Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Red Hood/Arsenal #6

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.


  1. Considering that Jason and Roy killed all the members of HM through the course of the issue and yet, they're being shipped off at the end, I'd say is safe to assume whatever Sara did to them made them inmortal. That being said, HM was by far the weakest link of the plot, it was obviously rushed and since the solict has little to do with the final issue I have to wonder if there were some editorial interference at work.

    I don't know where are you getting the idea of Suzie being considered to be redeemed. She had her chance and blew it and Jason didn't show the slightest interest nor surprise about her prensence on HM. Suzie's comments about being close with Jason are nothing more that classic villian talk. I see no reason to think is anything more.

    JD is the only young villian present on the N52 whom can be plausibly redeemed. Jason trying to be lenient with her isn't surprising considering his characterization so far. Not only he sees himself on any villian with any kind of connectionwith the Joker, JD also creates a connection with her status of street kid. If anything, it only makes sense that Jason would be the one willing to help her. Will stick? Will JD become a permanent team member? Who knows, her future will depend on how the readers react at the idea but in the meantime is something with plenty of potential and I'm looking forward to see where it leads.

    I might be wrong, but I doubt we will get relevant callbacks (if any) to Titan's Hunt. The way is mentioned as an afterthought and Roy's characterization being the same as the beginning of the series makes me think that the calbacks are just Lobdell acknowledging TH to be a team player but not something that will influence his stories.

    Nah JD was just making a bad bar joke, and despite Jason knowing Crux was helped by Arkham. He still thinks of the place as a hell on earth, and the one place he won't be returning ever. Is just natural that he wouldn't want to send JD there.

    Jason wasn't blaming himself for his death (he only blames the Joker for it). Jason was blaming himself for lashing out during his return to Gotham. Thanks to his experiences with the Outlaws and making amends with Bruce he can look back and admit he was in the wrong back then.

    Jason is 20-19 so I don't see anything weird about his statement about JD's age.

  2. I wasn't sure if it made them immortal or she'd have to keep bringing them back from the dead. Sure their tied up after Roy re-kills them but I felt that detail was rushed. I think there was more planned but the Robin War stuff forced it to be hurried up.

    I'm just talking through the issue as I read it. Sometimes I go on about plot points that don't happen. Lobdell humanized Suzie more than before and I don't think it's a lie because she thought Roy was dead. Maybe she has a warped point of view but Lobdell did hint at more of a story with Suzie.

    Not a redemption per se but I'm thinking Jason pulled a con. I just found it weird that she wonders if she could be friends with Jason after hating him. She had no reason to say it or lie. Also I think Jason should be A LITTLE surprised to see someone he killed.

    I get the idea of the story, I even get the reasoning for it. I'm just not sure it works. Like I said the Underbelly thing made no sense and everyone says this girl is unbalanced. Maybe it would be better if she got help. Not from Arkham but maybe some place with a better track record.

    The way this is written we mainly have Jasons' word for it and the fact she didn't kill Roy. Which could have been just to mess with everyone. Well techically Donna Troy is currently a villain and she has a better chance.

    I just find it hard to believe that he mentions it so much, makes multiple mentions to Roys' drinking problem and doesn't bring it up again. If Roy fell off the wagon it's a major part of his characterzation.

    I got that I was merely commenting on Arkham not being a "lesser" punishment for Crux.

    I can see that too but it seems that line needed work as most took it the other way.

    I think it was stated Dick was Robin for 2 years, I have a timeline DC made somewhere on here. Jason being a year younger than Dick never made sense to me. Prior to the relaunch he was 2 years older than Tim but everyone acted like he was Dick's' age. Plus he was dead for some months. Referring to someone else as a kid when you're a teen seem odd to me. A lot of time it reads like the writers don't know how old he is like the drinking thing.

  3. I still don't see what made Suzie different this time. Since the her introduction she has been depicted as bratty, petty and begrudgingly admiring Jason's skills. I read her rant just like the typical villian that deludes herself into thinking is important on the hero's life.

    There are mysteries about JD but that is just natural, that will be cleared (or should be) through the next arc. This was just set up.

    Jason has mentioned Roy's past and how much it admires his recovery since RHATO, while on the other hand we have Roy dealing with his issues in a more mature manner than is depicted on Titan's Hunt. Until we see Roy drinking on RH/A or Titam's Hunt being directly referenced by Lobdell, I don't think we should take TH more canon than Batman Eternal was for Jason the past year.

    The conflict is mainly on tumblr, and they're just see what they want to see (they were showering with praise the previous issue for the hug) The context and the flashback being specifically about UTRH was more than enough to drive home the intention of the dialogue.

    As a side note, This conflict is incredibly amusing since despite people drawing their own conclusion I'm still seeing criticism that Lobdell's dialogue is too heavy handed and leaves viirtually no room to interpretation.

    Is not as weird as you'd think and Jason has lived through so much stuff that is justified on thinking on JD as a kid.

  4. Suzie has absolutely hated Jason since she was introduced. Yes she could be deluding herself here or Jason did con her. What I'm basically saying is that there's more story here and I'm hoping Suzies' edges don't get soften.

