BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING - RED HOOD VS ANARKY BY TIM SEELEY AND JAVIER FERNANDEZ
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
There's good news and bad news when it comes to BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING - RED HOOD VS ANARKY. The good news? Red Hood edginess is highlighted in both the story line and artwork. The visuals accentuate the character's darkness. Bad news? Things like Anarky's quickly resolved plans and weak motives muddle the overall plot line.
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Wedding Crasher!

While Selina Kyle enjoys all the festivities of her bachelorette party, Red Hood is in the shadows keeping watch. That’s right, in BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING – RED HOOD VS ANARKY, Jason Todd is on security duty. But when the rebel, Anarky, plans to create anarchy in Gotham, it’s up to Red Hood to take him down.

Written by Tim Seeley, this is the fourth installment to the Prelude to the Wedding series. Will the evening be a total disaster or will Red Hood save the city and keep the party going? Read BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING – RED HOOD VS ANARKY to find out.

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The Red Hood’s Wedding Present

Before Catwoman’s bachelorette party begins, Batman trusts Red Hood to keep an eye on her for the evening. The “formerly murdered” Jason Todd, A.K.A., Red Hood is running security detail for the night in BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING – RED HOOD VS ANARKY. While the male dancers are dancing, Red Hood leaves to deal with an anti-feminist group, wearing golden masks and causing trouble, nearby.

After he captures the rebels and strikes fear into their hearts, they tell him about Anarky and his plans for Gotham. Anarky gathers everyone with strong, political views, to a part of Gotham city called the Butcher’s Block. Ironically, the bachelorette party is heading to the same place.

Red Hood finds Anarky and surprise attacks him. He claims Batman ruined his life and that the caped crusader does not deserve love. Also, he believes he is the son of the Joker. So, there’s that. Surprisingly, Red Hood is able to quell the angry mob of citizens before things get out of hand, leaving Selina to enjoy the rest of her party.

BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING – RED HOOD VS. ANARKY #1
BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING – RED HOOD VS. ANARKY #1 Page 1. Image Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

As the former Robin calls it, his wedding present is an anarchy-free Gotham. In the final scene of  BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING – RED HOOD VS ANARKY, Anarky reveals his actions that night were at the request of his “fake dad”, the Joker. Finally, in the epilogue, we see the Joker. Past issues in the Prelude to the Wedding series have only hinted that he will be there for Batman’s big day.

In this issue, he is seen having a breakdown, surrounded by torn envelopes. With the next issue being the last for the series, let’s hope the Joker lives up to the hype.

Black Sheep of the Bat Family

Jason Todd never seemed to fit in with the Bat-crew. In BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING – RED HOOD VS ANARKY, we see just how far he stands apart from them. His character is rough around the edges. Compared to Batman, he is definitely a little meaner and crueler. There’s something cynical about the way he threatens Anarky’s followers. Taunting them with the stories of his possible identities.

Javier Fernandez’s artwork does a great job at capturing how edgy Red Hood is. His use of shadows adds an extra layer of darkness and mystery to a character like Red Hood. Even the reflection in his mask of someone else’s fear is brilliant. Also, a few panels featuring Red Hood have this blood splatter design around the edge. A very nice detail. Overall, the artwork makes Red Hood stand out in this issue.

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Disappointing Villain?

A sour note in this issue is the villain, Anarky, himself. I expected more of a fight between Red Hood and Anarky. Well, Anarky gets one or two shots in before Red Hood takes him down quickly. It was like a fly on a windshield. Even at the end of the issue, Anarky is beating himself up for his failures. Almost like he didn’t even have confidence in himself to play the antagonist.

And his plans for creating chaos are foiled so easily. Basically, his plan was to cause arguments between people with opposing political views. Red Hood was able to handle the situation before any kind of chaos happened. Also, the motive behind Anarky’s actions is strange. Although he wanted to impress Joker, Anarky knows he is not his real father.

BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING – RED HOOD VS. ANARKY #1
BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING – RED HOOD VS. ANARKY #1 Page 5. Image Courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Final Thoughts on BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING – RED HOOD VS ANARKY

BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING – RED HOOD VS ANARKY was a mixed bag for me. Not my favorite in the Prelude to the Wedding series. Unfortunately, Anarky is a weak villain going up against a strong, interesting character like the Red Hood. As an antagonist, his plans were easily stopped and the fight scene was short-lived and disappointing. Things like this really muddle the overall plot.

However, like the previous issues in this miniseries, the storyline really makes the characters, especially the heroes,  shine in their own light. Tim Seeley does a great job at highlighting how different Red Hood is from the rest of the Bat-Family. Artwork by Javier Fernandez accentuates Red Hood’s darkness and edginess with his use of shadows in BATMAN: PRELUDE TO THE WEDDING – RED HOOD VS ANARKY.

In my opinion, we need an exciting conclusion to turn this series around. Next is the final installment in the Prelude to the Wedding series, with Harley Quinn versus the Joker. I eagerly await to see what the Clown Prince of Crime’s wedding present will be.

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