"Don't Let The Door Hit You On The Way Out!"
Picking up from Batman #17, the Joker has been defeated and Jason contacts Starfire and Arsenal to regroup. Jason sends out a car to pick them up and bring them to him at Wayne manor. Originally he planned on just leaving but could not without saying goodbye. He notices Damian Wayne aka Robin sitting outside. They recently just worked together as Wingman and Redbird in Batman inc. (You should be reading that!!) Jason tries telling him that he understands what he is going through. Damian is uninterested in what he thinks. Jason notes that the anger he has is similar to what he himself had to go through, he worked through it with the help of Ducra. He hopes Damian can work through the hate before it burns him up.
Roy and Kori arrive and are happy to see him. Kori is so happy she ends up lifting Jason a few stories in the air while Damian and Roy get to know each other. Starfiew had feared the worse when Jason was gone, he has been her first real friend and doesn’t want to lose him. Jason needs to get something from inside but Kori says she will wait outside; she is avoiding Nightwing aka Dick Grayson who is inside.
Once inside Jason questions why Dick won’t even say “Hi” to her. After what the Joker did to Nightwing he doesn’t want to be close to anyone but makes Jason promise to watch over her to which Jason says he already does.
Meanwhile Robin and Arsenal are fighting outside on the lawn. Jason breaks it up with the two of them insisting that the other started it. They stop fighting and Roy picks up a football and tells Robin to go long. He throws it but Robin just stands there not understanding the purpose of playing catch but goes along with it and plays with Roy.
Jason goes into the batcave where his helmet and Batman aka Bruce Wayne is. Bruce knew Todd wouldn’t just leave. Jason feels awkward but mentions he ran into Superman not too long ago ( Red Hood 14!) and mentions how Bruce had vouched for him. Batman may never agree with Jason’s methods but can’t agrue with the results and that he cannot try to control everyone. Jason confides in Bruce that when the Joker had him he mentioned things from Jason’s past and implies that he made Jason what he is. Batman replies that Joker didn’t, and neither did Bruce himself, and only Jason made himself the man he is today. Jason would never say it out loud but thanks him for that.
Jason ends up in his old room, thinking back to his first night there. Alfred walks in and asks if he’ll be staying. After everything the Joker put him through he still wants to make sure everyone else is ok. Alfred is happy to have a full house again, and tells Jason this will always be his home.
Jason starts to leave and puts on his helmet. It locks on and a hologram of the Joker appears. Joker states that he was supposed to be his masterpiece but didn’t stay dead, and since Jason wants to be his own man he’ll help him start with a clean slate. Suddenly a sort of acid bomb goes off inside of Jason’s helmet causing his scream in pain alerting everyone in the manor. They rush to his side and Batman manages to get his helmet off revealing his face which looks burned up….
Before anything else I loved this issue it’s easily one of the best in the series so far. We only got a tiny moment with Starfire and Nightwing but it was well done, it’s always uncomfortable being near and ex-boyfriend. It makes you want to know more, how they got together, why they broke up and when did this happen. Arsenal and Robin was done perfect as well and I would love to have Damian appear in the outlaws again. It’s nice to see Alfred alive and well. It was very touching his interaction with Jason even though it was brief, we haven’t seen the two together in a room since Jason came back and it’s great to see that they still care about each other.
Outside of RHATO Jason and Bruce have been reconnecting in BatmanIinc but this was the first time in this book it’s happened. Bruce said what Jason needed to hear and it seems very possible for Jason to be fully accepted back into the fold completely.
The ending has many a hoodie and I worried. A few weeks ago there was a certain cover leak that showed Red Hood with his face horrifically burned off. Could a clean slate mean no face? If so will you keep reading? Nervously waiting until next time Hoodies….
Editor's Note: Elizabeth was very nice to do us an extra recap of DC Universe Presents #17 which is a spotlight issue featuring Arsenal! Read on for that!
"Roy's Night Out"
The issue, written by Joe Keatinge and penciled by Ricken, opens with Red Hood and Starfire beating up some villains. Red Hood asks where Arsenal aka Roy Harper is. Neither has a clue but isn’t worried about him. Meanwhile Arsenal regains consciousness to see a man whose face has stitches all over it. He is a member of the Triad and since he and the Outlaws killed Suzie Su (RHATO issue 8) there has been fighting among the families of the Triad. He’s looking to take revenge on Roy for that. Harper is injured, weaponless, and alone. Roy knows who the man is that has captured him. His name is Zhang Xing and he is the “colonel” for the Triad. Roy asks him for a quarter saying he always pays people back, unlike Jason who owes him 12 dollars. It gets him kicked by a large figure that appears to be Killer Croc, he has been rumored to be in China and a prisoner.
Roy and Croc go back when Roy had become an alcoholic, after he was fired by Oliver Queen and lost all his money. He tried to get Croc to kill him but instead Croc got him help. He seems to have a collar on his neck that is keeping him in line. Zhang orders him in Chinese to go to the safe room. Roy continues to try to get a quarter and Zhang gets close and strikes him, close enough that Roy pick pockets him. Zhang leaves but promises a “skyscraper” amount of men will be coming soon. It takes a few hours but using the coin he is able to get his cuffs undone. Roy gets his hands on a tool box and takes out the men standing in his way to Zhang and Croc.
He gets to Zhang and realizes that Killer Croc is not Killer Croc! He does look a lot like Killer Croc so it’s unsurprising people thought he was him. Zhang has been collecting meta humans all over the world and has even experimented on himself. He intends to build an army of would be “Crocs”.
Zhang orders Not Croc to kill Roy. He gets thrown into a bullet proof window which shatters. Roy picks up a piece and disables the inhibitor collar around his neck with hopes that he would help him take out Zhang. He hesitates for a moment but does help Arsenal. The creature reveals himself to be named "FangFeng" and they team up. Roy and Fangfeng take out the men and Zhang as well. Roy convinces Fangfeng not to kill Zhang and tells him to “Do better” like he himself is trying, just like Croc convinced him to do. Later he makes it home to Starfire’s ship, she asks where he was and while he takes 12 dollars from a sleeping Jason he replies the same place he always goes, nowhere. Only the reader knows the bad-ass solo act Roy can be.
Lately we have been getting a lot of Arsenal, between him pulling together the Titans and Outlaws and now this. He lives up to his name and shows how he can be very resourceful with any object, even a quarter. Roy may joke around but he should be feared just as much as Redhood by villains. The story took place between Night of Owls and Tamaran and it showed the aftermath of when Suzie Su was killed. This felt like it could have been an issue of RHATO, it flowed very well. I am disappointed that we didn’t get to see Killer Croc since he promised it wouldn’t be a good time for Roy when they do meet up. Fangfeng was interesting and it would be cool to see him appear later in the book. All in all this was a good story and I’m glad we are getting more stories with focus on other Outlaws.
Until next time Hoodies!
You can find Elizabeth chatting with other Hoodies at:
And follow our Twitter feed: @RedHoodOutlaws