    The JD stuff does feel rushed and it feels like this could have come about a different way. Maybe their stuck together and have to depend on each other. As it is Jason is making them both vulnerable for something he's not even sure of. Someone that has mental problems or if you believe the interview for her one shot someone that just loves doing evil things.

    Lobdell was not just an X-Men writer he wrote in the 90s. Carrying over plots especially after telling you to read those issues was the norm. It might take awhile but I can see it coming up again. BE has plots that can be (thankfully) ignored while TH has something major happen to Roy. It'd be like him losing an arm then acting like it never happened afterward if it's not addressed.

    I haven't read much of the actual arguments and I don't agree with some of the problems. But I can get how the "Jason blames himself for his death" thing happened. Because it's happened a lot in Bat books and a lot of us Jason fans are sensitive to it. Like I said in the other post the idea that Jason is somehow lesser is still alive in other titles.

    I'd say Snyder, Seeley and Tynion are far more heavily handed at dialogue. Sometimes I want to skip their narrative boxes and most of the time I don't think they were needed at all.

    I get that too but I wish more writers would acknowledge how young Jason actually is. I think the closest we got was last issue with Bruce calling him kid.

    1. Then again Lobdell has admitted about not being a big fan of fully revisiting old stories so I'd say the chances of seeing some resolution about Suzie are slim at best, specially since she's now tied to Sara Phina and the HM.

      That's the issue with crossovers but what we can do? Lodbell did a great job with what he was given.

      To be fair we don't even know what will be the deal with TH. Dick is the protagonist and neither King nor Tynion have given the slightest nod to TH so is still soon to assume is gonna be massively important for RH/A. The way I see it is that Lobdell will handle it like he did with the Wingman business, acknowledge it happened but keeping its influence at the minimum.

      Thing is, the people who has complained doesn't read the series and are just going by second hand impressions of the overall plot, missing a LOT of the context needed for this story.

      I know that but that is simply the idiotic bias people has against Lobdell. Tynion literally used written prose on static panels to tell a plot point on B&RE this week and people have praised it.

  5. Except old storylines do come up just by having characters return since it acknowledges a past. He made a point about mentioning her father and it never gets mentioned again?

    We'll see, I'm starting to get nervous with how Robin War will turn out.

    You mean because it hasn't been mentioned in BaRE? We don't have a timeline for how these things work. BaRE is focusing on the characters there and the Mother plot. TH has nothing to do with it except the fact Dick is in it. Lobdell has mentioned it and so far the only thing to actually happen in TH was Roy falling off the wagon. That relates to the redemption plot and drinking problem mentioned in RHA.

    Maybe it's an assumption to assume it will be important but given the set up it's hard from a writer POV to see it being pointless.

    I actually heard this from another fan of the series who's complaints I listed in the other post. The issue really ticked her off. That said it is the norm for people not reading the series to jump to conclusions.

    The bias is frustrating and amusing. I'd rather read Jasons' thoughts--which no other writer has really explored--than a whole page about Jokers' crazy eyes.

  6. I might be missing your point here but that is exactly what happened with Suzie's dad. Until you mentioned here I didn't remember he existed.

    At this point I'm more curious to see what outfit will Jason wear during the crossover. Is extremely odd that issue 6 had them on the RHATO costumes for no reason. and for what is worth, King did a decent job writing Hal on the Darkseid War one shot.

    I was thinking on Grayson actually, far as I'm concerned the only book that matters on Dick's current characterization is Grayson.

    Some times I can't help but roll my eyes at some sections of Jason's fanbase.

    The bias against Lobdell has come to a ridiculous level. There's a new reviewer on Batman News for RH/A that gave the issue a 6. The comments on it were people marvelling at her by daring to give Lobdell a positive note.

  7. Lobdell did make a point in mentioning the dad more than once which seemed to set up something. Still he has been known to forget plots though since he admitted he couldn't remember how the Lois/security guard plot from Superboy was going to end. But why bother to bring Suzie Su back at all?

    I haven't read the previews but apparently their already up for Robin War #1 and Grayson. I'm not sure if their go back to the old look but I guess all we can do is wait. I heard that about Hal. Let's just say Hal isn't my favorite character although Sally got me to be amused by some of his actions.

    From what I heard (I don't know the details) Dick hasn't been written well in other books like BaRE. Personally I think all the writers should have a long talk about character portrayals. At this point it looks like most of them don't care.

    The worst "fans" are the ones that don't even get Jasons' character and just want him written like a walking cliché.

    I think I might have read Batman News once but I've heard it always gives the RH books bad reviews. Personally my favorite ridiculous online comment was someone complaining about Roys' hat saying it was worse than Lians' death. Talk about priorities.

  8. In Robin War? That's weird since he's wearing the new look in BaRE.

  9. We're two issues away for the start of Robin War, they will ditch the new look (likely with noreal explanation) by then.

    *sigh* I liked the hoodie.

  10. Is he wearing it some place besides the covers?

    I like it too.

  11. He has the jacket on the Grayson 15 preview and issue 9 of B&RE is the first cover where's he wearing the jacket again.

  12. Unless they have a fill in the artist of Grayson should know what Jasons' uniform is. Did they change it for Medri? That's weird.