It's not over!
SPOILERS! (If you haven't been following DotF or Picked up RHatO 17 yet, TURN BACK! THAR BE SPOILS AHEAD!)
Red Hood and the Outlaws has been Hit or Miss in the past couple of issues (miss and miss during Death of the Family) but this issue was amazing!
Firstly, nothing can be said before addressing the incredible cover art on this one; Mico Suayan has put together what might be my favorite piece of cover art of 2013. It perfectly describes the book, and does it so elegantly.
This issue opens up with the Jason showing how comfortably he fits back into the Robin role; by transporting the Outlaws in a way that only a Wayne could.
This book is very much a Robin fans book, providing DotF closure to fans of Damian, Jason or Grayson and has some great interactions in it; Jason handing over the torch to Damian, Damian actually reaxing and acting like the child he never was (with assistance from Arsenal. who knew those two would work so well together!?) and Dick and Jason both hearing what they needed to here from |Bruce and from each other.
At the end of Batman #17 I felt like there was something missing, something stopping it from being one of the greatest Batman vs Jokers ever told, but this issue has shown the potential fallout from DotF, and if this continues, Jokers role in the story might only just be beginning!
The ending in this issue? Wow! Jokers memory lives on! Who knows where this could go from here? Was Joker targeting Jason all along? Or will he have something like this planned out for each of the family members? I'm a fan of Scott Snyder, but his ending lacked balls, and I think Scott Lobdell has proven in this issue that he's willing to go to places that Snyder wouldn't. Up until the last couple of pages, I felt like the cover had tricked me into an ol' DC cover switcheroo; where the cover has little to do with the content, but BAM! genuinely shocked by the outcome, and left with a knotted feeling in my stomach. This issue really warms you to Jason as a person, as a Robin and as an Outlaw all at once and then Joker hits you with one, last, crippling gutpunch that'll be felt throughout the Bat-family.
I really struggle to find anything I didn't like about this issue it was kind of unclear what had happened to Jason at the end, but I think that just adds to the suspense.
I recommend this to anyone reading DotF, Batman, or any of the tie-ins as individuals, it really can't be missed!