Batman: Under the Red Hood by Judd Winick

undertheredhoodcoverTitle: Batman
Story arc: Under the Red Hood
Universe: Pre-52
Volume: 1 & 2
Author(s): Judd Winick
Illustrator(s): Doug Mahnke, Paul Lee, Shane Davis, Eric Battle, Tom Nguyen, Cam Smith, Rodney Ramos, Wayne Faucher, Larry Stucker, Mark Morales
Publisher: DC Comics
Format: Paperback
Original Release Date: March 1st 2006
Pages: 384
Genre(s): Comics, Science Fiction
ISBN13: 9781401231453


Judd Winick masterfully introduces to the canon Batman stories one of the most iconic characters who has shaken the very foundation of the Dark Knight. Filled with intense and bloody action sequences, Judd Winick does an impeccable job in characterization and brings to life the Red Hood with pure finesse and grace. In Batman: Under the Red Hood, readers will be pleased to see the rise of a new player in the war on crime who doesn’t see justice through the same scope as most superheroes.

Batman: Under the Red Hood is unmistakably one of the greatest story arc to have graced the Gotham lore. It took me a while to finally get my hands on this splendid graphic novel containing both volume 1 and 2, but the wait was well worth it. Like anything that I know I’ll love, I’ve been keeping my distance to not lose that first impression that would surely capture my heart and coat it with a layer of complete praise for the character. Now that I’ve indulged myself in the very story that brought the Red Hood to life, I can humbly say that he is an unbelievable and unforgettable addition to Batman’s universe.

In this truly fantastic story arc, a mysterious new figure meddles with the top dog of Gotham and stirs the hornets’ nest like none other before. Now crime lord Black Mask seeks to rid himself of this pest by using all possible methods, from retaliation to compliance, in order to settle this business before his own plans fall into ruin. In the meantime, Batman attempts to figure out who’s under the red hood while a whole war dipped in dilemmas unravels at the heart of Gotham.

The Red Hood is one of the most beloved character by fans, and there are so many reasons why it is so. His personality is eccentric and completely cocky, and his methods are vicious and mysterious. You’d imagine that there’s no one out there that could actually go head to head with Batman, but this one finds ways to stun him and stay a couple steps ahead of him. While bloodshed comes with his approach, there’s a hint of his knowledge and way of doing that succeeds in impressing Batman, but also rattles his very disbelief of the impossible.

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The best part of this storyarc is in understanding the motives behind this antihero. While he does appear out of the blue, the Red Hood rose out of the shows with a plan. The revelation that Spoiler, highlight to read: «he is the once dead Robin, Jason Todd—see A Death in the Family by Jim Stalin» only makes things much more intriguing as it brings Batman to visit other superheroes Spoiler, highlight to read: « in order to understand what it was like to come back from the dead ». The interaction between those heroes and Batman highlights the uncomfortable nature of the subject and the complicated relationship he has with others. Cleverly integrated, this offers us more insight into Batman trying to make sense of everything before the big revelation and how he has dealt with Spoiler, highlight to read: « the loss of Jason Todd. It’s nice to see him trying to make sense of the return of the dead in this one too ».

The artwork also works very well with the story, even when it changes hands numerous times. It does have a couple of hiccups, but nothing detrimental to the whole experience. For example, Black Mask is sometimes drawn as a normal person with a skull mask on, and at other times, he is drawn as if the mask was literally his face. The colours are vivid and you can only imagine how visually beautiful it gets when it starts raining lead and blood gets spilled. It is definitely a good thing when the artwork remains pretty similar from one chapter to the other and makes the whole experience much more uniform.

The ending, also known as the infamous chapter on where the person under the Red Hood came from, was absolutely off. It’s sad that it went in that direction, but man… Everything else was way too much fun to let that ruin it. The chapter felt rushed and a lot that happened to explain things just makes you wince a little. There’s even an awkward scene between one of Batman’s past lover and the person under the Red Hood that just made me wonder what the hell was the purpose of it. Nonetheless, the Red Hood is one of the best antiheroes out there and this volume proves it. Batman: Under the Red Hood is a classic that should be read, re-read and re-read again. And also watched.

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DC Comic’s have always been known to produce some of the best animated movies out there. Under the Red Hood is one of them.

I’d be the first one jumping out of my chair dancing if the live-action DC movies ever decide to adapt this storyarc with Ben Affleck’s Batman.

PLEASE MAKE IT HAPPEN!! ❤


You can order your copy now!

