Under the Hood
Volume Two

Author: Judd Winick
Artists: Doug Mahnke, Shane Davis and Eric Battle
Titan Books
RRP 7.99
ISBN 1 84576 277 0
Available 21 July 2006

The Red Hood has been unmasked, and revealed as former Robin Jason Todd. As Batman starts to desperately search for clues to show how his one-time partner can be alive, the hood is busy tearing apart Gotham's underworld and planning revenge on the man who killed him, the Joker. Will the Caped Crusader and his bygone Boy Wonder put aside their differences long enough to fend off the assembly of antagonists that want them both dead? Will Batman allow Jason final retribution against his erstwhile killer? These questions are answered here along with the secret of Jason's resurrection and his motivations for becoming the Red Hood...

Volume Two of Under the Hood contines the action where Volume One left off (unsurprisingly). Knowing that Jason Todd (once known as Robin until Joker killed him) is masquerading as the Red Hood, Batman sets about trying to unearth whether this is really his old friend or an imposter. Digging up Todd's coffin, Batman soon discovers that Todd was never buried, so it appears that this is the same friend that he held dying in his arms.

How and why Todd was brought back to life is explained, as is the reason why Batman could find no evidence of anyone breaking into Todd's grave. But the biggest revelation is why Todd is back and what he intends to do.

The story presented here is a marked improvement over Volume One (in that it doesn't feel as stretched as that installment). The writing is tight and engaging, and the art work compliments this well.

An excellent conclusion to a well conceived idea means that Batman fans will be left wanting more.

Nick Smithosn

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