Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Red Hood/Arsenal #3

The boys get their first non-Battleworth mission.


Roy saves Jason from falling in the most painful manner possible. Dammit Roy, you've been putting Jason through a lot of crap and your solution is shooting him with an arrow?! After all that time inventing he didn't come up with something for this? I mean it is nice to have Jason finally admit to himself that he trusts Roy more than anyone else. I certainly think that level of trust was building up to the point I believe that statement. I just wish he wasn't doing dangerous things to his best friend. Climbing up the building with people cheering him does come off like a darker version of 66' Batman.

After seeing the billboard Roy put up Jasons' not too happy and they discuss the merits of making a job out of their mission. Battleworth isn't pleased either since the ads Roy put up have gotten more attention than she'd like. Since she works in secrets this also means she can't hire them anymore. Naturally Jason doesn't get Roys' behavior and asks why he obsessed with money since they just received a huge check. Once again Roy spent it all.

Their client isn't on the up and up showing that yes Jason was right to worry who would call for their services. Underbelly, a living thought feed by all crime wants them to be his enforcers. He (it?) kills his aid prompting Jason to shoot him 20 or so times. The only reasons Jason agreed to come was the fact he knew giving their number out would attract the wrong people. He changes his mind on the ad once he realizes this can give them a better opportunity to to take out baddies that will seek them out. They decide to go to Gotham to find Underbelly only to find Bat-Gordon.

Overall: Jason continues to be incredible for not losing it with his bud. Roy putting up a billboard without his consent and using all their money is crappy. I'm glad Lobdell addresses Jasons' need to help innocents which would make him leery of charging those in need. I'm beginning to wonder when Jasons' going to have enough since he's not usually this much of a pushover. He raises good points about the flaws of Roys' plan such as knowing who is legit and who is hiring them as a joke.

The level of detail in each issue on him trying to help his buddy recover from heartache really builds on why he's such a good friend. It also shows that yes, Kori leaving was a big loss. Roy wants to be somewhere sunny--like where he grew up--but not an island. Ouch. Jason does realize he is partly responsible for not being able to say no to the bad choices Roy makes. I think it's partly due to Jason not being used to having a good friend and not wanting to ruin things between them.

I was surprised that it was brought up that Jason was technically a crime boss which no one has mentioned for some time. The duffle bag bit is actually mentioned highlighting that yes, Lobdell has read up on Jason. Which sadly is more than can be said for other writers.

Jason himself didn't do anything impressive this issue, even Battleworth got an awesome moment where she figured out where they lived. I think this was my least favorite of RHA so far. I just found myself being annoyed with Roy especially when I thought of the bat family reacting to the ads. Roys' taking control of everything yet takes advantage of Jasons' image. I know this is building to something but I found it a bit frustrating especially since they ruined things (for now?) with Battleworth.

The art continues to be solid, particularly the action moments. I really felt for Jason getting shot and felt disturbed by Underbelly. There was also the detail of Underbelly not paying Roy any attention and instead focusing on Jason that really underlined why he failed to destroy them.

I'm not looking forward to Gordon and I can't help but feel annoyed with the last page. Two months of bat-Gordon.

Say What?: I know Lobdell is making Jason sound detached about the Robin intern bit but I've never been fond of that expression. It's one the higher ups used to explain why there were so many Robins in a small period of time.

Alfred must have really guilted Jason if he can't even curse when he's shot with an arrow and lifted up with it pulling him up. While we're on it--Roy has an arrowhead that can piece Jasons' armor?!

Bat Guy. Red Bat. I always wondered how civilians saw Jasons' connection to the bat family. Do they remember him from UTH? Wonder why he works in a different manner than Batman? I know we'll get Gordon's POV but it's nice to hear from another perspective.

Red Arse. Roy use some common sense. I think Jason is regretting the fact you're friends.

Jason says he loves cars. Probably a nod to steal the bat tires but Bruce once listed things that Jason loved. Cars were on the list.

Not sure about the villains the boys list since Lex Lurhor is on the JL, Joker wouldn't be so obvious and Off worlders seem too weird for the scenario. Although I suppose it crossed Jasons' mind that hiring them would be something Joker would do.

