Monday, March 25, 2013

Girl In The Hood: Outlaws #18 Hug-It-Out Edition

Elizabeth Airelle

 "Last Dance. Last Chance...For Death!"

After Joker’s vicious attack last issue Jason is in an induced coma. In his mind he escapes to a twisted version of the All-Caste’s home.  He thinks Ducra is standing over him but is in fact Joker, who states that after killing Jason he is always in Jason’s mind.

As Jason sleeps Alfred mentions that he should be in a hospital. Bruce disagrees and states that his best chances for survival are at the Manor. Alfred is going to agree with him and states that there should be no long term damage to Jason’s face. He tells Jason home is never home without him and for Bruce not to blame himself. If Bruce hadn’t taken him in he would have been killed years ago and that he gave him purpose.

As Jason sleeps Bruce mentions how even from day one he knew he wouldn’t have to worry about Jason. He thinks back to when he was training Jason and knocked him down, he said it was his fault and he needs to take credit for his mistakes or he won’t learn.

Inside Jason’s mind a giant Joker is chasing him and he finds a bomb hidden. He takes it and shoves it down Joker’s mouth. Ducra appears and tells Jason that the damage he has done to the place can’t be undone. We’re inside Jason’s soul.  Jason claims it’s on Joker not him. Ducra tells Jason that ever since he left the Al-Caste his life has been defined by the actions of the Joker. He became a killer and lashed out at people that may or may not have deserved it.  Eventually he will hurt everyone that cares about him. She asks how is it any different from the Joker? He takes his All-Blades out stating he is nothing like the Joker.

He sees Kori and Roy dead hanging from a tree and is warned that the people closest to him will suffer the most. Ducra tells him it’s not possible for Jason to love them because you cannot live in the past and present at the same time. Jason realizes that he is trying to distance himself from the past by destroying it. Jason also realizes he can’t live alone. We then see a flashback of Bruce and Jason and he is now dressed as Wingman from Batman Inc. Batman is telling him he needs to come home. Jason says that he keeps failing. Bruce says there is always talk of blame between them but one thing he will not apologize for is taking a chance on Jason.  Jason then wakes up and tries to tell Bruce he is sorry but Bruce just hugs him…

This issue was good note for the writer to leave on. Since, Jason’s return Bat-Fans have been waiting for this issue. It was done very well and a long time coming. The art in this was amazing, I don’t think the book has seen such good art since Kenneth Rocafort.

And so with this ends Scott Lobdell’s run on Red Hood.  With this run we saw more positive character development from Starfire, Red Hood and Arsenal then we have in years. I say positive because of the direction the characters are now in vs. before the new 52.

Before the relaunch Roy had fallen from grace. He now had one arm, left the Justice league, relapsed, his daughter had died and he was a part of Deathstroke’s team. In the final issue he turned over a new leaf but still so much damage to the character was done. Now he is clean, proven he can lead and is very brilliant when it comes to weapons.  He continues to show he is not some clown in a trucker’s hate that shoots arrows and hopefully we see more of his past fleshed out soon.

         Starfire joined the Justice league before Flashpoint, for about a minute then left.  We didn’t even get a clear reason why she left other than it had something to do with Dick Grayson .  That was really frustrating that Starfire’s stories almost always involved her pining over him. Now she has shown what a badass space warrior she is and has a new love interest, Roy Harper.

         Red Hood before Flashpoint had a bit of a character backtrack. He was going from anti-hero to full on villain. Writer’s changed his appearance from costume to hair color frequently. He had no consistency. Now he has his own path, has let go of the anger and is back in the “Batman family.” This book provided these characters a fresh start and hopefully under the new writer will continue to do so. Goodbye and good luck Scott Lobdell and hello James Tynion IV!

Until next time Hoodies !! 

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