The holidays kept me busy and apparently I forgot to review this. I didn't forget #37 I just don't have it yet because it wasn't at my LCS.
Last issue ended with Kori running off after Roy discovered her depression/addiction and accidentally burning him while she was leaving. Unfortunately these events also put Jason in a bad predicament as he had to fend off their foes by himself only to realize the small army he was fighting were all powered by venom. Faced with either dying again or using the drug he chose the latter. The effects weren't explored as it was alluded more than shown. Now we see how it makes Jason feel and it's not how I expected. Sure we all know Jason says he's a loner but for it to make him feel alone and for him to enjoy it makes you think. He compares it to being in his grave like he was at peace in a way he hasn't been since returning from the dead.
Sure there's been a lot of hinting how Jason's death affected him but it hasn't been told more than a few comments. I like seeing the emotional and psychological effects because it's fascinated me since he came back as Red Hood. Curiously Jason is hyper aware of any changes in his body because of his rebirth. He's also aware that his mind is seeing his attackers as monsters (well alien monsters rather than the Bane type they were in #35.) The drug passes quickly through his body after he deals with the terrorists. Jason takes a while to come back to himself then looks for his friends. What he finds instead is Roy's burnt quiver and a whole lot of fire. Being a detective he's able to put it all together.
It looks like Kori did notice what she did to Roy and takes him to a hospital. The staff outside are a little moody for her liking and she demands they treat him via threats of the fiery kind. Jason recaps this to Ollie who's pretty pissed off. Jason tells Ollie to watch what he says about Kori and Ollie angrily says she's the one to blame. Going on to say he always knew Roy was an idiot and now he knows he hangs out with them too. Seeing how Roy is still in the room Jason suggests they talk outside. Meanwhile a miserable Kori goes to a truck stop to feed her addiction.
You know I've read theories on how Jason and Ollie would get along given the old Ollie's views. Granted they did meet in the old universe which was interesting if short. Much like then Jason points out he knows Ollie's type, the rich guy that thinks he can solve everything with money. Ollie agrees and calls for a helicopter to take Roy to the best burn ward. A sudden light coming from Roy's room gets both of them racing back to find Essence. I guess she did Jason a solid by making sure Roy didn't die. Ollie echoes his thank you.
A drugged out Kori remembers when her sister was loving and took care of her. Unknown people take the truck she's in. Jason says he's going after Kori like he promised Roy saying he has it under control. He repeats it to himself trying to reassure himself that he can do it. Roy wakes to see Jason fly off only to find Ollie in the same room. Ollie isn't done being an asshole though saying he's Roy's only friend because Jason left. Roy shrugs this off because he knows where Jason went, to get Crux so he can find out where Kori went.
Overall: I'm always uncomfortable reading stories involving drugs, which should be he reaction I suppose. While seeing Kori getting drugs is uncomfortable it hasn't gotten to the point I need to put the book aside for awhile. That happened with Batman Venom and the infamous panel where Roy asked Slade for more drugs made from dead children in Titans. I've been thinking a lot about Tynions' run and while I like this arc better than his. Both deal with the trio struggling to stay together and well this feels more natural. Sure the Kori bit is new but I can see her being affected by PTS. I can see Jason being desperate not to go through a painful death again. These three still care for each other and are trying to deal with their struggles.
I like that Ollie is there for Roy and that Jason doesn't get into the standard fight for not seeing eye to eye. That said Ollie is still an ass, I mean I can understand his anger with Kori. But telling Roy he's his only friend after Jason had Essence save his life? Suggesting Jason abandoned him? Yeah that's a crappy thing to do. I gotta admit I didn't think Jason was going to Crux for help. I knew he was coming thanks to solicits but I assumed he was working with the bad guys. I love the idea of Jason working with him and hope it ties into Lobdells' original plans.
Questions Raised?: Why were the hospital staff acting like that? One of them was just commenting on them doing gods' work by treating the wounded then they get snippy because Kori wants them to treat Roy? Yes paperwork needs to get done by he's obviously badly burnt, at least make sure he's breathing and all that.
Is Lobdell retconning Tynions' run, at least a little? Because Ollie should know Jason's name from the last annual. Essence--while called the embodiment of the All Caste--isn't wearing the white outfit from that arc.
Is Jason talking to himself or Roy at the end? I ask because Roy's scene is right after.
I know S.H.A.D.E. stopped helping them but I guess they can't track Kori like they did because they don't have the equipment anymore?
Did You Notice?: For some reason Roy looks A LOT better than last issue and how he looked when Kori brought him in. He has all his hair, no visible burns and his arms are bandaged.
Say What?: Essence is officially named as Jason's first kiss.