The red-headed Robin gets a new writer for the first time in nearly a decade! Is it the dawn of a new era for Jason?
It’s six years later, but Jason Todd is getting his very own “Batgirl of Burnside” kind of moment, albeit without a cool new costume. He’s moving in to an old, dusty apartment, reacquainting himself with some old, not dusty friends, and establishing himself in a different part of town. This can be exciting both for him and for readers.
I wish it got to be more so.
For the most part, this issue isn’t bad by any means. It’s for the most part fine, and in some places, it’s nice. But as an issue #51 that should really be treated as a new issue #1, it’s not enough to capture me.
The whole idea of moving to a new part of Gotham to reestablish yourself is fine. It works, it’s been done and has worked many times over. It gave the creative team an excuse to make some new characters to inhabit this part of the city. But this issue does so little with any of them that I walk away not caring. For a first issue, I think that’s a problem. In reality, this run could go to some fun places in the future, but this opener doesn’t do much to convince me to return.
Another interesting thing here is Jason in general. He hardly features in this issue, which isn’t terrible, but it does strike me as odd. In theory, this could be a big jumping on point for new or lapsed readers who haven’t read or didn’t want to read the book previously. And in the hands of new creators, Jason could have been adjusted or presented in a new way. Instead, he barely appears, and when he does he feels like a generic version of Jason Todd. The surrounding characters range from fine to good, but not redefining Jason in particular feels like a missed opportunity to me.
As for the art, I think it’s a similarly mixed bag. One page in particular takes place in a small store with four people in it. It’s mostly a conversation between two people, and it changed perspective too many times for me. It feels like the team wanted to keep it visually interesting, but instead it felt complicated for little reason.
As much as this issue is mixed, I am excited that Red Hood has a new direction going forward. I hope it gets better from here!
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