Red Hood, Vol.1: Dark Trinity was written by Scott Lobdell, with art by Dexter Soy (and yes, I did notice that poster in the bar scene). The colours are by Veronica Gandini, and letters by Taylor Esposito.
What do you need to have read?
The DC Rebirth Series is a great place to start because they tend to establish origin stories. I would recommend Batman: Under the Red Hood (Older editions were published under Batman: The Red Hood) if you like Red Hood because it is excellent. Alternatively, the animated film adaptation is also great, and I have a little twitter thread of me watching it.
What do you need to know?
Again, you can stroll on into this story blind because the first issue is essentially an origin story to catch you up on the character of Red Hood.
Spoiler warning: If you don’t know the identity of Red Hood, and don’t want to know please stop reading. From this point forwards I will be referring to him by his real name.
I enjoyed this volume and this that it’s a great introduction to Jason without being boring and having it feel a little bit stale. Even in the first issue, which is essentially an origin story, as I’ve already mentioned, the way which the writer manages to weave the past and the present was really interesting.
This is also done through art. While this is not from the first issue, I wanted you to see it for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s a great bit of art, with Jason and Thalia in the Lazarus Pit reflected in the water below. Secondly, because it was smart not only to draw the parallel between the past and the present but to show how Jason’s character had developed so that now he’s in that caring role. In a sensible move, this book does not go near the same villain but manages to keep his dark sense of humour that made me fall in love with Jason. I always say that Bucky Barnes is my main man, but Jason Todd is a close second. Apparently sad, resurrected boys, who can take a punch, is my type.
I love seeing how Jason has grown since Under the Red Hood because Rebirth it is my first time reading his character since that book. In that book, he has a really specific goal that drives him, but that book brings a bit of closure to him that makes it difficult to return to the same goal.
One of my favourite things about Jason is the complexities of his relationship with Bruce, so it was really smart to use this relationship to bookend the story nicely. What I mean by this is the way that we see Young Jason with Bruce on the outskirts of Gotham eating burgers early on in Issue #1. Then at the end of the issue, we see them in the present doing almost the same thing. The imagery in this second instance is mirrored somewhat with Jason taking the dominating role. By leaving the reader with this image at the end it has a lasting effect on the reader and hammers home the importance of this relationship.
Generally, it’s really hard to make the Black Mask interesting. There is just something about him that bores me. That said Ewan McGregor’s portrayal in Bird of Prey earlier this year was a revelation to me. In this book, I did think I was pretty good, but I can’t be sure whether that’s an Ewan McGregor lingering effect, or down to the writes.
If someone said to me, “Victoria, do you want to read a story about a weird Superman clone, and a knock off Wonder Woman?”, my answer would have been “not really, no.” I came for the Red Hood content, and I would have been happy as long as that part of the story was good. Which it was. However, the writers clearly cared about the other characters and they made me care too. I intended to skip the next couple of volumes and move onto Red Hood Outlaw, but I think I might just stick around for a bit.
Red Hood, Vol.1: Dark Trinity is available from Comixology, Forbidden Planet, or your local comic book store.
Coming Soon… Falcon & Winter Soldier #2