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Call for Reviews - Red Hood: The Lost Days #1

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Postby Eli Katz » Sat Jun 05, 2010 1:04 am

thefourthman wrote:I'm hoping for a real explanation. I know people hate on Winick, but he has never struck me as a slight writer, which makes me think that the references to them not knowing why he is back is a thrust of this story as much as it the journey down the dark path. Someone the other day explained the Super Boy Punch as a catalyst and dcu history will have to create its own reality to make things mesh up. We need to remember that Superboy Punch explains things to us, but not to them.

Plus I genuinely like character exploration and if that is all this series is, I would be cool with that. Noble Causes is one of my most favorite comics of the past ten years and at its best it was nothing but character exploration.

But I see what you are saying and I think you can see where I was coming from with what was written. Thanks for the clarification.

I see where some fans will be interested in these details and developments. For them, this will be a solid read. I don't think it's a bad book; it's just not for me.

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Postby Victorian Squid » Sat Jun 05, 2010 8:17 am

So all this is supposed to take place before all the egregiousness that was Countdown?

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Postby thefourthman » Sat Jun 05, 2010 9:18 am

Spicy Dick wrote:So all this is supposed to take place before all the egregiousness that was Countdown?

yeah... this happens before 52. This happens after the superboy punch in infinite crisis

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Postby Mr_Batman » Sat Jun 05, 2010 12:35 pm

I do not think I can make it to the LCS for some reason...

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Postby fieldy snuts » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:04 pm

I really liked Winick's introduction of Red Hood Jason Todd and went into this hoping for something decent despite it just being an expanded rehash of Batman Annual #25 that revealed his resurrection was due to Superboy Prime's retcon punches.

And that is the main thing I cant get with this book, the fact it was released all these years later. It's fairly obvious that WB/DC just did this to cash in on the upcoming DVD adaption of the 'Under the Hood' story but just one issue in it feels like an unnecessary rehash of what we already knew for no other purpose than to pimp out the DVD.

With that said, it still made for a decent read. Unlike the part of the Annual that this book expanded on, #1 is a more emotional story focusing on Talia and the mindset involved in her throwing Jason into the Lazarus Pit, how her love for Bruce Wayne extended to another member of the Bat family in Jason Todd. The means of his resurrection were also ignored which is probably a great idea given how it was explained.

Summing up my thoughts, its a book anyone who enjoyed Winick's Red Hood stories would like....though its not necessarily anything special or groundbreaking. Just a nice story so far with art that is equally unspectacular.

Story: 7
Art: 7
Overall: 7

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Postby 48THRiLLS » Sat Jun 05, 2010 7:22 pm

RED HOOD: THE LOST DAYS #1
I am not familiar with the Red Hood and didn't know who Jason Todd was until the book explained it was Robin. So that kinda shows how much background I had going into this. Despite being a little in the dark on the goings on of the Bat-verse I actually didn't mind this. Winnick does a pretty solid job of making this pretty accessible to new readers (though I doubt anyone unfamiliar with this character would pick this up). The art had a big part in why I thought this was okay, I don't know how to break down art all I know is what looks good to me and I liked what I saw here. I am not gonna lie, I was not looking forward to reviewing another Batman book since I don't care for the character too much and probably went into this expecting to give it a negative review but I was proven wrong.

STORY - 7

ART - 8

OVERALL - 7.5

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Postby Punchy » Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:47 am

Red Hood: The Lost Days #1(of 6) - 'The First Step' - Winick and Raimondi

Story - I occasionally state on this website that I don't like Batman, even that I hate him, but that's hyperbole, I don't hate Batman, you can't really, it's such a strong superhero concept. I just feel that the character works best in single, isolated bursts, like the movies, or Dark Knight Returns. As a part of the ongoing DC Comics tapestry, it just doesn't work, and the character is not allowed to change at all, I often feel that the ongoing Batman books are the worst example of superhero comics, just each new writer doing their own take on each overrated villain and once in a blue moon creating someone new who will never be shown again (That's you Paul Dini). They suck basically.

Which is why I was so surprised when I really enjoyed Judd Winick's run on Batman a few years ago, probably because it actually did do something new and contribute something substantial back into the Batman mythos, that is resurrecting Jason Todd and making him a villain/anti-hero. It was a lot of fun, with Doug Mahnke's fantastic art, and even an appearance from Amazo, it's probably the best 21st century Batman run I've read. So I'm actually quite excited to see Winick return to his run and explore in more detail the hows and whys of Jason Todd's return from the dead.

