Batman: The Adventure Continues #7
Writer: Paul Dini, Alan Burnett
Artist: Ty Templeton
Over the past six issues the Red Hood, A.K.A. Jason Todd has been watching Batman and his sidekicks from afar. The last issue saw him finally take action as he broke into the Batcave, knocked out Alfred, and kidnapped Robin. This left me quite curious. Dini and Burnett have been taking inspiration from the “Under the Red Hood” storyline for their interpretation of Jason Todd. In that comic, we saw Jason target both Batman and the Joker. How would Tim Drake fit into the inevitable showdown between Todd and Batman? More importantly, will that showdown be unique and entertaining in its own right or simply copy previous versions?
The story starts off well with a confrontation between Jason and doctor Leslie Thompkins. Leslie was shown to be somewhat of a mother figure to Todd when he was Robin. It’s clear he still cares about Leslie but after stealing some medications his anger takes over and he leaves. It’s nice seeing the conflicting good and bad sides to Jason’s personality. Despite his current plans he still does care about the people who looked after him as a child. We even get the nice little touch of Jason advising Thompkins to look in on Alfred at Wayne Manor. It’s a great piece of character development for the Red Hood.
Next, Robin awakens inside a container slowly filling with water. Jason explains that he changed Tim into costume while he was unconscious. After taunting the latest Robin, Jason leaves to carry out the rest of his plan. That mostly boils down to sedating and kidnapping the Joker and Batman, much like in previous versions of the tale. We do get a bit of backstory to Joker’s latest henchman, Straightman, and some fun interactions with Penguin though. Todd tries to force Batman to kill the Joker for what he did to Jason when he was Robin. It’s been done before but the dialogue between the three is entertaining enough to make up for that. The story ends on a bit of a cliffhanger. It’s a fairly interesting one though and I’m hoping that Dini, Burnett, and Templeton get to follow up on it.
The art continues to be fantastic. This is quite a dark story, particularly in the second half so the animated series’ colours go well with it. One thing that I enjoyed was all the little visual touches showing Jason misses being with Batman. There’s a Robin mask on the grenades he uses and a Batman symbol on the back of his jacket. I think if there is a continuation then it makes the eventual redemption more predictable which is a downside though. It’s some nice visual storytelling for this book, however, especially given Jason’s obvious jealousy and resentment over being replaced.
Lettering is quite standard with bold letters used to indicate important dialogue. Sound effects are used well during action-packed moments to add a dramatic flair. The character-specific narration boxes return to indicate which character’s thoughts are being shown. Another nice touch is the red outlines around speech bubbles whenever a character is shouting, usually the Joker.
In closing, this was a good finale to the DC animated universe’s version of the Red Hood. The plot does borrow heavily from previous versions of this story, for some that may be a flaw. If you want a totally new, unique take on Jason Todd then this probably won’t satisfy you. If you’re a new reader however then this is a perfectly satisfying take on “Under the Red Hood”. This version would be more suitable for young children as well. Those who simply want to see this story in the style of the animated series will probably enjoy this too. I’d definitely recommend reading this issue to anyone who’s been following the series, just don’t expect something totally new.
Batman: The Adventures Continue #7
This is a good finale to the Dini and Burnett's introduction of Jason Todd into the DC animated universe. It's not as creative with the premise as I'd hoped and aside from the ending it's somewhat predictable but it's still a decent-quality story. The characters aren't poorly written by any means and there's some interesting moments but this is more of an action-focused issue. The art continues to look great and fans of the animated series will definitely feel some nostalgia from seeing it. The lettering is good but it's fairly standard and there's not really anything particularly inventive here. All in all, it's a good comic but not a great one.