I remember A DEATH IN THE FAMILY when it first came out. I remember that brutal scene where Joker beat Jason Todd to a bloody pulp with a crowbar and then blew him up. But I stopped reading comics in the early 1990s and, when I started reading them again seven years ago, I did not pick up many DC books. So I did not read UNDER THE HOOD when it came out or INFINITE CRISIS. Or, thank God, the Superboy Prime reality punch.
In other words, I come to THE LOST DAYS with few preconceptions and maybe a mild interest in the Jason Todd character. I know that this new mini is meant to tell us what happened between Jason's miraculous resurrection and his first battle with Batman as the Red Hood. Unfortunately, the opening issue of this mini does little to spark my interest in either Jason or the original UNDER THE HOOD storyline. Certainly I won’t be reading the rest of this miniseries.
The first chapter of LOST DAYS, entitled PROLOGUE, is light on action and suspense. Ra's al Ghul and Talia learn of Jason's horrific murder, but discover soon afterward that Jason is somehow alive. Talia takes in the devastated Boy Wonder, who is mute and almost catatonic, and does her best to revive him. She is still very much in love with Bruce and wants to restore Jason in order to spare Bruce the pain and loss that she know will rip him apart. As she explains to her father, "[Bruce] will never recover from this." Eventually, however, Ra's al Ghul grows impatient with Jason's slow recovery and tells Talia that she can no longer play nursemaid. Desperate, she decides her only chance to revive Jason is to take radical action.
There is nothing tremendously wrong with this story. But there is nothing tremendously exciting about it, either. Essentially the problem is that Judd Winick has decided to write a project that presents more challenges than it does narrative possibilities. First, it's tough to write a story around a guy who's mute and has the personality of a vegetable. Second, it's tough to write a story where we know what will ultimately happen: Jason becomes the Red Hood and fights Batman. Third, it's tough to bring credibility to a story and a character that are based on a terribly silly retcon -- the super-duper reality punch.
If Winick can get over these three hurdles and pen a story that turns out to be a highly engaging page-turner, then I will salute him. But based on this first issue, I find that to be highly unlikely.
As for the art, Pablo Raimondi is a clear and consistent storyteller. But his style is conventional and, to be honest, a little boring. There is very little energy in his panels. He is one of those illustrators whose work is difficult to distinguish from all the other mundane artists that do so many of DC's books right now.
Bottom line: skip LOST DAYS unless you are obsessed with Jason Todd or need to read yet another Batman-related title.