“Harmed and Dangerous” opens with a flashback to 1923 in Gotham City. Federal Agent Erwin Woreth and his wife, Gabi are being held captive by a mobster. Woreth reveals what he has learned from his investigation and begs the mobster to release his wife. She however was always free to go; she just chose to stay with her husband. The mobster leaves the two to a drowning fate as the Nethers, where the couple is having been targeted to be flooded in order to start over. The two are killed.
One hundred years later, Jason Todd, Red Hood is swimming in the location of the flashback as he is now learning that the legend of Old City was true. He is here to find Roy, Arsenal and Duela, Joker’s Daughter. They have vanished from the surface. Jason emerges in an intact underground city that used to be the Nethers of Gotham. Jason soon learns that he is not alone. He is quickly surrounded by the residents who believe Jason is here to steal something from them.
We now shift to a scene “not very far away”, Roy is being dunked upside down into a water tank. He is being questioned by a servant of Charon about his relationship with the Joker’s Daughter (JD). Roy just wants to know where she is. Roy quickly frees himself and fights the thugs easily defeating them in hand to hand combat. He turns his attention on the old women who is leading these people. He wraps a chain around her neck as leverage to find out where JD is being held, after all Charon should have no trouble in killing Arsenal himself.
We return to Jason’s fight with the residents of the Nethers. He is holding back as he feels guilty about fighting these people who he equates with homeless people. Jason learns that these people are actually fighting out of fear. They are afraid not of the lava creatures that kidnapped Roy and JD. These people are being terrorized by five from above. Jason agrees to take care of these guys provided the residents keep a look out for his friends.
We now join Roy as he searches for JD. He wonders if he is too late but keeps on searching anyway.
Charon is indeed holding JD. He has her chained to a wall with her mask removed. We do not get a clear look of her face. We get exposition from Catwoman Vol 4: Gotham Underground. Charon used to rule the Nethers until JD took the Nethers from him for herself. Charon however does not want the Nethers back, he has allied himself with the Dwellers who have been forgotten and ignored. He will help them drag all of Gotham into the “fiery rivers of purification”.
Jason is still searching when he runs into a fleeing woman. She is running from some monsters and she urges Jason to run also. Jason says that he is not worried when the woman explodes in front of Jason. She was hit by the five terrorists who call themselves the Iron Rule and now they are face to face with Red Hood. Next Issue Harmed and Dangerous part two.
This issue is a set up issue for this new arc. We are finally free from the Robin War crossover. It was interesting to revisit the Nethers which I last remember from Catwoman. I do not have much of an opinion of the Iron Rule, other than I am not impressed by their character design. They kind of give me a 90’s mutant vibe and other than the large spokesman we have no idea what their power set really is.
I think this is the first time that we get a name for the Joker’s Daughter as being Duela, I wonder if there is any connection to the character Duela Dent from the prior continuities or is this just a call back to that name. Now that Charon has removed her mask, the face of the Joker, will we get to see what her true appearance is? Only time will tell.
There was not a lot of action in this issue and I did not get much of character development either. I am interested in seeing where this arc goes but this issue just did not hold my attention.