Figured it was about time to let the geek flag fly higher than usual and include a graphic novel review. Just finished reading BATMAN: Under the Red Hood by Judd Winick and....It. Was. AWESOME!!! Anyone familiar with Batman is familiar with the endless stream of friends, enemies, and frenemies that come and go in the Dark Knight's life. Sometimes they leave on good terms, sometimes in hostile but letting it stand for now terms, and sometimes in violence. Of course, they always come back. If you're a Batman fan you know that the Red Hood is a character that left in violence and came back in an unusual way and with a firm belief Batman is doing it wrong. He believes he can handle the scum of Gotham better because he doesn't have the same problem Batman has. As in, he doesn't have a problem dispatching them in a very final and problem-solving way.
Speaking as a child who grew up watching, reading, and all-around idolizing Batman and his moral code, it is commendable and understandable why Batman refuses to kill anyone. But as an adult, The Red Hood, and hell, even the Joker, make pretty compelling arguments about how to solve issues that come back after escaping Arkham for the umpteenth hundredth time. But, that's ok, Batman is true to his beliefs and that is one of the many reasons he's awesome. That, and Alfred. Who doesn't love Alfred? Everyone should have an Alfred in life.
Anyway, the bottom line is the graphic novel, masterfully written by Judd Winick and awesomely illustrated by the long list of pencilers, inkers, letterers, a colorist, and everyone else that made it possible, is well worth a read for any geek, or non-geek, in the mood for an action-packed mystery that makes Batman face a blast from his past while navigating a Black Mask controlled Gotham Underground.
photo: Cover art from BATMAN: Under the Red Hood, by Matt Wagner, Jock, and Shane Davis.