Roy you have no one to blame but yourself for him calling you, Mr. Arse. Not the way you did the ad. Also the "client" Jason shot was a criminal so yeah, he's getting shot.


  1. I really enojoyed this issue, in facrt I beleive is the best issue of the series so far.

    There were a LOT of plot advancement and development for the boys and Medri totally killed on the art.

    I loved how Lobdell wasted no time on pointing the flaws on Roy's plan, on Jason's attitude and being determinated on tell Roy that enough was enough (until the circumstances changed of course) all of this while introducing new plots and giving the book a long term goal.

    Speaking of, I loved how Lobdell tackled the issue of the series having a rogue gallery we discussed before. While Underbelly as concept might be a little too into the nose, it fits neatly as a long term enemy and despite being a though made physical, it doesn't feel too out of place and actually works with the series' tone (unlike Tynion's Untitled)

    We got our first glimpse of Sera Phina, clearing also that the woman saving the mimes wasn't Tara (although their design is still very similar so I wouldn't be surprised if there's a deeper connection between them)

    Having said that, you have a point about Roy's characterization being the weakest aspect of the story. His total disregard for Jason's opinion and selfishness is starting to get irritating. It does makes sense in the context of the story but I think is time for him to start thinking before act.

    I guess that Tara being able to find them so easily should be enough confirmation that she was bluffing when she said she didn't know the boys' identity nor their past. A shame Roy messed up their relationship with her but with any luck she will remain relevant on the book.

    The callbacks to UtRH were fantastic and I loved Jason's characterization here, he's come a long way since the start of RHATO.

    Still, Medri's art stole the show completely (and this was also thanks to Horie's on point coloring), the action was fluid and properly conveyed on every turn, despite the boys having their masks most of the time you could still read their emotions via the art and every panel showed a lot of detail and care (I got a chuckle at the panels where the boys were casually strolling in the middle of Detroit in full costume)

    While I'm starting to hate what Snyder's doing on Batman, the presence of GordoBats should offer Lobdell the perfect oportunity to finally tackle the issue of Jason's current standing with the public. So I'm really looking forward for next issue.

  2. I'll probably like it more when I read it again as this was my thoughts while reading it the first time. I doubt I'll like it better than the other issues though just because of Roys' behavior. I'm happy that Lobdell addressed the potential problems early on as other writers might be inclined to introduce them as surprises.

    When Underbelly proclaimed he was immortal it did remind me of our conversation. He's not ideally what I'd want as an archenemy but at least he has a good reason for having staying power. I do wonder if he knew of Jason from his time as a "crime boss" in UTH.

    I like that despite three issues basically being one shots they all connect and build on the story. It's really refreshing after getting so many made for trade stories that last for months.

    Roys' selfishness is grating by it's self but seeing how good a friend Jason is in comparison? It's almost unbearable at times. In a weird way he's become the Ollie he was complaining about in RHATO #4. Because he's calling all the shots essentially treating Jason like a kid. At the same time he's using Jasons' image and connection as a bat to sell his idea.

    I just assumed that Tara tracked them because Roy wasn't as good at covering his tracks as Jason. Which underplays Jasons' abilities since he has to attempt to deal with all of Roys' crazy ideas.

    I love that Jason is the responsible one that knows how things logically work. That he cares enough about his friend to try to go along with him. I just don't like that Roy can talk him into just about anything and that we haven't seen Jason do anything impressive in a while.

    Gordon is pretty clear on his stance so it feels obvious where he stands on Jason and what he will think of this work for hire. I've read stories where characters fight and have opposing ideals. They usually get on my nerves. Lobdell usually doesn't follow trends but I don't know if that can overcome my dislike of the Gordon-Bat concept. Hard to say until I read the issues.

  3. Yeah, Underbelly is a pretty out of the left field idea but one with potential. I haven't thought of the possibility of it(?) knowing Jason from his crime boss days, certainly a very interesting angle to take the story.