Wisely, Winick ignores the ridiculous Superboy punch bull-crap which fucked up the ending of his initial run, and leaves that side of the resurrection a mystery. He instead focuses on what happens when Ra's and Talia Al Ghul get ahold of a catatonic Jason and what they plan to do with him. I liked Winick's take on the Al Ghuls here, I pretty much hate Ra's, but Talia can be interesting, and I'm glad Winick seems to be restoring some of the ambiguity that Grant Morrison has taken away from her in his book. (Speaking of Morrison, I'm kind of hoping for a Damian Wayne appearance here, he must have been born by the time of these flashbacks right?).

Even though he's catatonic and doesn't say a single word in this issue, Jason Todd is still very much centre-stage here, the scenes where he's mindlessly fighting are very well done, and there's a surprisingly emotional hook to his scenes with Talia, a single tear rolls down Jason's cheek, and I suspect some readers may feel the same! Of course at the end, Jason is shoved into a Lazarus pit, and we all know what madness comes after that.

Yes, this have just been released to shill an animated movie, but I was surprised by how good this actually was. I just hope that once Jason becomes an actual person again, the quality doesn't drop. And let's keep the Superboy Punches away this time huh?

Art - Pablo Raimondi is an artist I've been a fan of since his work on Madrox and X-Factor, and he does an able job here. He's not quite up to Doug Mahnke's quality, but he's still very good. I like how blank Jason Todd's face is, and how well he expresses the emotions of Talia and Ra's. The way Jason's kicks break the panel borders in the 'action' scene was also very well done. Good, capable stuff.

Best Line - 'He won't love you'

7.5/10

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Postby guitarsmashley » Sun Jun 06, 2010 11:02 am

read this last night and will reread today with my copy of Batman Annual #25 open to compare notes.
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Postby Eli Katz » Sun Jun 06, 2010 6:37 pm

Punchy wrote:Best Line - 'He won't love you'

That was also the best scene in the book.

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Postby guitarsmashley » Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:43 pm

My biggest problem with this comic was that it felt like I already read it or at least read parts of it. That's where this comic failed for me. I am not a Winick basher at all. I've actually liked his past work quite a bit and have all of his issues of batman and the scarebeast story line is still a pretty good read as is under the hood and really his whole run has been pretty good with the dick grayson issues being his weakest outing. Here he's treading over old territory and even old dialogue in some places. It was word for word and and bubble for bubble. Really this issue filled in the gaps of Batman Annual #25 and those gaps were so minute that the important scenes were just repeated and thrown a few pieces of new dialogue and character development was severely lacking. The art was serviceable but not better than Shane Davis' original issue.

In total I'm disappointed in this recycled issue and if I do end up reading a second issue I hope it shows more development and less why did this need to be told.

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Postby ****** » Mon Jun 07, 2010 3:21 pm

Red Hood: The Lost Days #1

This was a decent read, but nothing all that intriguing for a non-Batfanatic either. I like Jason Todd and I like that he's back but reading this issue it made it pretty clear that I don't care how or why he came back. I guess the reality punch was good (and absurd) enough for me.

The art was mostly enjoyable except for the one panel where Jason has the mutant pectoral muscle.

Story: 7
Art: 7
Overall: 7

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Postby thefourthman » Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:50 pm

Red Hood: The Lost Days #1

Batman 635 saw a new villain enter the mythos. His name, the Red Hood. His identity, a mystery at first, but when the mask was finally remove, it was a shock. Gotham was still reeling from the events of War Games. The Black Mask had become the new king pin of crime in the city. Batman had lost another Robin. And then there was this new foe. An enemy not just to Batman, but to the Black Mask as well. He was dangerous to the extreme, able to strike a major coup in the local drug trade with two hours, a duffel bag and a meeting of the heads (in this case, literally and figuratively).

This marked the debut of Winick on the caped crusader and it really was a new era for the book. One that started the long road to R.I.P. - where the hero would be defeated in a pretty profound way. But before we got there, the whole comic world got a shock. The Red Hood was really Jason Todd, the poor Robin that had been killed by the fans. Yup, the fans broke through the fourth wall calling into DC’s offices to have the poor kid erased from existence. Eventually, the Joker beat him to a pulp with a crow bar and blew him up.

