Thursday, September 10, 2015

Red Hood/Arsenal #4

The guys end up in Gotham which means they have to deal with Robo-Bat. I'm not going to lie, I haven't been looking forward to this. I don't care for the Batman/Gordon concept and I'm not sure how that will go with him fighting our leads. Let's find out.


I did wonder what Jason and Roys' current status with the law was, I mean I assumed it was at least shaky for this throw down to happen. Still I held off voicing this because Battleworth might have put a good word in for them before Roy screwed up their working relationship. Sure he wanted them to go legit but given their outlaw status, well, that would take awhile to do. I didn't think posting ads meant they were okay with the law and wondered if we'd see anyone trying to shut them down. Roy hasn't exactly been good at thinking things through here.

The plan last issue was to come to Gotham to find Underbelly since the city is corrupt enough to power their criminally powered foe. Jason has no idea what's going on with Robo-Bat and Gordon tries to arrest them.

Earlier Roy and Jason discuss what their doing when Roys' shocked to hear Batman died. Jason didn't say anything but he didn't think he needed to since it was on the news. This does show that Roy has been more concerned with his own problems since he didn't even pick up on anything being amiss. Judging by the costumes Jason wears Bruces' death would have happened before RHA #1. Yet he never suspected and just kept busy with his own concerns. I like that Roys' hurt that Jason didn't tell him since he knows Jason was close to his mentor. More than that I love Jasons' reaction, it's one I'm surprised we don't see more often.

When Roy claims he's going to a pawn shop Jason knows he's lying but doesn't call him on it. He figures it's Roys' business. I like this detail as it highlights how different he is from Bruce and Roy too. Jason knows some things are too personal to share. Sure enough he meets someone he used to know before he was Robin. Instead of brushing her off he hugs her and damn, Jason has grown a lot since RHATO. They talk about old times with Jason wondering what his life would have been like if Bruce hadn't taken him in. Deciding he can't think of the what ifs he leaves her with a big tip. I'm not sure if I'm ready for another potential romance for Jason quite yet. Lobdell might not being going there but I could see it.

Roy goes to see Killer Croc, a meeting I've been waiting to see ever since their past together was revealed. They talk with Roy admitting he feels lost and doesn't know who to talk to. Waylon thinks otherwise saying Roy just needs to be ready before he speaks his mind.

Suzie Su and the guy shot in the first issue are back from the dead with revenge on the mind. I'm not too thrilled since I don't care for Suzie but I'm curious with the back from the dead angle. Given Jasons' own resurrection it could be interesting. Since Jason shot a camera it alerts the police which ended up getting Bat-Gordon. While explaining why a certain location would hold Underbelly we get a flashback to Jasons' Robin days. Jason thinks it's connected to Underbellys' existence for some reason. Gordon shows up, they fight and Underbelly shows up.

Overall: I enjoyed this mainly because Bat-Gordon was barely in this. Honestly it's for the best because I can't take a fight between the guys and him seriously. I like Gordon by himself but he's not experienced in super battles, they are. I stated this before but I'm a little annoyed because Gordon should know Red Hood is an ally of Batman and only now does he have a problem with him. Gordon should know because other officers (*1) know who's in the bat family and Red Hoods' symbol is present. For the sake of the story I'll ignore this detail since Gordon seems clueless until his men give him information.

I'm not sure how Jason figured Underbelly was born on that night. I assumed Underbelly would have been ancient. I'll give Jason Gotham because it's pretty nasty there but gut feeling or not the next half has to answer this. I figure it will be given the set up it just feels odd for Jason to leap to this conclusion at this point. The idea of Joker leaving behind or creating something like Underbelly does work for the origin idea. Especially if Joker remained dead.

Roy behavior is a big improvement over last issue since he seems to realize he's been too caught up in his own world. Whether Jason believes Batman is dead isn't what bothers him so much as the fact he hasn't said anything. While his talk with Croc is brief it's nice to see their relationship. Roy doesn't tell Jason because of his history with Croc but needs to voice his problems. He's not ready to talk to Jason and has been avoiding the issue that's been bothering him. Croc might seem to know his buddy is friends with Red Hood as he hints that Roy knows who to talk to.

Jason respects other people's privacy which is...rare for a bat character. Although he gets the concept since he needs space and we have a nice scene with Gabby and him. We see Jason was liked even before he was Robin. He protected people and even now leaves big tips to help those who need it. As for his Robin story...I liked certain details like him not wanting to say Jokers' name. I'm glad he was so effected by the dead guy especially since it basically confirms Tynions' pre-Robin stories aren't canon. One of those had him accidently getting a woman killed, another had him witnessing Talia kill someone and finding dead bodies. Yet Jason says seeing that guy gunned down was the worst thing he saw at that point.

