Review: Red Hood: The Hill #5

“Grand Opening”
Writer: Shawn Martinbrough
Artists: Shawn Martinbrough and Tony Akins
Color Artist: Matt Herms
Letterer: Troy Peteri
Review by Adam Ray

Red Hood: The Hill #5 brings us right back to the edge of tension set up in the last issue, as we now finally see the extent of our antagonist’s reach. There’s no telling what level of destruction there is to come, and our heroes are one step behind.

This issue ratchets up tension masterfully with lots of different kinds of conflict happening all at once. This is all set to the strong and consistent visuals that we’ve had from the very beginning.

This storyline’s been the definition of a slow burn, up until this point. Our villain’s been set on changing this dynamic area within Gotham City for the entire series, and only now do we see the extent of his plan.

The tension’s masterfully handled by his interactions with Dana, a character who’s grown in leaps and bounds throughout this series. She comes at him with determination and a fiery attitude, so it’s deeply exciting to see a scheming villain handle all those rebuffs with ease.

At the same time, it’s amazing to see some tension put to pages where both Bruce Wayne and Batman are having two very different kinds of encounters across the city, at the same time. The high-stakes Batman vs. punks fight will always be thrilling, but Bruce Wayne handling social politics is a sight that’s seen so infrequently but is welcome so deeply.

The action is cut so effortlessly and the tones of what the characters are saying match up exactly to how the fighters are sparring. It somehow hits us harder when the outcome’s similar for both Bruce and The Bat. This is an amazing use of the medium that shows innovation in comic book storytelling can come from anywhere.

Conclusion

Red Hood: The Hill #5 gives us a real idea of how the story may conclude. Political tension will be at a high as the sinister forces converge. With this creative team’s effort to look at a more grounded and humanized Jason Todd, the story could end in a multitude of dramatic ways, leaving this reviewer deeply excited for what comes next.

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment


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