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Review: Red Hood/Arsenal #11

red hood“Dancing with the Devil’s Daughter” opens with Roy. He is alone and later we see that this is a flashback. He is standing over the defeated Iron Rule, as humans, not the super-villains we saw in the Nethers. Roy tells the Iron Rule that he has overridden a US drone to target the area. He jumps on his bike and speeds away. Roy sentenced the Iron Rule to death. Roy does this because what he started out as a team to do good and make money turned into a way for the Iron Rule to take over. They waited for Roy to go to the capital of the country they were in and then they took over. Roy came back and beat them and then had them killed.


Roy wakes up, this flashback was a dream And a memory. Roy brought the Iron Rule together and named them to stand for their “iron clad rule”, to always leave things better than when they found them. Roy thinks that he saw Everest, one of the Iron Rule members in the Nethers. The radiation from the bomb Roy sent changed them and gave them super human powers. Now they are back and Roy feels responsible.


We change scenes to a monologue by Duela. She remembers her time in school when she beat up the cheerleader squad and attacked a teacher. She was tazed by a security guard and placed in a mental hospital against her will. She is telling this to Red Hood. She is to start at a new school the next day and she says she is excited. She just is not looking forward to telling the kids there that she spend the last three months underground and that she took on the mantle of the Joker’s Daughter. Jason suggests that she not open up with that and Duela says that she will not say that her best friend is Red Hood. She seems to want a fresh start and Jason asks her if she is ready for this transition. She says absolutely. Jason pulls out the Joker face. He found it in the baseboard of the upstairs bathroom where they are staying. At first Duela says that she really wants to change but she needs Jason’s help. Jason tells her to shut up and then Duela switches back to the Joker’s Daughter, laughing maniacally.


Roy dressed in his Arsenal suit goes on the rampage searching for the Iron Rule. He attacks some thugs at a spa and forces his way inside. He enters the sauna, one of the men there accuses Roy of not following protocol for applying for work. The man’s name is Bing and Roy is not there for a job. He attacks Bing and draws an arrow on him. Bing is a broker and he is going to tell Roy where the Iron Rule is. Bing calls Roy’s bluff, he does not believe that Roy will kill him.


Duela puts on the Joker face. Jason does not stop her. JD says that Jason is like her “father”, Jason disagrees. JD says that the Joker may have killed him, but Jason was then reborn as the Red Hood. She too was reborn when she found the face in the sewer. JD hugs Jason and says that they should not fight, they only have each other. Jason does not return the hug.


Back at the sauna. Roy has turned down the temperature to below freezing to force Bing to talk. Roy asks him again where is the Iron Rule.


JD pulls a gun on Jason. She wants Jason to join her in her mayhem. When Jason refuses she fires but Jason knocks the gun away and kicks her off of the soccer goal they were sitting on. Jason shoots her and says that she is fired.


Roy leaves the spa. He has the information he was looking for, the Iron Rule is in Metropolis. Roy starts to think about going to Metropolis after them then he draws an arrow. The Iron Rule is over him and they are preparing to kill him, leaving us with a cliffhanger.


This issue attempts to continue the Iron Rule story line and deal with the Joker’s Daughter’s true nature in one issue. Individually each scene is good but together it becomes a pain to switch between the two characters and unrelated situations.


I am happy to see Roy going back to the Iron Rule because after the last issue which was focused solely on the Joker’s Daughter. We get a little backstory in this issue that Roy brought this group together even though they did not know him or each other. Roy was using the Iron Rule as a way to get out of the shadow of Oliver Queen and it backfired on him. Now he wants to make things right.


I am happy that the Joker’s Daughter deception was not dragged out. Jason already knows what is going on before he has this conversation with Duela. I think he was hoping he was wrong. When he discovers that he was not, he fulfills his promise and puts her down. We just do not know if he kills her here. I foresee one more issue before Rebirth, I am afraid that we are going to get both stories wrapping up in the same issue. I would have preferred one issue focusing on the Iron Rule and the second dealing with the Joker’s Daughter.


My rating is because of the mixing of these story lines. Individually, I am intrigued by the stories but together they do not work.


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  • Total Score 60%
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