It's a new era for Jason Todd and he can certainly use one after suffering an acid attack from the Joker. James Tynion IV is now directing the second Robin's life and he already has a potentially huge change in store for the hero. Before hitting us with a huge cliffhanger, the TALON writer bases his new path for the character on 'The Death of the Family' and all of the new continuity established by former series writer Scott Lobdell. Personally, I was underwhelmed by the big Bat event's conclusion and feared it wouldn't leave a lasting impact, so it's reassuring that it did indeed take a toll on Todd and has lead him to make a massive change. It's a cliffhanger that's certain to divide fans, but we'll have to wait until the next issue to see where Tynion IV will really go with it.
Julius Gopez and Nei Ruffino take over art duties and the end result just feels right. I have a few small gripes here and there with the artwork, but overall it's a style that compliments the tone of the book well. It's a little sketchier and less polished, but that's a great fit for this team's atmosphere, isn't it? The dream sequence was truly a visual treat and the brief moment of Roy taking control was one helluva scene. Truthfully, this scene steals the spotlight and was totally a cheer-worthy moment for me.
While I do enjoy the artwork, some facial work feels a little awkward -- almost as if the characters are suffering some kind of uncomfortableness behind the expression. Also, the action sequence in the final moments felt like it lacked any real punch behind it. With Roy, you only see the aftermath of what he does with each attack and Starfire's physical attack (not the projectile) seemed motionless.
I know this is a world of revealing outfits and a strong emphasis on "features," but Starfire's outfit... well, it doesn't leave much to the imagination at all. Someone please get that woman a sweater. Seriously, can we even classify that as a costume or is she just wearing a few accessories? Additionally, having Essence talk to herself when she's alone felt a tad awkward.
I know opinions are going to be extremely divided on the twist here, but I'm holding off on any kind of strong reaction until we get more details in the next issue. For all we know, a reversal option could be revealed in the next chapter and that's what Roy and Starfire will pursue. However, one great thing about this is it gives what could essentially be a fresh start for the character. Considering his rocky history in the New 52, that could absolutely be a good thing if handled well and a solid way for fans to no longer argue over his altered origin. Only time will tell what direction this will go, but for now, you have my curiosity, Tynion IV.