Batman and Red Hood 20
Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason

Spoiler alert! You have been warned!

 

The five stages of grief are continued to be explored in this great bookend title to the main Batman series. This issue, titled Batman and Red Hood, explores the first stage: Rage. And Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason continue to shed light on the story that takes place immediately after the death of Damian Wayne. And even though it’s starting to point (or possibly misdirect) towards the new Robin’s identity, I for one am continually pleasantly surprised by the depth and strength of characterization within each and every frame of this series. It is beyond comparison and by far one of the very best books on the stands. Monthly, this title makes me an even bigger Bat fan. And I’ve been reading every Bat title, crossover, team book, and spinoff for over a decade.

 

How fitting that Jason Todd, the first Robin to die under the wings of the Batman, and quite possibly the only angrier character in the DC Universe than Bruce himself, be chosen as the second stage of grief guest star. The fact that we get another glimpse of Carrie Kelley at the beginning doesn’t sour the issue because there is plenty of Jason and Bruce angst to fuel the rest of the story. They beat the crap out of a bunch of terrorists, yell at each other, blame each other, and then kick each others’ asses. It’s a perfect example of what puts the “fun” into the dysfunction of the Batman family. Of course, as with all moments fuelled entirely by rage, there is absolutely no closure. And how fitting that we get a final page, seemingly unrelated to the rest of the issue, with the angriest of all Batman villains, Two-Face.

Batman and Red Hood 20 Picture 2

This title continues to amaze me. I don’t think I could do it justice even if I had a weekly column just highlighting the never-wasted spaces within each frame, never-boring action sequences, and never-cliché dialogue. You can certainly tell that Tomasi is a fan-turned-editor-turned-writer and Gleason is a veteran who really loves his characters and the adventures he puts them through month-in and month-out. Along with the main Batman title, this comic truly proves that this is a serious medium. There are important issues being discussed with believable characters and fantastic, yet realistic scenarios in a lot of comic books, but none are ever so consistently enjoyable. Not only is this a great read, but it’s also a relevant one. I am looking to see how Carrie’s involvement plays out, as well as the Two-Face inclusion, and not to mention, the fact that we’re going to be treated to a Batgirl not written by Gail Simone, which is always a plus in my book.

 

My Rating: 5/5