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Red Hood and the Outlaws #25 - Zero Year: The Beckoning Dark Review

4

Who was Jason Todd years before he became Robin? What was he up to during 'Zero Year'? We find that out and more.

The Good

Some of the Zero Year tie ins have left us scratching our heads. This issue does a good job in staying associated with the time period and events without trying to force a Batman connection with the character(s). Here we see poor Jason Todd. He didn't have the greatest life before meeting Batman and that's part of what set him apart from the other Robins.

James Tynion IV refers back to some elements he introduced in the Robin backup in BATMAN #0, including Jason's crummy friend, Chris. What's interesting is how Tynion connects Jason to the current storyline in the series. Seeing this element added to Jason is something we'll have to keep an eye on. Again, it further sets him apart from the other Robins. In a way, it helps to make it easier to accept that some random street kid could have the potential to become Batman's partner. The appearance of a certain other character is a little chilling and, if nothing else, pretty cool to see, visually.

Speaking of visuals, Jeremy Haun's art is pretty slick here. There's a nice amount of gritty detail in Jason's surroundings and action scenes play out really nicely. I'd love to see more of his art here.

The Bad

While I did really enjoy this issue, there are some moments of confusion. There are some discrepancies with RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #0 (Joker's involvement, Jason's mom's hair, etc). Unless we chalk it up to issue 0 being Joker's twisted view on the events.

The connection Jason has to a certain key player in this issue is definitely intriguing but almost a little too close to home (or at least Batman's home). I'll definitely be seeing how this plays into future issues.

The Verdict

I'm still a sucker for seeing the early days of the DC characters since there's some unknown elements in the New 52. Jeremy Haun's art is welcoming and I'd love to see more from him with these characters. James Tynion IV takes the basic element of Zero Year and uses it as an opportunity to explore more of who Jason was and who he could become. There might be some more questions in how this relates to what we've seen already but it is providing some interesting seeds for future stories.