Origin Of The Runner-Up
By: Andrew Hines
Jason Todd has been a cool character to try and understand again. As the second Robin, he was always a bit of a loose cannon. As Red Hood he was like carrying nitro glycerin while doing 80mph on a dirt road. He has loosened up slightly in the last year, as the reluctant leader of this misfit trifecta. He even commented in the first issue that if anything happened to Roy, he'd be "the worst former sidekick ever." Not a lie, really. Anyway, there are a few changes to his origin, but one glaring difference. He meets Batman by a means other than stealing the wheels off of the Batmobile. Despite having more potential for believability, it changes the early nature of his badassery. (If that's not a word, it should be.)
Scott Lobdell has rounded out a full year of writing this title and frankly, most issues has been full-on awesome. The only less-than-stellar issue was #8, which was simply average. This, however, was a very interesting re-telling of the origin. Particularly intriguing was the fact that it covered the entirety of his life. Literally, we see him from the day he was born and even get a glimpse into who his father was. We haven't seen much of his younger life, so thanks for that Mr. Lobdell. It really is a wonderful issue that explains a LOT about why jason is the way he is.
The current art team fits almost in the same vein as the first few issues with Kenneth Rocafort. The look of the comic, still in great hands, has pretty much stayed the same. The pencillers, Ig Guara and Pasqual Ferry and backup story artist, Brett Booth have done a fantastic job. Then there's JP Mayer's inks on the main story and Blond's colors, which are pretty good. There's a certain consistency on the art that no other artist transition has had in a while. Definite props on that. Then there's the cover from Kenneth Rocafort, which just looks great.
Overall, despite the art and good script, I can only give this a "B+". The downside, for me, was the fact that Lobdell changed how he met Batman. It's a letdown.