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Amazon (USA) – Amazon (Canada) – Chapters Indigo – Book Depository

MY OVERALL RATING: ★★★★☆

Have you read it yet? Do you plan to? What do you think about Batman: Under the Red Hood? Have you seen the animated movie?

Share your thoughts with me!

Till next time,

lashaansignature

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37 thoughts on “Batman: Under the Red Hood by Judd Winick

  1. Bookstooge says:

    1) I didn’t realize this was a comic book. I thought it was just an animated movie.

    2) This is moving up on my TBR, now that I know it exists. I’m thinking Christmas or New Years.

    3) I think you’ll get a version of your wish in the new DCEU. When they showed Todd’s Robin outfit in BvS, I wondered if something would appear in the future.

    This was a really good review. And at 300+pages, it should be a good chunk of reading. Now I just need to decide if I want to read A Death in the Family. I’ve never read it because I wasn’t sure how I’d handle it…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Ah ha! Glad to bring this one into your radar. You should know that the animated movie doesn’t have everything that the comic book contains though. So it might not be as sharpened as the movie was.

      That is exactly why I think they have all the pieces to make this story happen. Introduce Black Mask as the main villain of the soon-to-be Batman solo movie directed by Matt Reeves and integrate the Red Hood. Voila! The world will be blown away by the movie. Easy. There’s also other pieces to this puzzle that just indicates how much more likely this story can be possible, but they’re in the Justice League movie (if you ever see, stay until the VERY end, after the credits).

      Thanks man. I really appreciate that. Definitely a solid, big book; which is slowly becoming rare with the Rebirth universe. Which reminds me of my volume of The Return of Superman. Holy Chunkiness, Batman! That thing is bigger than my Watchmen volume!

      I don’t think you’ve read my review of A Death in the Family (it’s been a long time now..), but I can tell you that it isn’t impressive. Besides that one iconic moment foreshadowed by the title and cover of the comic, there’s a lot of insane and stupid things in there that would make people facepalm nowadays….

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bookstooge says:

        The chances of me watching it are extremely small. But reading it? Definitely happening. I need something to buy with those Barnes&Nobles gift cards from Christmas 🙂

        I’ll be watching Justice League once a directors cut comes out on bluray. I waited for that for BvS and I am really glad I did.

        Return of Superman. Biggest graphic novel I own 🙂 I saw a republished version a couple of months ago and they broke out the reign of the supermen from the return of superman so the books weren’t so big. It felt like they were afraid comic fans wouldn’t read big comics. *breaks into pop singing* I like books and I can’t deny…

        Heads out to check your review.
        That is good to know. Probably won’t spend time on it then. I’ve always been a Tim Drake Robin fan, so just knowing the bare bones of Jason Todd is enough for me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

          Sweeeet, it’s definitely something worth keeping on your bookshelf too. 😀

          Wise definition. I think they have yet to confirm their intention of releasing the the uncut version, but man.. they better! Thoroughly loved the movie even with a couple scenes cut out of it. I can only imagine how much more epic it gets uncut!

          I totally agree… Imagine the Knightfall saga… Pretty sure a bunch of casual readers would be greatly intimidated by it. People just don’t understand how awesome it is when the volume is just THAT big!

          Hahahaah yep. Dick Grayson will probably always be the best and one and only Robin to me though. He does get much more attention in the lore though, but still the coolest for me!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Awwn thank you! There’s definitely a gazillion different ways to get into graphic novels, and even just the superhero stuff. One of the main things you should think about is who interests you the most. Is there a hero you want to read stories about more than others? There are heroes from either DC Comics or from Marvel, but there’s also a couple of them from other indie publishers, like Image Comics and what not (who are just as fascinating too, like Spawn, Hellboy or Invincible).

      With DC Comics, you should know that there are different eras. There’s the whole bronze, silver and golden age of comics (you’ll recognize them just by looking at the artwork), then there’s what I call the pre-52 era (everything before the New 52 era; also the era that has a lot of the classic canon stories for our heroes), then there’s the New 52 era, and now there’s the Rebirth era. Depending on the hero that interests you, there are probably titles I can gladly suggest, cause you don’t always need to start from scratch. There are however stories that work in continuity with other stories too, but they can be read even without prior knowledge.

      For Marvel, it’s way more different, as they have soooo many different series with soooo many different titles. There are more recent titles that you could easily pick up according to your preference for a hero (for example, you could easily pick up Captain Marvel by Kelly Sue DeConnick and enjoy it).

