The final issue of the Judd Winnick penned Batman and Robin arc is upon us. We open with the unnamed villain from issue 24 listening to poor Scarlet talk about how Jason Todd is coming for her. Meanwhile, Jason, dressed as Red Hood, is making idle chit-chat at Batman and Robin, complaining about how the Batmobile smells of pine now. When Robin dismisses him, saying the inane jabbering won't disarm or unbalance them, Red Hood says puberty will loosen Damian up, if he lives that long.
Batman, growing edgy, tells Jason to shut up and not act like a tool. Red Hood, decides to make his exit then and there, by blowing out the roof of the Batmobile. Someone off-panel says they're watching him, and that they don't think Batman and Robin will catch him with the lead he's got.
The villain who is holding Scarlet captive answers a call from him, telling him to meet her at Thomas Wayne Middle School. Red Hood reminisces that he actually went to this school for three months, and it sucked as bad then as it does now. When they meet on the playground, she tells him to drop his weapons and strip. A strategically placed henchman keeps this comic rated Teen as he teases the villain. Once the scan indicates he's clean, the villain releases Scarlet and Jason tells her he'll be fine. "… if they wanted to kill me, I'd be dead already. I'm naked and cold, so please just get clear of the building now." Just then, the wind picks up.
Who should arrive to save the day but Batman and Robin. Apparently, Red Hood isn't quite as bad as he makes himself out to be. They tracked him using a GPS he swallowed that didn't show up in the scans. The henchmen grabs Scarlet just as Batman moves in.
Red Hood starts shooting and Batman takes him down, telling him not to kill anyone. Red Hood makes it clear he still doesn't consider Dick Batman and says he just wants to get Scarlet. Batman growls that no one dies. They set off fighting, with Red Hood thinking about how Dick's anger would make him a great Batman if he'd just stop trying to be the good son.
When Red Hood looks for Scarlet, he sees Robin rescuing her and he shoots the grapple line. Red Hood catches her and tries to find his own way out with her. They hop in a helicopter and find themselves quickly pursued by Batman and Robin. When Batman threatens to shoot the plane full of tow cables, Red Hood simply detonates something on the Westbound train line, letting him know he can save the civilians or chase him, because there are six more charges along the track.
Batman realizes Red Hood probably set them months ago. Red Hood confirms that, letting him know that you never really know when you're going to need to buy some time. They leave Red Hood, to attempt to defuse the bombs themselves.
Back in the helicopter, Red Hood asks Scarlet (calling her by her real name, Sasha) if there's somewhere she wants to be dropped. She decides to stay with him, and he says that works for him. When she asks where they're going, he admits he doesn't know, but that it's never stopped him before.
I'm an unapologetic Judd Winick fan. I love him as a writer, and never more so than when he's writing Jason Todd as Red Hood. I think he's got the sarcasm for Jason Todd down. I still don't think he's got a Dick Grayson voice, but I know that's something some writers have struggled with since Dick took over as Batman.
I think, more than anything, I liked this as a way to get Jason Todd back out into the universe, rather than having him stuck away in Arkham. With the reboot coming up in September, and Jason having his own series, it's important to keep him in the titles now, so people aren't confused about who he is, if they're just coming in.
I still really disliked the art in this issue. As distinctive as Greg Tocchini's style is, it's just not for me. The last three pages, done by Andy Smith, were a breath of fresh air.
This issue didn't wrap up who the villain was, or why they broke Jason out of prison. It didn't tell us anything about the Menagerie and it didn't seem to advance anything with Batman and Robin. The art was only okay. I liked the plot of the arc, and I liked the writing in this issue, but the holes it left only let me give it three out of five Batarangs.
Batman and Robin #25:
Posted by Melinda Hinman