Last month left on the most unexpected cliffhanger with a character that hadn't been mentioned or alluded to beforehand. Given the future solicits for the Robin War tie in next month, the Titans Hunt stuff and this character turning up in January I'm not sure how all of this will fit in canon.
I just want to say I loved the art Medri did on this series and am sad to see him go. I never got the hate and I was happy to see he corrected Jasons' Robin uniform. Love him or hate him at least Medri took risks and gave Jason a look to seperate him from the other Robins.
We open where he left off with Jokers' Daughter having apparently shot Roy. She talks to herself trying to make jokes while we see Roy's prone body along with some blood. The revenge squad aren't too pleased to learn that half of the duo they were planning on taking out seems to be dead. The lady who brought the "Hero Manifesto" together is Dr. Sara Phina and like the boys she apparently has her own business. Making her group more than people who are going in for revenge their doing a job. Seems JD knows all about them because she's a leader of a group that finds out information of everyone coming into Gotham. She wanted Arsenal to be her audition. Despite neither Phina or her people being thrilled with JD she decides to give her the job to kill Red Hood. Suzie Su points out that JD is unhinged which Phina shrugs off. She doesn't care as long as their assignment is done and they get the credit.
Jason is already onboard a plane more than ready to leave Gotham since they completed their mission and seeing Bruce was a bit of a shock. Roy hasn't turned up and he's been trying to call him. As we've seen throughout this series Jason is good at picking up at something being "off" with Roy. I'm more than a little surprised that Lobdell referenced Tynions' plot with how Jason and Roy met. That story didn't make sense with what Lobdell wrote in the past. Jason does wonder what Roys' not telling him and knows it doesn't have to do with Kori.
JD comes onto the wing of the plane like a gremlin with a chainsaw which doesn't leave Jason much time to act. For some reason he saves her from being flung off the wing and she decides it's the perfect time to tell him that she killed Arsenal. Jason doesn't believe she could take out Roy even though she says she found the plane ticket in his outfit. Meanwhile Suzie takes a picture of Roy as proof and claims she and Jason were close. I don't know how to take that. Roy shoots her when her back is turned and realizes JD shot him with a paintball filled with body parts. Jason realizes that JD isn't fighting her all. He relates the situation with his fight with Batman in UTH. Before he can reach out to offer to help her the plane stops and he loses his grip. JD flees while back with Hero Manifesto Roy fights the bad guys wondering why killing bothers him.
Returning to them JD hears why they want to kill team Red. Not just for a client but also because their competition. It's explained that Phina can control pockets of reality which is how she saved the mimes. While I agree with Jason that it's pointless to cure JD of her insanity just to drive her mad again couldn't he attack after Phine made her sane again? They all attack and JD claims she did all this to get team Reds attention to join them. Jason decides to ship the HM out to see while Roy and JD wonder why he doesn't just kill them. He wants to do things differently now that he's deciding to let JD be their employee. Since she wasn't trying to kill them Jason reasons she wants to change. She doesn't think it will work but agrees as long as Jason promises to kill her when it doesn't work out. He agrees. They get the call that the Robin War is going down.
Overall: I'm not sure how to feel about a lot of this. I like the idea of the Hero Manifesto being another for hired group that Phina formed just to get rid of the competition. There's not much else revealed about it. Do the dead people keep coming back? Who hired them?
I don't know if I want either Suzie Su or JD to be redeemed. I don't think everyone should be redeemable and found it weird that the guys wanted to give Underbelly a chance. The living embodiment of crime wasn't someone that could change and they should know that. Suzie rejected letting go of the past before and wanted to kill Red Hood before her talk with Roy. Sure it feels more likely than JD but she was shot for a reason. She took a hospital hostage and Jason knew she would murder everyone there if he didn't show up. I'm pretty sure she won't be but her talk of being friends with Jason smells of a plot point. I recall an exchange with Suzie claiming he was lying and Jason saying something about not after what happened the last time.
Now I do think that Jason is seeing something that's not there with JD. I think that's the whole point of this arc. He's not even sure if he's trying to save her or himself. Which is a nice parallel with Bruce trying to help himself through Jason in Secret Origins only these two are closer in age. Jason showed a lot of promise while JD doesn't. I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop as this feels like a warped Scarlet parallel. Lobdell has said he found the Scarlet relationship unhealthy so I can't see him making this one work out any better.
I didn't think Roy would be dead unless whatever brought the dead baddies back (Phina I assume) was willing to do the same for him. My favorite parts were the ones where Jason knew Roy pretty well. I still think Lobdell might connect Titans Hunt with RHA especially since Jason has a good grasp what to rule out, what Roys' not mentioning (the memory loss) and is worried that he might be drinking again. Roy might have a point about Jason just making a decision without him but Roy has been nothing but making decisions without Jasons' input. I'm not really excited about Robin War or this JD plot. I don't hate it I'm just uncertain about it.
Say What?: JD makes an attempt at a joke about dropping Roys' body at a bar before remembering he's not at a bar anymore. Which means she knows who he is ?
Despite Arkham helping Crux Jason doesn't want to send JD there. I just mention this because Jason didn't think it was entirely merciful to send Crux there and might have seen it as a good punishment after he tried to kill Kori.
Nice detail with Roy being homeless in Gotham. It connects why he ran into Robin Jason and then Crux. As well as both of the guys being homeless at one point. Although it unintentionally makes Batman and Nightwing jerks for not trying to help him out.
I don't like Jason saying he was blaming his death on everyone but himself. It wasn't Jasons' fault he died and that wasn't the reason he was fighting Batman. He wanted to prove whether Bruce gave a damn. Maybe this just wasn't worded right and he meant he felt bad for lashing out.
I like how Phina just knows it was Arsenals' idea to go public.
Questions Raised?: What is JD wearing? Because I'm pretty sure Joker was said to have taken his face back.
Kid? Jason should still be his teens, he can't be much older than JD. I assumed they were the same age. Does Lobdell or anyone know Dick's the only one that's 21?
How did they know Arsenal and JD would be atop of an abandoned mall?
Roy bounced back pretty quick from Kori? Even if a bulk of his problems can be tied to TH Roy was still upset in #1 and made a point to keep their headquarters away from the beach.
Why don't the guys have their own jet? I know Rose blew up their ride but it would be so much easier to get his weapons through without the hassle.
Does no one in Gotham besides Gabby know he's Jason Todd? You'd think someone else would notice or he'd see Isabel, etc.