The last issue of Tynions' RHATO run. Will this do justice to Isabels' character and her relationship with Jason. Or will this be a unsatisfying read?
I'm not going to lie, the little things have bugged me during this run. Mainly because they've all built up over time with the bigger things and say some bad things about the characters. Take the first page with Isabel going on a date with a guy for months but still waiting for Jason. I mentioned this last issue but I don't buy that months have passed. It raises too many questions, none of which I feel like going over again. Furthermore I call BS. on Jason not checking in to see she was alright after his face was burned. Maybe he wouldn't want Bruce to know about Isabel but he'd at least ask his friends to check on her. Then there's the Roy-bots. Why would Jason use these creepy ass looking things instead of calling her?! Fear of rejection is one thing, sending robots to a person not used to his lifestyle that have Joker-like faces (you know the guy that forced her to OD) in another. Basically acting like nothing happened to tell her to get on a jet to met him? Who the hell is this because it's not Jason. He's not that insensitive! Bruce would do most of this (maybe not the creepy robots) not him.
Jason KNOWS Isabel isn't used to this stuff, that it freaks her out at times! I don't know what's worse, the idea of him assuming she'd go along with it or telling her to do so. Because it can read as either. For all Jason knows she could have moved on with her life. Then he shows up as a hologram--dressed as the Red Hood to make it impersonal--and this is supposed to be the same guy that got upset because of the distant way the bat family treats him?! The cherry on top of it is him promising something you know he can't deliver on--that nothing crazy will happen if they go out.
Cue next page where their surrounded by bad guys with Isabel now holding a large assault rifle. It looks like Jason has the retconned All-Blades that come out of his chest which glow.
Several hours before that scene they go to a romantic spot but she puts the brakes on them picking up where they left off. For some dumbass reason Jason decided to have Roy and Kori around. I could understand if he wanted them to confirm his story but come on. Jason wasn't this dense with romance. Not after he came clean about himself. His friends come along with Kori complaining about a image inducer making her look like a human. I don't buy her getting pissed about having to hide since she understood these things at the start of the series. In fact most of the time she didn't want to deal with humans because of their negative reactions. They greet Isabel then explain the place their at is exclusive for really rich people. Their crappy job of keeping their cover is pretty much discovered upon their arrival. Even the bad guy Midas refuses to believe that the Red Hood didn't track them there.
They go dancing with Jason acting oddly confidant when he always expected her to reject him for the danger he unintentionally put her in. Likewise she agreed to go out with him after she learned the truth. Roy and Kori flirt which would be cute if she didn't look like Cheshire. Some idiot comes to take her away from Roy and I'll give Tynion points for this. The boys know it's not going to go well because Kori will put the idiot in his place. That said I'm not sure why Kori seems pissed at them when she asks Isabel to dance with her since the men are beneath them. What happened to get her mad at Roy and Jason? The guys talk and for once Tynion gets Lobdells' sense of humor when they realize everyone else left the dance floor.
Midas shows up for Jason to give a brief backstory. The guy kills the wealthy to get their money, no one could find him for years. His army arrives to fight everyone and for some reason no one thinks to guard Isabel. She gets mistaken for Kori before freaking out as she's shot at. Jason gets to her before she can be killed and Roy hands her the big gun. Midas flees because he knows they don't have a strong enough army at the island to win. Sure enough the Outlaws get out alive and Jason suddenly acts like the leader of the group. He has never been in charge since this was just a book about friends. Even during Tynions' previous issues there was never a hint of this.
Predictably Isabel breaks up with Jason to have a normal life. Maybe because all of the bright spots of this book have to end maybe because the next writer didn't want to write her. Regardless it sucks because her relationship with Jason made sense. Isabel calls up the guy from the beginning to say she's ready to move on.
Overall: While this was a much needed change of pace from the drag of the LOA arc but I'm still not happy with this one. The dialogue is horrible, uncomfortable in some places and pandering in Koris' case since it often sounds like retro Starfire or the one in the cartoon. Plus it's obvious they wanted her to look like Cheshire when Kori changed her image. As usual the characterization is seriously off making the Outlaws idiots and Jason acting like Bruce. This issue has him trying to reconnect with Isabel and it's done in such a dumb way. Jason shows no common sense by putting her into a situation that's pretty much assured to go badly. He also lacks any understanding of human emotion which isn't who he is. Jason Todd can't contain emotions like Bruce. It slips out and he's always concerned about those he cares about.
Did Jason ever explain what happened? We never see it and he's written like he doesn't understand why she's really upset. It looks like he thinks it was the distance which makes no sense. The idea behind Jason going out with someone like Isabel was because he wasn't sure what it was like to be around normal people anymore. Jason himself didn't feel normal after his return from the dead and wanted to have some normalcy. He got how scary space was and fully expected her to be mad at him. For him not to get that concept now and worse to end this in the most played out way possible frankly pisses me off. .
I really liked Isabel and loved how she was with Jason. She agreed to see him after all the craziness with the aliens then acts like she had no say in any of it? Right. The woman that stood up to SUPERMAN suddenly decides Jason is too much to handle. Nevermind her speech on Koris' ship about dealing with tense situations as a flight attendant. This is such a cliché and takes away another great part of the book that I was looking forward to seeing again. It's not surprising though given the writer and what he's done to the series as a whole. It's still infuriating and take away the many layers Lobdell put in. The mending of Bruce/Jason, the All Caste/Untitled and now this. Tynion really hasn't added much when you think about it just retcon things in ways that don't work for the series or characters. The one thing he really did add was the new 52 Cheshire which was a psycho for the first part then randomly a weepy romantic the last half.
I've heard some say that Tynion was trying to retcon Lobdells' All Caste story because a bat kid didn't need the mystical background. But that theory is flawed since he made Jasons' connection more magical than Lobdell ever did. Jason can now create energy swords with no explanation! There's no denying he still got rid of some of the best parts of Lobdells' run. I can't stand this run and I doubt I'll be re-reading any of it. I never got the impression that Tynion understood the characters and I honestly dread what he'll do in Batman Eternal. If there's a spot for a new writer for RHATO in the future I suggest Keatinge from the Arsenal and Starfire issues of DC Universe Presents. Still I'm actually looking forward to the man who wrote Amazons Attack taking over which should tell you just how this made me feel.
Questions Raised?: How can Jason wear his armor under his clothes? It would be noticeable.
If the trio are Outlaws that are trying to keep a low cover then why don't they know how to do that? Kori messes around with the image inducer in places that would definitely have cameras. They openly discuss being wanted and fooling people because of computer hacking. This place is for people with money so they'd have good security. Why isn't a freaking BAT KID better at being undercover?! He did it at least twice before in #1 and #9.
Why does Kori make herself look like Cheshire? Does she want to see how he reacts to that?
Suzie Su happened? If the story of Suzie Su still happened then the League of Assassins retcon couldn't have happened. According to Tynion Jason learned how to kill from the LOA (despite the All Caste teaching him that) the Suzie Su story has him taking out the mob as soon as he left the All Caste.
Did Isabel kill someone with the gun? They look like robots but nothing ever said they were. They talked like humans when they mistook her for Kori.
Where did the other guests go?
Say What?: How can Jason be number 6 on Interpol's' most wanted list when Tynion gave him a pretty low body count. Plus his connections to the bat family which at least should have given him some leeway with Steve Trevor.
Roy made it look like his bank account was high but was that really need? Jason has money since he stole it from at least four crime families.
Did You Notice?: Roy apparently got a haircut.
EDIT: Someone just pointed out that Jonathan, the guy Isabel is seeing, looks like Tynion. I didn't notice that because I first thought it was Jason in disguise.