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4.7 out of 5 stars
Batman: Under the Red Hood
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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I ordered this book after seeing the movie Batman: Under the Red Hood, since I loved the movie and wanted a little more back story. And since I had seen the movie already, I knew, for the most part, how this story would progress. But I was extremely drawn in by this story and I read it in one sitting. And immediately re-read it.

This is an amazing story-well written, well drawn, well colored, well executed.

While I used to be an avid spend-every-Wednesday-at-the-comic-shop comic book reader, I honestly haven't picked up any comics in YEARS. That said, even for a out of the loop reader, I was really drawn in by this story and was able to easily follow along. And while there are things mentioned that were never explained in this book (how did Nightwing jack up his leg? Why can't they contact Barbara Gorden? etc.), there were more questions answered then not. And I appreciated cameos from familiar faces of some of the Justice League and rogue gallery villains throughout the book.

Also, the execution of Batman's confusion, conflict and mourning through the meat of the story is amazingly portrayed. I don't think anyone but this team of writers and illistrators could have done this as successfully.

Bottom line-this is a great book for any Batman fan to read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
Title: Batman: Under the Red Hood
Publisher: DC
Writer: Judd Winick
Artists: Doug Mahnke, Paul Lee, Shane Davis, Eric Battle (pencils), Tom Nguyen, Cam Smith, Rodney Ramos, Wayne Faucher, Lary Strucker, Mark Morales (inks), Alex Sinclair (colors), Matt Wagner, Jock, Shane Davis (covers)
Collects: Batman #617-618, 635-641, 645-650, Batman Annual #25
Price: $29.99

My first experience with the character Red Hood actually came from watching the movie Batman: Under the Red Hood (Single-Disc Edition). The movie was quite good. It was definitely one of the better animated movies I have ever seen. After seeing the movie, I wanted to read the source material, so I picked up this book at the library. Very glad I did!

Though most of my favorite Batman tales are ones that take place out of regular continuity, this book is an exception. Fortunately, Judd Winick's writing is also an exception, when it comes to this book. I'd found most of his writing to be extremely average. In the case of this book, however, Winick's writing is nothing short of exceptional. Given the circumstances of the set-up behind this story and the weird explanations behind the changes in the DC universe that were taking place at the time, it's pretty significant that Winick was able to craft such a great story. This story took place shortly after the DC event Infinite Crisis - a mess of an event if there ever was one. For anyone who missed that, you really didn't miss much!

One of the most widely-known stories in DC history is the Batman story Batman: A Death in the Family. Featuring the death of the second Robin (Jason Todd), the story gave new depth to the seriousness of being Batman's sidekick and a new level of menace to the character of The Joker. Jason Todd's death was one of the few major character deaths that was never reversed. Until now, that is.

Though I still remain strongly against the notion of characters returning to life through ludicrous means, it's hard not to make exceptions when really good stories featuring those formerly-deceased characters start to appear. Winick's story of revenge, friendship and morality fires on all cylinders. It's got mystery, drama and action, aplenty, and also features artwork by some of the best artists in DC's stable. The massive book (nearly 400 pages) stands as one of the best Batman (or DC, in general) stories I have ever read, and I'd highly recommend it to any Batman fans. Yes, it's that good!

Writing: 10/10
Artwork: 9/10
Cool Factor: 9/10
Value: 9/10

Overall: 9.25/10
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
When I first read this story, in the two separate trades, I had little appreciation for the history and what was being brought to the table. Having gotten this wonderfully put together full collection, I love this story more than ever. Judd Winick does a great job of writing this intense drama for the Dark knight, which shoves one of his greatest failures in his face. Judd is also great with characterization, dealing with the Batman, Red Hood, Alfred, Nightwing, Black Mask, the Joker, and their interactions together. The artwork is also top notch. This one is hard to put down as the writing and art just kept me engrossed in such a heart-breaking tale. This collection even has a nice little bonus at the end of having the section from Jeph Loeb/Jim Lee's Hush storyline, where "the Red Hood" makes his first appearance. The only complaints I have, and are minor, and don't detract a star here but I would give this one a 9 out of 10, is the cheesy silver age portrayal of Mr. Freeze. He's the deranged mad scientist stereotype in this, not the complex more interesting emotional damaged empathetic character that Batman the Animated Series turned him into. And of course, the initial reason for "the Red Hood's" return with a lame Infinite Crises tie-in (although on second reading it's not as bad). All in all a great modern Batman story worthy of anyone looking for a great read!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Winick has grand ambitions. While at times repetitive in setup and execution, these stories have a rapid pace, exciting action, great dialogue, and introduce Gotham to a fascinating new character.

But the shine comes off in the later issues when a character poses a question to Batman that the author himself can't answer. Without spoiling an otherwise emotional scene, Batman comes off as needlessly stubborn and honestly poorly written.