      For indie publishers, it’s a lot easier since they don’t have complicated volumes and could easily be picked up in the order they are indicated.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer says:

    Okay this is as raving about a book as I have ever heard you Lashaan and now I’m dying of curiosity… why 4 star? The uneven art? 🙂 Actually I’ve never heard of this red hood fellow and you certainly make a compelling case for a movie with his and Batman!! ❤ Now I want to share some news… I'm going to give a go at Marie Lu's Batman book (I think I haven't been sent it yet but I don't see why I wouldn't get it…)! Crazy huh? You must have worn me down with your incredible comic reviews!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      It’s not really the artwork, it’s just that there’s a lot more happening in the graphic novel that could’ve been set aside to make a more compact and structured story, then again, it’s all understandable in the way these comics are released and all. The artwork also takes away 0.25 stars cause some artists can really make the chapter suffer. And finally its the ending. It’s not something that can be completely ignored, even if I don’t put a lot of weight on it for my overall rating, it still does drag the story down with the way they explain it with so much rush.

      YAASS!!!! I actually hope to read that one too, cause… it’s BATMAN!!! Of course Marie Lu is probably going to tackle a young Bruce Wayne, so I won’t expect to see him in a cape or with insane villains. It’ll probably look something like the Gotham TV show with MAYBE a better story. #crossesfingers I do hope you get so I can hear your thoughts on it though, Dani!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      I like the guy as Batman, but whoever ends up wearing the cape will have a field day with Red Hood. Mark my words! If they ever adapt this story onto the big screen, it will end up being quite the thriller! And yes.. As iconic as Joker is, they need to explore some of the other villains of Batman that have yet to fully grace the big screen.

      P.S. They plan on making a solo Joker movie in the future. I’m hyped for it since it has one of my favourite directors on it (Scorsese!!!). Hope you won’t be too tired of seeing the Mad Clown anytime soon! 😉

      Like

  3. Chris Evans @ Geek Blogger UK says:

    Great review my friend, I recently bought the digital version and plan to read it very soon (honest!) so thanks for keeping the spoilers hidden – I’ve seen the animated version and now certain things about the story but it’s still good to not know everything about it.

    You’re enthusiasm is contagious as always good sir and only amplifies my excitement for indulging in this. Also, apologies, but I’m behind on some of your most recent posts but will get to them bit by bit.

    Have you seen JL yet? My review is now up, look forward to your thoughts 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Thanks Chris. How have you not read this already man!!!! #shame #shame #shame Just kidding. It’s good to hear that you’ve seen the animated movie though. It’s definitely a classic in the Batman lore.

      No worries about that. I’m sure you’ve been crazy busy. 🙂

      Oh, you know I’ve seen it all right!!! Went to the premiere and ABSOLUTELY enjoyed it. I’ll hop on over to your review to share my thoughts. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Beth (Reading Every Night) says:

    Great review for this graphic novel Lashaan. 🙂 I am so pleased that after all the wait, the time it took to get your hands on a copy of Under the Red Hood, the story itself was worth it. Although it’s a shame about the ending. I’ve had books and series that have been let down by the ending and it always sucks, but it sounds like you didn’t let it spoil your enjoyment of the rest of the book. I love stories about antiheroes, and from the sounds of it Red Hood is one of the best, in the DC universe at least. 🙂
    Again great review! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Thank you Beth!! Definitely worth it. Yep. The final chapter wasn’t exactly a continuation of the main story, but more like a chapter that was added to explain the “origin story” of whoever is under the Red Hood. It was clearly rushed and far from being up to par with the quality of the rest of the volume. I’m telling you, Red Hood is one of the greatest antiheroes of DC for sure. Hope you’ll get to know him someday somehow. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    Amazing review as always good sir! I am currently sifting through a backlog of GNs haha. I lost interest for a bit, the downfalls of being a mood reader I guess. But I have picked them back up recently. Thank goodness because I love them! I may have to give in.. as I keep telling you and read about superheroes. If you could choose on superhero GN for me to start with, what would it be? And go…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lashaan (Bookidote) says:

      Thanks Danielle!! 😉 Hope you get around to reading some good ol’ comics soon. You always seemed to enjoy them and it would be a shame to not hear more from you on them!! 😀 HAhahaahah there’s way too many places where you could start! I’d always recommend starting with a hero that interests you. From there, it would be a lot easier to find you recommendations. 😉 But if I still had to answer–knowing that I love me some Batman–then I’ll make you pick up The Killing Joke by Alan Moore because it is just THAT awesome. I mean… if you haven’t already… What are you waiting for?!?! 😀

      Like

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