on Todd's charactization at all. Instead, Winnick uses Talia as the vessel to make the reader care about Todd, by focusing on what her love for the Dark Knight leads her to do. Winnick obviously gets Talia a Ghul and knocks her characterization out of the park.
Artwise, Pablo Raimondi does a serviceable job. While his art is not fantastic, it doesn't distract from the story, which is what truly is necessary in this case. I don't know if this is Raimondi's first work with DC or if I just haven't paid attention to him before, but I certainly hope that he's used more often by DC as he's a better artist than many of DC's other standard fill-in artists.
Overall, while I wouldn't reccomend this to the standard non-reader, this is a solid book for even the most casual of comic book readers. If you like the Batman family, then you will enjoy this book.