Batman and Robin #4: Writer- Grant Morrison Penciller- Philip Tan
What Happened: This issue opens with the Red Hood and his sidekick, Scarlett, killing a z-list villain by the name of Lightning Bug... Wow, I bet that name struck fear in the hearts of the citizens of Gotham... "Look out, here comes the Lightning Bug!". Sorry, let me get back on track here. Batman and Robin arrive on the scene after Lightning Bug's death, too late to discover who was responsible for the murder. Later, Lucius Fox tells Dick that Wayne Enterprises is suffering financially, but Dick seems almost oblivious to that news. From there Dick and Damien stakeout a big organized crime meeting. The only criminal of note attending is the Penguin, and the topic of the meeting is a new kind of designer drug the crooks want to begin peddling in the streets of Gotham. While the criminals are discussing business, Red Hood and Scarlett strike, tearing through the two-bit mobsters. Hood beats Penguin up, but leaves him alive, since he wants Penguin to spread the word among the Gotham underworld that the Red Hood and Scarlett play for keeps. By this point, Batman and Robin arrive on the scene which leaves us with our cliffhanger ending.
What I thought: Anybody who has read this blog with any regularity probably knows that I didn't like the first 3 issues of this series. Just so we're all on the same page here, I REALLY didn't like those issues! With that said, I thought this issue was definitely a step in the right direction. There were still some things that bugged me, like Damien's attitude(must Damien ALWAYS be so obnoxious?)and the Penguin appearing in this issue(I HATE the Penguin!!!), but I thought this issue was a much easier/logical read. Next issue should give us the showdown of Batman and Robin vs. Red Hood and Scarlett. I'd say it's about a 98% certainty that the Red Hood is Jason Todd(although with Grant Morrison, you never know!). I've already stated on numerous occasions that I am a huge fan of Jason, and I wouldn't be annoyed at all if he is indeed under the mask of the Red Hood. I like the idea of him turning to extreme vigilantism, and taking an equally unbalanced sidekick under his wing, ala Batman, would make sense. Of course I'd rather Jason as a Huntress type of hero, but I can see that's not happening anytime soon.
Score: 7 out of 10.Alas poor Lightning Bug, we hardly knew ye.