What's Joker Got in Store for Jason, and Tim?
I have really been enjoying this series, and have loved seeing Red Hood (Jason Todd) having to work as part of a team, something he's not been very good at following his death, in A Death in the Family. This is a very fun series, and I love seeing not just Red Hood, but Arsenal (Roy Harper), and Starfire also, and think that Scott Lobdell has done an amazing job of writing them.
This issue sees a continuation from the last with Jason going after Joker for potentially killing Isabel Ardila. Unfortunately Joker is one step ahead and catches Jason whilst stealing a cop car. Also in this issue Roy, and Starfire intercept a call, realising Jason is in trouble, and another call later realising Joker is involved, so go and deal with that meeting the Teen Titans.
I thought this was a fabulous issue, and loved that it continued straight from the end of the previous. This has been one of the better series Lobdell has written since working on New 52 titles, with Superman being the only series that is better. I was however really looking forward to this story for a couple of reasons, but the main reason was for the Joker/Jason showdown. I was really looking forward to this as since Under the Hood, Jason hasn't had a chance to get his hands on Joker. Although this issue didn't quite fulfil my expectations, it was an excellent start, and I have high hopes that it will fulfil my expectations, or at least some of them. I was also looking forward to this crossover due to it tying in with Teen Titans, which Lobdell also writes. There wasn't much of the tie-in in this issue, but it was set up very well, and I hope Teen Titans #15 delivers.
The art in this issue was brilliant, and Timothy Green II did a fantastic job. Although I still think that Kenneth Rocafort did the best job on this series, Green II has proven to be a terrific replacement, and at the end of the day I never expected anyone to do a better job that Rocafort. Green II has done a brilliant job of bringing all these different styles of characters together, and although it's not perfect it's still good. I wasn't however keen on the way he drew Joker, and although he made him look sadistic, at the same time he looked very unrealistic, and his mask looked like he had a dodgy plastic back over his head, opposed to a face. There was however brilliant detail in other parts of this issue, and he showed the character's emotions very well.
Although I didn't like the art on Joker in this issue, I did like Joker himself. Lobdell wrote him brilliantly, and the way he utilised Joker, and Jason's history was fantastic, without being over the top. The comments Joker made about Jason during this issue was also brilliant, and you could really feel the tension between the two characters. This issue also furthered the question that has been asked throughout the Death of the Family crossover, and that's what exactly Joker knows, and whether he knows the Bat-Families secret identities. It's looking more and more like Joker might actually know their identities, as he showed something to Jason that triggered a memory that happened before Jason became Robin, meaning that Joker could very well know who he is. This could also just be a gigantic red herring that the writer's of the series are using to make you think this. There's also the possibility that someone that knows the Bat-Families secret identities could be helping Joker by feeding him information.
The mystery of Tim Drake's location is revealed in this issue, as at the end of Teen Titans #14 Tim gets kidnapped by Joker. Although I was happy to see Tim in this issue, as he's my favourite Robin, I was a little disappointed that he did nothing. I was also looking forward to seeing how Jason and Tim got along together, as it was shown earlier in this series that they can both get along with each other, and that they both respect one another, so I was slightly disappointed that nothing happened in this issue. There is however plenty of time for the two in this story, and I hope that it's worth the wait. It's also interesting to see that Joker might have something planed that involves both Jason and Tim, as up until now he's been taking on the members of the Bat-Family individually.
I was happy to see that Roy, and Starfire weren't left out of this issue, and although they didn't really do a lot they set-up the next part of the story, whilst nicely introducing the remaining Teen Titans at the end of the issue. The relationship between the two over the series has been very interesting, and I love that Starfire has began to see Roy as a love interest, and not just a mating partner. It is also revealed that Roy uses technology from the Starfire (Starfire's battleship) to intercept calls to Jason. The thing I liked most about this was that Starfire questioned whether it's morally right to nose into others personal calls, and whether Roy monitors her movements. I also enjoyed the small sequence at the end where Roy, and Starfire meet the Teen Titans, and am looking forward to seeing how this continues in Teen Titans #15.
A very good issue, and a good start to this part of the Death of the Family crossover, which itself crosses over with Teen Titans. I would highly recommend this issue, and the rest of the series, and am looking forward to what happens to Jason, Roy, Starfire, Tim, and the rest of the Teen Titans in Teen Titans #15.