Batman #17 saw the conclusion of Scott Snyder’s suspenseful “Death of the Family” story arc and Red Hood and the Outlaws #17 deals with the aftermath through the eyes of Jason Todd and his band of merry men (and buxom alien woman). Is it good?
Red Hood and the Outlaws #17
Temporally speaking, I’m not sure how “Death of the Family” correlates to the Wingman/Redbird premise in Batman Inc. or how to rationalize the two being congruous — but I suppose we’ll have to let Lobdell, Morrison, and Marts proffer some kind of reasonable timeline. If not… comic books, am I right?
Those looking for a poignant exchange between Bat-Family “bad boys” Jason Todd and Damian Wayne will be disappointed; Lobdell offers little more than a few standoffish “Take cares,” and “Yeah, whatever man, just leave” that would have been better suited to an episode of Full House wherein Bob Saget grounds his daughter for going to a “make-out” party.
Jason does come off more Danny Tanner-ish than we’ve ever seen him in the presence of Damian and the rest of the Bat-family, though — an interesting spark of character development, however ephemeral the moment may turn out to be. (Is Jason ready to be civil with his surrogate fam?)
Some of the issue’s more entertaining moments come when the Outlaws come knocking on Wayne Manor’s door. You have Damian being a snarky little asshole towards Arsenal:
You just got salted, Roy.
The obligatory reunion between Starfire’s breasts and Jason:
And d’aww, look honey: the kids are playing nice. Does this have the makings of a beautiful friendship, after all?
Later on in the Cave, Bruce Wayne, looking inexplicably like the protagonist from Akira drops some surprising knowledge on Jason:
Which is pretty much the goddamn Batman’s way of saying ‘I like you, do as you please.’
- We get to see Red Hood and the Outlaws interact with the Bat-family.
- Presents an interesting, if slightly implausible dilemma come issue’s end.
- The contents therein can’t live up to the awesome cover by Mico Suayan.
- Would have liked to have seen more poignant interactions between the characters.
Is It Good?
SPOILER ALERT — ABANDON ALL UNAWARENESS YE WHO ENTER HERE:
It’s alright. And if you think it’s bullshit the Joker could sabotage Jason’s helmet and a cave full of the world’s greatest detectives didn’t subject that particular piece of equipment to the most punctilious scrutiny ever before letting Jason slap it back on, I’m right there with you. Lobdell is leaving Red Hood and the Outlaws with next month’s issue #18 (to be replaced by James Tynion IV), though, so let’s see how effectively he can wrap things up.