Friday, April 23, 2010
Batman: Under the Hood, Volume 2 collects the concluding installments of the initial Red Hood storyline that originally appeared in the ongoing Batman comic book series (Batman #'s 645-650, to be specific), as well as a lengthy Batman Annual that reveals in detail how the Red Hood and his supposedly deceased alter ego came to be.
Like the first volume of this storyline, this one contains solid, entertaining superhero storytelling, no more and no less. I will say that it was a little strange to see epic science-fiction type elements from the larger DC universe play a brief but notable role in the Red Hood's origin, but, hey, Batman's gritty Gotham City world does exist in the same universe as Superman, the Justice League, and various alien species and intergalactic conflicts, so fair is fair. And besides, as said, those "out there" elements are fairly brief.
Batman and his dark, shadowy world of gritty crime-fighting lends itself well to intense, involving storylines of both the shorter and longer varieties. The Under the Hood epic is a well-crafted, engaging example of the latter.