Overview: In Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War: Red Hood #1, Jason Todd secretly hunts down information on The Joker while training Catwoman’s army.
Title: Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War: Red Hood #1
Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Nikola Cizmesija
Colors: Rex Lokus
Letters: Troy Peteri
Main Cover: Carmine di Giandomenico
Variant Covers: Karl Kerschl, Chuma Hill
Release Date: September 26, 2023
Please Note: This comic book review may contain spoilers
Two weeks ago, Red Hood (Jason Todd) through a henchman named Dawson out of a third-story window. Before the man could even recover after landing on the pavement, Red Hood was onto him, lifting him off the ground and tossing him toward a parked cab. Though Dawson protests that he hasn’t worked for Joker in a few years, Red Hood doesn’t believe the former henchman. Before an oncoming truck flattens Dawson, Catwoman (Selina Kyle) intervenes, using her whip to pull the lowly crook to safety. She releases Dawn, then confronts Red Hood.
Jason tells Catwoman that Dawson wasn’t in any real danger, despite how it looked. He also wasn’t done interrogating. Catwoman brushes Jason off, quickly getting to the reason why she tracked Jason done. She’s calling a meeting, the one seen in the pages of Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War: Battle Lines #1. The address was slipped into Jason’s pocket already, and before Selina disappears, she reminds him to dress nice, as “dad” (Batman) will be there.
Right off the bat, artist Nikola Cizmesija and writer Matthew Rosenberg have readers picking the grit out of their teeth. This issue is dirty, dark, and angry. Red Hood’s eyes glow red from beneath his hood, as he acts as some sort of demonic angel of vengeance right from the get-go. In the years since Jason’s return from the grave in Under the Red Hood, his image has gone from villainous, to vengeful and violent, to a slightly softer tone in recent years. The characterization at the start of this issue puts Jason back to an angrier time in his life, as he’s once more looking to find (and kill) Joker.
In the present, Red Hood stands before Dawson and two other would-be thieves named Simpson and Bash. These three are looking to join Catwoman’s army of non-violent thieves. Hood uses aggressive threats to scare and motivate them, but in Dawson’s case, it mostly scares him; he flees. After Dawson’s flight, the creative team takes readers through a brief montage of Hood training Simpson and Bash. He’s molding them to be fighters, to be able to hold their own when Batman inevitably swoops in and shuts Catwoman’s operation down for good.