Batman and Robin No. 23
Published by DC Comics. Written by Judd Winick. Art by Guillem March and Andrei Bresson.
The Deal: Writer Judd Winick returns to the Batman mythos, and he brings back the character he made famous — the Red Hood — for a three-part story arc.
The Good: It's amazing to think that the guy who wrote this comic — which is incredibly entertaining — is the same guy who wrote not-so-great comics like The Outsiders, Green Arrow and Justice League: Generation Lost. Honestly, it seems like whenever Winick writes about Batman, Robin, Nightwing and especially the Red Hood, he knocks it out of the park. He consistently shows a real understanding of the difference between all these characters and crafts tales that delve into their unique psyches. I'll even be so bold as to say that Winick writes a better Red Hood than the legendary Grant Morrison — who often portrays the former sidekick as a one-note psycho. Winick gets the fact that the Red Hood is, while clearly insane, essentially a "good guy." For further proof, I suggest you read Winick's Red Hood limited series (which was published a few months ago) or rent the feature-length animated film Batman: Under the Red Hood (available now on DVD).
The Bad: The art, provided in this issue by two different cats, is rather uneven. That's not to say it's ugly; it's just jarring to jump to and from such divergent styles right in the middle of a comic book. Also, I'm not exactly digging the red hair on the Red Hood. Was this color choice made to differentiate him from the book's other dark-haired heroes? Or was this just a continuity nod to the Hood's last appearance in Morrison's Batman and Robin? Whatever the case, it looks like crap. Changing it back to black would be wise.
The Verdict: The story is great, but the art is uneven. Still, it's worth your $2.99 (plus tax), so buy it.
Random Comic News
As I mentioned briefly last issue, the massive HeroesCon comic book convention hits town June 3-5. A ton — and I do mean a ton — of guests (folks like Neal Adams, Frank Cho, Carla Speed McNeil, Darwyn Cooke, Guy Davis and many, many more) have been announced so far. I'll be providing a preview of the annual convention next week, but if you're dying for info, visit www.heroesonline.com/heroescon for all the event details.