There also some good bits about Jasons' relationship with Bruce. Something I always knew was true, like the fact Jason never went all out because he couldn't really kill Bruce. The part with him knowing he had a partner to back him up was great too. I read someone saying this confirms BFTC happened but I don't think so. The Morrison stuff? Maybe. There's also the fact Damian just came back. Jason returned from the dead so above everyone else I would think he'd be the most unconvinced someone was gone forever. Well done Lobdell.

*1 This was shown in Catwoman.

Say What?: I'm not a fan of Jason threatening to cave his name into the bad guys' flesh as Robin.

Jason being annoyed that no one asked him to be Batman. I can see it and I can't. He didn't want to dress up in Nightwings' clothes and I can't see him being entirely okay with being Batman. Old canon doesn't mesh that bit never worked for me. On the other hand I could see him being annoyed that no one thinks he's good enough.

Has Alfred remained one handed? I'm not up to date on that. Still odd the way Jason mentions it.

Questions Raised?: If Gabby knows he's Jason Todd then wouldn't she remember his connection to Bruce Wayne? All of Gotham should know about the street kid Bruce had that died.

Does Jason have more money than Roy knows of? He left Gabby a lot of money and it makes sense for Jason not to put all his eggs in one basket.

Does Jason really consider Catwoman to be one of the big bad guys?

I thought Battleworth said there wasn't much to go on for Red Hood and Arsenal. How can Gordon have a big list? He should at least know this is the guy from UTH that fought Black Mask.

Did You Notice?: Projective Knives? It's listed as one of Jasons' skills/weaponry on Gordons' display. It sounds like Jason can shoot knives out of his armor instead of tossing them. And he hasn't done either so far.

They gave Jason the wrong Robin suit. They gave him Dicks'. I'm not sure if this was a mistake or DC really is deciding to give Dick the better Robin costume.


  1. I think this was one the best issue on the series so far due the excellent character moments Lobdell gave to the boys and the simply stunning art Medri delivered. He has grown a lot since issue 1 and having Blond as colorist only improved him.

    Having said that, I agree that is a little too convenient the way Underbelly's tied to Gotham and the Joker. Considering the recent solicits for December I can't help but wonder if Lobdell's again being directed by editorial since issue and three implied Underbelly's origin was on Europe with Gotham being choosen due offering the best conditions for Underbelly to materialize.

    I'm not a big fan of Gorodobats either but I have to admit I got excited at his apparition here. Lobdell's script, Medri's pencils and Blonds color melt perfectly to create a great scene.

    I don't think is much of an issue the way Gordon was able to get info on Jason and Roy since is consistent with Tara's actions on issue 2. More info is definitely needed for Gordon though, is likely he isn't aware of all the associates of Bruce. Speaking of, I'm thinking the friend mentioned on the solicits for the next issue is Bruce.

    I enjoyed greatly of Gabby and certainly I hope that if she becomes a romantic interest she gets treated better than Isabel.

    Croc's scene was utterly fantastic, although it has a distinctive tone of turning the page on Roy and Waylon's relationship.

    Alfred is one handed and is even using a hook on We Are Robin, but then again, that books is becoming a trainwreck.

    The whole thing with the costumes is also very annoying, specially because editorial doesn't seems to make their mind about it. The only thing I'm asking is that they don't scrap Medri's designs.

  2. It really was a great issue. Lobdell has managed to flesh out the characters without making them look bad--something other writers can learn from. I agree although I wish Medri got the Robin suit right. That really bugged me.

    I could see Underbelly being connected because of Deacon Blackfire or some mystic connection, not really a Joker connection. Jason does seem to be making leaps in deductions. Next issue will make it clearer although he could have used #6 to tell more of the story and pushed the dead people story after Robin War.

    I liked that Roys' smoke was able to surprise Gordon but I wish Jason did more to catch him off guard. Lately it seems like Roy is doing most of the work/impressive things in their fights.

    Tara has been a bit inconsist as she knew who Arsenal was on sight and who he worked with. Then she claimed she didn't know they were Outlaws and that they "stole" her money. She also said they were hard to track despite the damage they created. I see it as her playing hardball but Gordon acts like he didn't know about Red Hood until he shot a camera. Given his usual knowledge it feels off.

    It would be cool to see Bruce, there's definitely a set up with Gabby telling Jason to check the place out.

    Exactly. I'm still pissed about the way Isabel was treated.

    Waylon has been great lately and I love Roy going to him for advise. I also love how Jason knew that was where he was going and let Roy have his "secret."

    I didn't know. I certainly haven't been following up on WAR.

    We'll have to wait and see. I'm hoping they don't switch the Robin costumes. Jason finally got a good one !