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Comic Book Review: "Red Hood And The Outlaws #9"

Updated on September 14, 2012
Red Hood and the Outlaws #9
Red Hood and the Outlaws #9 | Source

The Night of the Owls finds its way into the lives of Red Hood and the Outlaws, in the ninth issue of the series, Jason Todd (Red Hood) chooses to respond to Alfred Pennyworth’s call to all bat-family members to help fight the Court of Owls and protect one of their assassination targets: Dr. Victor Fries. Red Hood and his Outlaws: Starfire (Koriand’r or “Kori”) and Arsenal (Roy Harper), try to save Fries AKA Mr. Freeze from assassination while, at the same time, trying to save Gotham’s Chinatown from Freeze. “Night of The Owls: Who are you? Hoo? Hoo?” written by Scott Lobdell with art by Kenneth Rocafort, shows the hard edge style of justice that Red Hood deals out as he protects Mr. Freezes from a Talon and the Outlaws try to bring Freeze back to Arkham Asylum. Also we learn about an important connection between Mr. Freeze and the Court of Owls.

The story begins at 8:18 p.m. on the Night of the Owls. Jason Todd, Roy Harper and Koriand’r are responding to Alfred’s call for help. Jason tell the others that it’s not for Batman, but because the city needs help. They wait outside of Victor Fries hideout (more like a frozen bunker) in Gotham’s Chinatown; he’s frozen half a city block. This makes the outlaws believe he knows the Court is after him. Ironically, they are trying to protect Freeze from the Court and protect Gotham City from Freeze.

Red Hood rushes in the hideout to deal with the Talon and save Fries. He tells Kori and Roy to get as many citizens away from the area as they can. He thinks to himself that he must be a bit confused: he hates Batman, but decides to help fight the Court for him; maybe he ambivalent or maybe he feels obligated to do the right thing.

He hears the commotion of the Talon fighting Freeze. The Talon informs Fries that he will die because he chose to no longer serve the Court. Freeze denies that he ever served the court. Todd interrupts the fight.

He tells Freezes he there to help. Victor says he doesn’t need help, and points out that Jason just let the Talon escape. Todd goes after him. He reminds Mr. Freeze that Red Hood in not one of the good guys; if he tracks him he’ll kill him himself.

Jason drives out the window after the Talon, telling him he’s going to kill him. The Talon explains that he’s already dead and has come back. He knocks Jason down and raises a knife to stab him. Out of nowhere, Roy shots an arrow through the Talon hands. The Talon flees again. Jason goes after the Talon, and tells Kori and Roy to deal with Freeze.

As Kori approaches Freeze’s lab, he shots her with an ice blast. She falls down to the street. He yells down at Roy and Kori; if either of them enters his lab, he’ll kill them. Kori is enraged. Roy reminds her that they are they to help him, not kill him, but Kori flies back at Freeze.

As Red hood is chases the Talon, he notices that he goes by a sign for Haly’s Circus. He moves like an acrobat. Jason pieces together that the Talon was once an acrobat for the circus. He asks him why he became an assassin, what made him give away his soul? The Talon replies it was just his body and now it’s a mockery since he was reanimated. Jason tells him that his “been to the other side and back” as well.

Meanwhile, Kori is fights Freeze. She doesn’t understand why he’d use his intelligence for evil. He explains that what he’s doing is for love. Had he’d known that the Court would use his technology to reanimate the army of Talons; he wouldn’t have worked with them at all. He did it because they offered to play for his experiments to try and save his cryogenically frozen wife. Roy shows up and shots Freeze with an electric arrow that knocks him unconscious. Now they can get him back to Arkham Asylum.

The Talon reveals his identity as Xiao Loong. He’s been used and controlled by the Court his whole life and even his death; now he wants control of his life and death back. He asks Jason to kill him. Jason feels an odd kinship and understanding of him; and raises his gun to Loong’s forehead.

At 8:53 p.m. on the roof of the GCPD, Batgirl is standing by the lit Bat Signal after she’s defeated the Talon who was after her Commissioner Gordon. Jason drops off the unconscious Mr. Freeze and tells Batgirl to tell Batman, “he’s welcome” for Red Hood bringing in Mr.’ Freeze and defeating a Talon. She tells him that this doesn’t make up for his crimes and if she sees him again in Gotham, she’ll throw him in jail herself. He says “better bats have tried” and he dashes off into the night with Roy and Kori.

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As the massive crossover storyline of the "Night of the Owls” comes to a conclusion, more revelations are being revealed about the Court of Owls connections through ever facet of Gotham Society. This issue begins to explain how the Court of Owls has been able to “retire” and revives their numerous Talons; they have been working with Mr. Freeze and his experimental science of cryogenics. This story also brings Jason Todd back on the side of Batman; even if it is reluctantly. He’s never forgiven Batman for not avenging his “death” (read “Batman: A Death In The Family” and “Batman: Under The Red Hood” for more info), However; the strong sense of justice that he learned from Batman as the second Robin has always stayed with him, even if it’s served with lethal force. Jason Todd, Koriand’r (a once enslaved alien princess whose planet was destroyed), and Roy Harper (a “reformed” superhero turned mercenary) make successful, if unlikely, heroes. Whether are not their reluctant heroism will make them change their ways as soldiers of fortune is doubtful, but they know they did the right thing and that seems to be a reward in itself.


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