Then came Batman 638, featuring that new thorn in Black Mask’s side visiting a familiar carnival (ask Barbara Gordon all about it, I’m sure she remembers it). He’s mumbling some nonsense about finding some guy. You turn the page and there is the Joker, himself, and the Hood starts to beat him with a crow bar and then the last page – Jason Todd’s face, domino mask and all, asking the Joker how it feels.

Batman begins to suspect he knows who the Red Hood is and goes on a search to find out how Jason could still be alive. He consults friends who were once dead, those who know of the occult, he inspects sealed Lazarus pits. He is short with those that work with him. He is obsessed. Probably rightfully so. Jason was his personal failure and he felt that he had never done proper diligence to his legacy. Sure, he’d hung the costume in the cave. But, was Jason back to haunt him?

Jason offered up all kinds of problems to our hero. He knew his fighting style. He knew Bruce’s assets and how to go about obtaining his own toys. He knew how the gadgets work. He is the kind of foe that could take Batman down. Even worse for the world’s greatest detective, there was no explanation for the return. No one could help him. Add to this a fear that Jason must have hated his mentor in the final moments of his first life, and Batman had reason to be concerned.

The foremost badass on the planet, scared and answerless. It’s not your normal modus operandi for a tale of the Dark Knight. But this was the tale that Judd Winick told with his first run at the marquee of the oldest superhero universe. At the end of what would be titled Under the Hood in trade, Batman sticks his chin up, defiant to the evidence and marches on with his crusade. Threads dangling…

Batman may have been occupied by what was mundane fights with Killer Croc and the rest of his rogues, but fandom - not so much. How was Jason back? What madness was this?

Along comes Infinite Crisis and Batman Annual 25. The Superboy punch. The anger of the boy who believed so hard that he became Superman caused a rift in the reality of the DC Universe. Not quite “its magic”, but not completely removed either. Science fiction hokum at its worst. Clever comic writing, debatably – suddenly things that didn’t make sense did. It’s all a world of four colors, what’s it matter anyhow?

We also find out about his year in a near catatonic state, his being found by Talia, taken under her wing, being cast out, flung into a Lazarus pit, finding of the Joker’s failure to be killed, his real role in the Hush mystery, and his donning of his killer’s original alias.

Now Winick gives us Lost Days. A nifty little recap of the part Talia played in Todd’s return. We see how she angered her father and then in a Winick mainstay flashback, we go back to his death, the rumors of his return, the young mindless warrior, the casting out and then finally the plunge into the pit.

Sound familiar? That’s because it is. This is a story we already know - expanded. Details tweaked.

Todd fascinates me and this issue is written well enough. It is high melodrama and short on any real action and as such it is an enjoyable read, a neat reminder of what we already know.

There are two saving graces I see here. One, Ra’s wants to know why Bruce isn’t investigating Todd’s appearance. So just how did Batman figure out is was Jason? Was the Red Hood right? Did he know the second his former partner started fighting Clayface in the graveyard or did al Ghul let the cowled vigilante in on it later?

The other thing is the failure to mention the reason for the resurrection. It feels like this is an important bit of information missing from the story here. Winick is not a bad storyteller so I don’t think he would overlook the punch just cause it is unpopular. He might be setting up a new explanation and if that is the case, history will finally be aligning itself and DCU Legacies might be the end all of the History of the DCU, only time (and a little luck will be needed) will tell.
Raimondi is a fine artist. He conveys the story well, even being deft enough to make Todd the Zombie book look stiff and firmly removed from those around him. Thick lines and dynamic coloring create some more tricks.

In the end this is far from being an essential Bat comic. What it is instead, is a nice enough recap expounded but inconsequential. Fortunately it is marked as a prologue and may have just been a catch up for those unfamiliar with the story. There is potential here, but potential is far from the most rewarding of merits.

Story 6
Art 6
Overall 6

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Postby Starlord » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:15 pm

As always, I thank you guys for reading my choice this week. It's much appreciated. :)
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Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:25 pm

I'm going to Byrne-steal this in Fourthy's comic shop tomorrow, and then I will review it. I think I have a streak going.
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Postby Eli Katz » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:33 pm

Jude Terror wrote:I'm going to Byrne-steal this in Fourthy's comic shop tomorrow, and then I will review it. I think I have a streak going.

That's fucking brazen Byrne stealing.

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