Batman/Catwoman — The Gotham War: Red Hood #1 cover, via DC Comics.
Batman/Catwoman — The Gotham War: Red Hood #1 — Matthew Rosenberg, Writer Nikola Cizmesija, Artist, Rex Lokus, Colorist
Ray — 8/10
Ray: This is the only tie-in besides the main two books in this event, so it stands to reason that there’s a key reason it exists, something about the story that couldn’t be told in the main books. And the focus makes sense — Jason is the only person who is treading both sides, being part of Batman’s family but siding more with Selina ideologically. How he wound up so entrenched in her side is explained in the prologue here, as she catches him in the middle of one of his more violent phases as he desperately tries to beat up henchmen to find Joker. With the Clown Prince still in the wind, Selina manages to convince Jason to come in and take a key position as her trainer for new soldiers. And in doing this, he ironically winds up in charge of some of the very same henchmen he terrorized over the last few weeks. Jason’s drill sergeant nasty routine, combined with some pretty twisted tests, is pretty entertaining to watch.
Crash landing. Via DC Comics.
Still, there’s something darker lurking in the background here, as two of the henchmen who he trained head off for their first mission and wind up plagued by visions of Scarecrow, with one crossing the line in a disturbing way. While Joker looms large over the issue, this follows up from several of Rosenberg’s Gotham works, particularly his time on Task Force Z. Jason played a key role there, and now he’s got the resources to make a move on the Gotham criminal underworld. Rosenberg has a very solid take on Jason, always has, and his interaction with Catwoman is appropriately complex. Still, something here isn’t up to the level of the main reason. The dialogue here is rather glib, lacking the emotional intensity of the main chapters, and it feels like Jason is just dropping into someone else’s story to cause some trouble. A fun read, but it still also feels like someone could read only the main chapters and not miss any key plot points.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.