Warning! Spoilers ahead for Red Hood #51
It’s a new era for the Red Hood. Jason Todd has returned to Gotham City in DC Comics’ Red Hood series, featuring an all-new creative team and direction for the vigilante hero. Sadly, Jason’s Outlaws are no more, but that doesn’t mean that the Red Hood is going to be slacking any time soon. In this new issue, Red Hood decides to return to Gotham and the borough known as The Hill. The issue also introduces a new character who will more than likely come into Jason Todd’s crosshairs, who is also responsible for Gotham City’s most popular Batman merchandise and fashion apparel.
In Red Hood #51 from Shawn Martinbrough and Tony Akins, Jason learns that in the aftermath of the Joker War the Hill went through a pretty tumultuous time when Joker’s clowns were running rampant through the streets. He learns from his old friend Dana Harlowe that The Hill formed its own amateur vigilante team that acted as a sort of proactive neighborhood watch in response, and looks to still be active even after Joker’s attack. Not only that, but rival gangs are in the midst of skirmishes that could very well lead to an all-out war soon.
This is where Thomas Misell comes in, a fashion and real estate mogul who was helping to finance Demitrius Korlee Jr., a gang leader looking to make big plays in The Hill and Gotham City at large. Misell’s fashion lines are highly popular and unique in that they’re themed after some of the greatest villains Batman’s ever fought in Gotham. Misell has made different types of apparel such as Poison Ivy shoes, limited edition Two-Face hoodies, and pieces designed after the Riddler. However, his next line looks to be based on one of Batman’s most monstrous foes: Killer Croc.
Unfortunately, it looks as though Korlee Jr. doesn’t fully appreciate Thomas as much as he’d like him to, not seeing them as full partners in their joint enterprise. As a result, Thomas goes after Killer Croc on his own, making a deal with him not just to sell a line of clothes based on his likeness, but also to have Waylon Jones work with him as his muscle. In the final page of the issue, Killer Croc and Misell bust into Korlee Jr.’s place, and Thomas is all decked out like a villain in his own right, calling himself “Tommy Maxx”.
The concept of villain-themed clothing lines in Gotham is quite unique. The high popularity they apparently hold is also intriguing. What does that say about the inner mindset and culture of the people of Gotham? Do they admire the villains in their streets (so long as Batman’s there to protect them?). Does every villain have a deal and get a cut from Misell like Killer Croc is getting? It will interesting to learn more about Tommy Maxx and his fashion lines going forward as Red Hood continues. Now that Maxx is looking to make plays of his own, it seems pretty likely he’ll be clashing with Jason Todd down the line.