Cover of the Week 20/2 – Red Hood and the Outlaws 17 by Mico Suayan


I have written so much about the Death of the Family that I wanted to have a break from it all; then this cover came out. It is such an emotionally charged front page that I saw nothing else on the shelves. A Death in the Family came out in late 1988 and I was only nine. Any fan of Batman is enticed by the legacy of the Robins and they will eventually find the tragic death of Jason Todd at the hands of the Joker. Modern day readers are also aware of his rebirth and return to the mainstream books especially with the release of the recent Red Hood animated movie. The original books are incredibly violent and sad, and the crowbar will always have relevance in Batman history. The most vivid memory will always be the cover and Bruce embracing his fallen son, Jason. In the aftermath of DOTF there is more to the Jason Joker story and from the cover, it seems it can only end in tears. Batman holds the Red Hood in his arms, like he once did almost 25 years earlier. In front of Bruce there is a pool of blood which reflects their image, but that of a younger Batman and Jason, emulating the original DITF cover. Blood drips off Jason’s helmet paralleling the blood dripping from his younger face. Bruce is once again powerless to help him and his solemn face expresses his failure and despair. It is beautifully drawn and coloured and does the original justice. The years of suffering that occurred before Jason’s resurrection come back to haunt us but this time it is worse. This time Batman has failed again to stop the Joker and the same family member has once again died. It is an incredible cover because it means so much and asks the important questions. Once bitten, twice shy, Batman has been here before and he should have saved Jason this time. The discussions of killing Joker come into play again and why Bruce lets him live given the damage he has done. There is no bigger victim than Jason Todd and I truly feel for him……again.


1 comment

  1. Spot on! I thought this book kinda got swept under the rug! didn’t hear much about it and that bothered me considering how important this issue actually is to Batman continuity and how it it is both reminiscent of DitF and iconic in its own right! Kudos for the spotlight on this great issue!

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