The book also ends in a cliffhanger that was never resolved due to the One Year Later event and 52 series.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
First and foremost, I wasn't exactly broken up when the Joker murdered Jason Todd. I found him an extremely unlikeable Robin. So with that being said, I wasn't so sure I would like this at all.

But I loved this! Jason Todd as the Red Hood is an extremely likeable character! In fact I loved him!! All the qualities that made him an obnoxious Robin, worked for him in this story. I never thought I would see the day where I not only liked Jason Todd, but also felt for him and empathized with him. This story is incredibly well written!!

I loved watching someone screw over Black Mask, because I often get so sick of him and I loved the dialogue so much!! The scene with Joker, Batman and Jason goes down as one of my all time favorite moments ever!!

I am now happy to say one of my least favorite characters has been made into one of my favorites :) Definitely worth owning, and definitely one you will want to read again :)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon January 31, 2012
Format: Paperback
A new vigilante is in town and he's shaking things up for Black Mask, the new crime boss of Gotham. But when Batman steps in he finds that this new guy happens to know lots of things about him, things his enemies don't know, couldn't possibly know. But who could know Batman so well, who could be... under the red hood?

I think most people coming to this book will know who it is under the red hood, so much so the subtitle of the book should be "The Resurrection of Jason Todd". Jason, the second Robin, was famously murdered by the Joker in the book "Batman: A Death in the Family" and became Batman's biggest failure. But hey this is comics, it's all middle story, nothing's forever. Superman died, Green Arrow died, and they're both alive, why not Robin too?

The book is actually pretty good. Besides some shaky dialogue characterising Batman as an extremely grumpy and unlikeable man (the back and forth between him and Nightwing was unlike the way their relationship has largely been written), the plot was full of action and intrigue moving forward at a blistering pace and throwing a few curve balls at the reader. I especially liked the final confrontation between Batman and Red Hood, I think what most people expected to hear wasn't what was said and that's always a good thing, that a writer can surprise like that. Think you know what motivates Jason? Think again. And of course Joker is knee deep in it as usual.

But I think the biggest problem most people have with the book is how Jason was brought back from the grave. It's included here at the end and I have to agree it was a bit convoluted. Remember that the means to resurrect the dead exists in the Batman universe, they're called Lazarus Pits, but rather than simply use this device Winick goes for an even more out there explanation that probably turned a lot of people off the story proper.

That said, this is a fine Batman book that I had a blast reading. Winick underwrote Black Mask a bit until the end when we saw his viciousness come through, and as I've said the final showdown between Batman and Red Hood is an instant classic and very moving. If you love Batman then you'll get a lot from this book, I know I did.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
"Under the Red Hood" is a Batman story of both action and drama. Those of you familiar with Batman lore will know that 'the Red Hood' was the original villain name of the Joker before he was transformed into the green-haired supervillain he is today. This story is set in more recent Batman history: someone has taken on the mantle of Red Hood...but it's not the Joker.

Opening with a tense battle that culminates in the unmasking of The Red Hood...we're left to guess as to who it is, as the rest of the story rolls back and moves forward to this point. Tied to the events of the Cataclysm/No Man's Land story arc and the gang wars outlined in "War Games", "Under the Red Hood" takes place immediately following the events of "Hush" (which you might want to read first, as it is also a great graphic novel). Gotham's gangs are rebuilding and The Black Mask appears to be at the head of them. The Red Hood is attempting to insert himself into the power play, but what is his goal? I recommend you read to find out--"Under the Red Hood" is a good story and I'm glad I bought it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Under the Red Hood is definitely a graphic novel that can be read and reread. I usually keep books like Red Hood, stuff that I can read again, and give away stuff that is instantly forgettable and disposable. The art is great except, unfortunately, for the climax issues, most of it is drawn by Doug Mahnke (longtime artist for the Green Lantern) and Shane Davis draws a couple of issues. Eric Battle draws the climax issues, and I don't know why this is but alot of storylines save the best art for the beginning of a story, and then save the worst for last. But the momentum of the story isn't pulled down by the artwork. The ending is a great climax to an original, and classic storyline. I won't give it away. But I'll say it has to do with Batman's code of honor, and how it gets in the way of the ultimate good.
Under the Red Hood is a classic, the Red Hood is a great character, and this is a book you can read more than once.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I really loved this book. Jason Todd may not have been a good Robin but he is very good as the vigilante know as the Red Hood. Story is cool and deep. This is the way you get rid of crimanils. Red Hood does not hold back. Also shows Batman trying to figure out how to save the Red Hood. Red Hood is full of rage but is funny at times and very smart. A good book to pick up if you are a Batman fan. Of course it has the Joker in it as well being crazy along with the Black Mask Also you should pick up the Under the Red Hood dvd movie. This however goes into more detail and a lot of stuff is not cut out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
I bought this book after i saw the movie. I am glad i did because there is much more to read from the graphic novel. I have not finished the book, yet i still watched the movie the second time. Having watched it the second time does not even diminish my eagerness to finish reading the novel. Definitely this is a must read along with Batman The Black Mirror.
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