Having given you ample time to read volume one of this tremendous series, I can now divulge the truth: Jason Todd is Red Hood. Hopefully most of you already knew that, but I didn’t want to ruin it for the new people.
You’re welcome, new people!
The second volume continues the history of Jason for the first issue but then transitions into the present. Black Mask decides to bring in assassins led by Deathstroke. However, the team he brings in from the Society is a bunch of third string villains that the Justice League International wouldn’t even bother with.
Clearly, that mission fails and Red Hood even kills one of them, much to Batman’s chagrin.
But then we move ahead to the bread and butter of the series: the big showdown between Bruce and Jason and we learn the truth behind Red Hood’s actions.
If there’s one thing that can be said about Winick’s writing it’s that he has a way of using the best and worst parts of a character’s history to drill down to real emotions. Jason, brought back to life by the actions of an alternate dimension Superboy (see: Final Crisis) and aided by Talia al Ghul (thanks to the Lazarus Pit) found his new purpose: kill his murderer.
The role of the Joker in this story is relatively small from the sense that he’s not in the book that much. If you watch the movie he gets a lot more screen time, but of course that makes sense.
Under the Red Hood happens at a strange time in the DCU. Bludhaven gets destroyed. Also, immediately following the “conclusion” of the Red Hood story One Year Later occurs, which could have made it a forgettable story, if it wasn’t so good.
Overall Batman – Under the Red Hood gets an A grade from me for quality of story, art, concept and use of character. I highly recommend purchasing the collected edition to get all the cool extras.
Check back next week when I take on another new title!
This is your Bin Fodder Guru Tim Blacksmith signing off.