    Lobdell's on fire these days with both RH/A and Doomed, shame that the DCYou as whole is failing to catch the retailers' interest and is performing kind of bad.

    Good point about Tara, Roy didn't think this through, eh?

    As always, the dynamic between the boys is the best thing of the book. And yeah, is refreshing to see Jason taking a more adult role this time.

    Let's hope for the best then.

  4. There's potential for sure and if anyone else fights Underbelly (Batman, etc.) they have a good reason to go all out with usually lethal methods. Since Lobdell mentions the UTH connection and Underbelly wanted them as enforcers I kind of wondered if he was hinting this.

    I haven't been paying attention to how DCYOU is doing. Although I was annoyed to see Starfire seemed to be selling well at comic store I visited. (That portrayal just makes me exhausted.)

    Roy doesn't seem to be thinking anything through and I have a feeling that's going to blow up at some point.

    In RHATO it was friends working together but still doing their own thing. Now Jason seems to be in a spot where Roy and him are forced to work closer. He doesn't seem to pursue the leader role but Jason has to say no more often. Otherwise their both in trouble.

    I always do.

  5. DCYou had a pretty low debut and nearly every book had pretty big drops on July (going from 20 to 50%). October is gonna be a massacre.

    So we're getting more info on Roy's past, but not in the way I expected...

    Written by DAN ABNETT
    Art and cover by PAULO SIQUEIRA
    On sale NOVEMBER 18 • 32 pg, FC, 2 of 12, $3.99 US
    “The Secret History of the Teen Titans” continues! Dick Grayson is hot on the trail of a young Atlantean named Garth—but what he doesn’t realize is that something is hunting him! Plus, Roy Harper encounters a mysterious woman named Lilith—and this run-in will leave him questioning his own past!

  6. That's too bad, three of my ongoings are series started in DCYOU.

    So maybe his life before Ollie? We didn't get much of that past besides the flashback to his dad at the science fair.

  7. Who knows, the tone of the solicits is making it sound like they're retconning back the pre N52 Titans story. Maybe is selfish but I don't want that Roy back D:

  8. For the most part DC has stressed that they want the characters to change from who they were. Roy had hints of having a similar background just not details. RHATO did hint at a Titan like group but not much else.

    I can't see Roy going back to who he was especially since they already established so much like this version being a genius. I don't recall anyone ever mentioning his mom and we don't know what happened to his dad.

  9. I guess you're right, is just that I got a bit nervous about the "Roy Harper encounters a mysterious woman named Lilith—and this run-in will leave him questioning his own past!" part.

    You know, I've been checking around the internet for reactions at the series and while the overall reaction to this issue is overwhelmingly postive, I found this review

    That makes me wonder if people isn't simply letting their bias towards Lobdell cloud their judgement, because nothing of the supposed flaws on the issue the reviewer writes, make. a lick. of. sense.

  10. I think Lilth will be shedding light on a lot of things they were made to forget but just adding to their story.

    For a second I thought you found an early review for Titan Hint, lol.

    I do think people are letting their bias affect what them. I definitely hear it with people claiming the new Starfire is more "in character." Most of those people don't seem to know what happened in the series after issue #1.

  11. Yeah, I've seen a lot of complaints about Lobdell having Jason say Roy is his best friend every issue but when I went back to check, it only happens on four issues out of 12 and not even in consecutive ones. People just picks faulty information and keeps repeating it ad infinitum. I can understand that happening on discussion boards or tumblr, but is unforgivable that happens on "serious" reviews.

    Don't remind me about Starfire, I dropped the title in disgust after issue 1 but I catched a complaint on Tumblr about Kori being surprised by meeting a black guy, since she doesn't know what is his deal....despite having worked with Simon before.

  12. That's definitely an exaggeration. Sometimes he calls Roy the closest thing he has to a best friend so it's not like Jasons' even used to the concept. Maybe it would get annoying IF he said the same thing every issue but besides that why would this be a problem?

    There's a lot of things Kori should know and the fact that few people call the title on how much they dumbed her down really tells you something. Big names and trends sell. I remember more than one person saying it doesn't matter as long as the art's good.