Review: Red Hood: The Hill #4

“Escalation”
Writer: Shawn Martinbrough
Artist: Sanford Greene
Color Artist: Matt Herms
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Review by Adam Ray

Red Hood: The Hill #4 brings the aftermath of last month’s dramatic cliffhanger and its consequences. Batman’s offered his unlikely, but welcome, assistance as the increasing threats mount against our heroes.

Shawn Martinborough has done a wonderful job of building tension and intrigue in these few short issues. What could this crooked sneaker peddler really be doing tangling with our heroes in this way? We’re still tantalizingly tempted by the possibilities and the peril our heroes are under and, because of this, there’s wonderful character understanding in this issue.

At first, I thought that Red Hood calling Batman “Bruce” while on a mission to be irreverent and out of pocket, but on second thought, it just highlights how strong their dynamic is. Jason will always be a cooperative and diligent anti-hero but his ability to flout the rules will always be a familiar and consistent part of his character.

Sanford Greene does a wonderful job of keeping the gritty consistency in his evocative art style. We’re treated with expressive characters and impressive silhouettes of the mysterious figures in the tattoo studio. We’re then treated with Matt Herms’ muted, almost dusty color scheme, the way the issue ends on a dark moment into a shot of light, and Dutch angles that make us feel as off-kilter as our heroes do, as things get tense.

Comics of all stripes need to remember the legendary creators who added to the stories that exist today, which is why I will smile and highlight the loving respect they gave the late Ramona Fradon at the end of this issue.

Conclusion

Red Hood: The Hill #4 brings us a great deal of heart and character tension. There are a great many possibilities that the story can take, moving forward, and it’s been a delight to read a more down-to-earth take on Jason Todd.

I’m eager to see the tension build with Batman’s help and the ever-growing cadre of villains, as they target the rich truly rich, and intriguing setting of The Hill.

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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