So I know a lot of people have their gripes with The Gotham War but what if we focused on another character for a little bit? Catwoman brings in Red Hood to help her flesh out some hooligans while he’s on his path to destroying the Joker and it’s very mid to say the least. At least that’s an improvement from the regular Gotham War no?If you were to judge this comic from its opening pages you would be totally forgiven for thinking this is a terrible portrayal of Red Hood. His bloodthirsty one note attitude as he’s hell bent on being badass while hunting down the Joker reminds me of the same terrible way he was portrayed in Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing. *quickly checks google* Omg! Matthew Rosenberg is the guy who wrote Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing as well as this issue of Red Hood! How did anyone in DC see the most bland hate fueled Red Hood in that series and think this is the guy that should be in charge of giving Red Hood a solo run. I will say that some people I’ve talked to in Batman News said that his writing of Red Hood in Task Force Z was actually pretty enjoyable so hopefully we see more of that Red Hood in the future.Once you get past the opening rehash of Red Hood’s motivation you get greeted by Catwoman who provides a fun dynamic between the two characters. I do like the cat quips, the way they subtly talk about a cat having nine lives through Red Hood’s death and Catwoman trying to save lives. This issue works best when Red Hood and Catwoman are talking to each other directly and that’s where most of the actual tension I care about comes from. Sadly these are pretty much the two only characters worth talking about because unless you already know the others then there’s not much personality to go around. Especially the two minions that get introduced, as Bash’s personal fears are the least personal thing you can imagine!
The reason the henchmen being so underdeveloped is such a problem is because the first issue revolves around Red Hood training them with Catwoman barely in sight. Training these two does allow Red Hood to become a bit less one note later on, he becomes two notes! Guy that wants Joker dead by any means and hard ass that hates Joker’s henchmen. Both basically making him a hard ass with nothing to prove. I like the art quite a bit, the action is decently fluid with some intimidating poses and creative paneling decisions to hone in on the action, the character designs are quite slick and contrast the splotchy surroundings well, I’m not gonna lie though, I definitely appreciate the art but I’m not exactly blown away by any of it. I can point to a lot of positives provided by Nikola ?i?me?ija but there’s no moment that I would just show to everyone around me in excitement, well, maybe if Scarecrow got a big splash in the future issues I would cause his presence was chillingly cool.The colors by Rex Lokus are very dark in tone, which reflects the night time activities of Catwoman and the dark mindset of Red Hood very well, I love the red of his outfit, the purple of another character who shows up later and the glow of violence that softly clings to certain characters is a nice touch.
The lettering by Troy Peteri is great in this issue, I love the distinct Red Hood lettering and the many background lettering choices that merge with the world like Krok’s “I was here” graffiti and little easter eggs like that. The lettering is also very fluid in a way that makes conversations feel like you’re actually getting to read them live as they’re getting spoken, it’s just messy enough to be realistic without sacrificing legibility. The final page has some very sick and sickening lettering sprayed on the wall too for that final oomph.
You think The Gotham War isn’t terrible to begin withRed Hood’s one to two note attitude doesn’t bother youThe art in this comic intrigues you
Wow, I just realized how little this first issue even impacts the main storyline of The Gotham War. I hope that’s just because it’s an introduction to the premise of this comic but for a product that makes no sense outside of The Gotham War fanclub members feeling they have to buy it this does kind of irk me. Apart from that the story is just very underwhelming with yet another instance of a story that revolves around a singular character I can’t even force myself to care about. At least when Red Hood interacts with Catwoman there’s an inkling of intrigue so let’s hope we get to see more of that, or, I don’t know, a story that involves henchmen with actual personality.
DISCLAIMER: DC Comics provided Batman-News with a copy of this comic for the purposes of this review.
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So I know a lot of people have their gripes with The Gotham War but what if we focused on another character for a… Read More