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A lot more was expected from “Red Hood: The Lost Days.” As a whole, this series had an interesting story that could have been more thoroughly explored and there was a growing need each issue for better artwork. There were a few moments that were very powerful. This issue failed to have any of them. It is possibly the worst issue in the entire mini-series.
The lost days of the Red Hood come to an end. Jason has finally tracked down the Joker and he aims to make him pay for killing him by burning the Joker alive! Will Batman be too late to save his mortal enemy, or will Jason have his revenge?
This confrontation between Jason and the Joker has been building up since the first issue of the “Red Hood: The Lost Days.” Their confrontation did not live up to all the hype. Jason and Joker only shared a couple of pages together, and the Joker does not even seem to realize the fact that Jason was the Robin he killed years before.
Writer Judd Winick made a lot of other bad decisions in this issue. Talia Al Ghul is involved in the most disturbing of all. Throughout the series, Jason seems like a son to her and in this issue they not only make-out, but there is also a possibility that they had sex (not shown, of course). Their relationship changed from mother and son… to lovers! It almost made me put the story down since it was so out of character for Talia, a woman who continually claims to be in love with Batman.
The ending has an interesting twist that tied in with an old storyline which was nice to see. However, this moment ended rather abruptly when Jason finally puts on the mask of the Red Hood. The average comic book reader is not going to realize the significance of the helmet since the reason Jason chose it is omitted in the series. For those of you who have no idea why Jason wears his red helmet and calls himself the Red Hood its because of the Joker. Before his clowntastic make-over, he was a two-bit crook known as the Red Hood. Without knowing that from reading other comics, the last page of the issue loses the powerful closure it could have had by just adding extra panels for an explanation.
For fans of the more classic Joker, you get to see him here making multiple quips that remind us of the lighter side of the Joker’s humor. Unfortunately, his darker side may have been more interesting since the reason Jason was killing him was because of his homicidal tendencies. Since this is an older story it is no surprise for people who continually read the comics how Jason’s attempt on the Joker’s life end.
Ironically, not only is this the worst comic in terms of story in the series, but has the worst cover. That is not as big a deal. However, since previous covers have actually been very beautiful with Jason wearing his hood (which he never wears in the comic, by the way). The huge grin on the Joker’s face does make him seem humorous which I am sure the cover artist wanted, but the sneer on Jason’s face and his eyes make him look more comical than a man who is about to burn someone alive should be.
Jeremy Haun’s art within the comic is also shoddy at best. After fans of the Bat read the “Batman and Robin” series the art in this issue is a travesty. The colors also seem much too bright for a comic that is supposed to have a serious tone. When Jason is about to light the Joker aflame those bright and cheerful colors distracted me from the grave magnitude of the situation.
It is a shame that a story that could have so much sustenance turned out to be mediocre at best. Fans of the movie “Batman: Under the Red Hood” will probably enjoy this series as a whole, but even they may be disappointed with this quick finish that should have gone on for another issue or two to fully explain the character’s history, and the history of others around him (the Joker especially). This comic tarnishes Talia’s name and a lot of people who are huge fans of her may be annoyed at Winick’s portrayal of her. If you want to avoid that, I would steer clear of this issue and the mini-series in general.