Why'd the assassins pick Jason Todd? What exactly is going on with this impending war? What will Starfire and Arsenal do to save their friend? This issue focuses on answering those questions and dives into the deep end when it comes to moving the narrative forward. There's basic re-introductions here and there to characters, but the real focus here is building up the momentum for what's to come. This issue is essentially one big hype train going full speed ahead and I expect it to reach its destination in the next issue. This chapter is all about giving us the details -- and the next one? Well, that seems to be where the real fun will begin. In the meantime, writer James Tynion IV smoothed out this issue with some nice bits of banter from the likes of Cheshire and Lady Shiva, but it's too not frequent. Additionally, it's also worth noting this chapter brings about some interesting changes to Ra's al Ghul and Jason Todd's origin stories. Apparently, we can now assume Jason's return is because of Talia and not the epic time punch?
The consistency of the art is all over the place, but some scenes really stand out in a great way. For example, the opening page has an impressive amount of detail and the coloring is fantastic. In fact, a majority of the scenes with Roy and Starfire look fine to quite good, it's mostly the scenes with Todd which tend to provide a far rougher and, at times, more rushed appearance.
Holy exposition, Batman! Last chapter opened the door to a lot of questions and this issue pretty much spends the entire time answering them. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but having them spread out would have been preferred. I'm not sure if Tynion IV is facing some kind of limit when it comes to how many issues he can spend on this story, but this issue basically boils down to "answer all of the questions anyone may have here and explain everything possible." It's a bit much for just one issue.
The change in art quality is totally noticeable and definitely jarring. One minute we have a clean and polished look, the next, characters have extremely rough edges and massive amounts of shading on their faces. It's inconsistent and the different styles don't always work in the respective moments.
Minor points: In the previous issue, Ben implied every time he transforms it takes something out of him. So, why keep up the transformation when you're just having a standard chat with Jason Todd? Seems unnecessary to me. Also, Starfire's eyebrows keep fluctuating in length. Truthfully, this is something I probably wouldn't have noticed if they weren't so prominent in the previous issues. And just to be clear, Roy has built the most powerful weapon in the world, and it's something he can just carry around and presumably fire on his own? I knew the dude was a gifted inventor, but that seems like a bit much.
This is definitely a read that'll fit far better in a collected trade. It's essentially one big opportunity to give us as much information as possible about what's about to go down and rushes it all in before the final page. Truthfully, I would have preferred if these details were more spread out, allowing for each to get more focus and therefore be delivered in a more organic manner and given more depth. Regardless, it does manage to answer most of the questions I had going into this issue and successfully builds up the excitement needed to make that final moment worthy of a splash page. It seems like everything will hit the fan in the next issue and hopefully it'll be worth all the build-up.
Though honestly, it does kind of look like Roy just time traveled here from the '90s with that amount of gear on him.