I've got two DC comics to get through here, both from the Bat-family of books, and both issue #24 of their respective series... Oooo, creepy!
Red Robin #24:
Summary: This issue gets started with Red Robin sending an electric pulse out of his costume to debilitate the various Scarab Assassins who were gunning for him. Unfortunately, the Scarab Assassin Tim freed from Gotham City to lead him to the other Scarabs manages to sneak away. From there Tim learns that somebody was using the weird assassination tournament that was going on as a ruse to kill Viktor Mikalek. Tim heads to the injured Mikalek's hospital room and Mikalek informs Tim that Promise(who Tim had met in Russia a few issues back) was responsible for the assassination attempt. Tim figures Promise would try to complete her hit and scouts nearby buildings, discovering the perfect vantage point to shoot Mikalek from. Tim crashes through the window and discovers a sniper rifle, but no Promise. A giant angry Russian guy in a mask comes barging through the wall and suddenly attacks Tim, nearly beating him, if not for some assistance from Promise and a gun shooting rubber bullets. Tim begins searching the big Russian guy for clues, and gets attacked by Promise, who now has some sort of strange shadowy powers. After a bit, Tim wakes up and finds himself chained on his knees in front of Promise and a strange cloaked figure. The cloaked figure reveals that she knows Tim's secret identity, before pulling off her all of her clothes and telling Tim that before she killed him, she wanted to have Tim's baby... Wait, really?!
Thoughts: What the hell was this?! I'm almost at a loss for words as to what I just read... THIS is what Fabian Nicieza has been building towards? Some bondage fun with Saint Timmy?? I have no clue who the crazy woman in the cloak is(I'm guessing that Al Ghul from early on in this series?), nor why she wants to have Tim's child... I actually didn't understand most of what was going on here. I will say this much, here's hoping the weird cloaked woman has some sort of... medication to help Saint Timmy do the deed, because I don't think he'd be very interested in copulating with her unless she puts on a Superboy t-shirt... If you know what I'm saying...
Score: 5 1/2 out of 10.When in doubt, always post the full page pictures.
Batman & Robin #24:
Summary: Not trusting the Zoo Crew after they broke him out of his prison transport last issue, Jason Todd(or the Red Hood if you prefer) decides to attack his animal would-be rescuers and escape from them. Unfortunately, Jason has no real weapons and the animal people have the strength, speed, etc of their animal counterparts. Before the animal feebs manage to get Jason back in control, Batman(Dick Grayson for this issue) and Robin arrive on the scene to take the Zoo Crew down and get Jason back into custody. The leader of the animals(a lion naturally), tells the animals that while they were supposed to take Jason to their leader unharmed, Bats and Robin were a different story, and the animals pull out their real guns and knives. After a bit of a battle, Jason manages to get a hold of one of the guns with the live ammo and takes one of the animal people hostage. Jason is ready to escape with his hostage, but the lion tells him he had a phone call from their leader. Jason takes the call and some weird woman tells Jason to head to her headquarters if he ever wanted to see... UGH!!! Scarlet again. From there, Bats and Robin accompany Jason to one of his safe houses where he grabs his weapons, suits up and prepares to head to the mystery woman's base with Bats and Robin to rescue Scarlet.
Thoughts: Well this is turning out to be one of the biggest disappointments of the year for me... I mean it's Judd Winick, writing Jason Todd!! I should be LOVING this! I should be glowing, and telling everybody within earshot that this is one of my favorite stories of the year... Instead I'm simply wondering what went wrong here... I hated the Grant Morrison take on the Jason Todd character, and I detest Scarlet. So right off the bat, the fact that Scarlet is now playing a major role in things has me annoyed. On the plus side, most of that awful Red Hood costume from the Morrison issues has been done away with, as Jason is now wearing a combination of his original Red Hood outfit(the helmet and jacket) along with the spandex top and bottom from the Morrison storyline. Was this a bad comic? No, it was alright, but that's kind of my problem here... It was JUST alright. I was expecting amazing, and this was simply okay... And for this comic, with this writer and this character, okay is a major letdown.
Score: 7 out of 10.Hell, I wouldn't let a bunch of animal people take me anywhere either!