Gotham War has been as close to a disaster as it could have been. It’s definitely been the biggest disappointment of 2023 from DC Comics on the comic book storyline side of things. This has led to a lot of the entire Batman Family looking worse than they were positioned before Knight Terrors and Gotham War. Arguably no character has been set up for the worse than Jason Todd’s Red Hood. Maybe the last of Red Hood’s mini-series can turn things around for Jason Todd. Find out with Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War – Red Hood #2.
Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Nikola Cizmesija
Colorist: Rex Lokus
Letterer: Troy Peteri
“JASON TODD PREPARES FOR BATTLE! Batman’s plan for Jason Todd backfires…but in a good way? The Red Hood prepares for the final battle of the Gotham War…but what will he have left when the dust settles?!” – DC Comics
Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War – Red Hood #2 is the best example of how much this event needed genuine build before beginning. Matthew Rosenberg and Nikola Cizmesija attempt to do a lot of retroactive work for Jason Todd’s character as it relates to his spot in Gotham War. Unfortunately, this comes in the second, and final, issue of Red Hood’s tie-in to Gotham War.
The opening of Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War – Red Hood #2 genuinely has a lot of great ideas. There is a lot of content in the flashback that shows Gotham War could’ve been a major milestone for Jason Todd’s journey as Red Hood. Jason and Rose Wilson’s relationship shines with how their interactions show genuine care for one another. It’s a dynamic that has not been tapped into as much as this latest interaction makes you believe.
Similarly, Selina Kyle shows more of a more of a familial connection with Jason than she has shown with the other members of the Batman Family. Jason and Selina hold a similar black sheep-type status quo within the Batman Family. Even when they are accepted they have a part of them that feels like an outsider.
Unfortunately, both these plot points come way too late in the game. This is something that should’ve been developed as part of the lead-up to Gotham War. Instead, Rosenberg forces all this development at the very end of the Gotham War event. That leads to the dynamic Jason has with Selina and Rose being rushed. Which has been Gotham War in a nutshell. This story has been rushed with no consideration until the story already reached the halfway point to retroactively do all these developments.
This makes Jason’s current situation with his mind altered by Bruce Wayne not hit the same way. It’s clear that Rosenberg was only allowed to do so much with his angle of the Gotham War story. He was not allowed to have the Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War – Red Hood series be a full part of the Gotham War story. Instead, Rosenberg was only given a specific tiny sandbox to play in and could not leave it because Chip Zdarsky and Tini Howard were telling the true Gotham War story.
Adding in Joker and Scarecrow into the story came across as very last minute. These two villains’ appearance further pushes the idea that Rosenberg’s story is disconnected from the rest of Gotham War. He just needed to add some sort of villains to buy time. And you can’t get bigger than Joker. Which comes across as a total cop-out to extend the story of this mini-series.
Joker’s appearance is made worse by the fact that this was just a teaser to Rosenberg’s Joker series. This tie-in was absolutely not needed. Seeing that tagline “concluded in The Joker: The Man Who Stopped Laughing #12” further solidified this Red Hood series as a throwaway comic. It was simply Roseberg’s way to promote the final issue of his Joker series. This added no substance to Jason Todd or Gotham War’s narrative.
The artwork by Nikola Cizmesija was passable. It was nothing exciting. However, he isn’t to blame since he was given very little to do. And what he was given was a lot of recycled content we’ve seen in Batman and Catwoman series. But that is just how this series was treated and the artwork reflected that.
Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War – Red Hood #2 solidified this series as completely skippable. This Red Hood mini-series has only accomplished to confirm how the lack of build-up hurt Gotham War as a whole. If you are reading the Gotham War event in Batman and Catwoman save your money as this Red Hood mini-series was an unimportant part of the event.
Story Rating: 2 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 3 Night Girls out of 10