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Red Hood and The Outlaws #38 Review and *SPOILERS*
Written By: Scott Lobdell Art By: RB Silva, Wayne Faucher, The Horries Cover Price: $2.99 Release Date: January 21, 2015
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
Last time in Red Hood and The Outlaws, everyone was using drugs except for Roy.......What's up with that? We had Roy in the hospital dealing with life threatening burns after Starfire let some of her fire go wild while she was high on that alien (insert drug slang here) and Jason was rocking some Venom to give him an upper hand on some....... well some bad guys also taking Venom. Besides for all the drug use and us not having a "Very Special" issue of Red Hood and The Outlaws, the point of the book is that Starfire found some truck stop alien heroin den............ are there heroin dens or is that something that is purely specific to opium? Anyway, Starfire got herself all stoned and then someone decided that it was the perfect time to close his truck up and claim himself a Tamaran. That's right folks, drugs lead to kidnapping........ Damn, only if there was a PSA at the end of two issues ago, it really would have been a great "Very Special" issue". Oh and don't worry about Roy, Essence showed up and magic ex machina-ed him and after having a flashback issue last month about how Oliver and him had their falling out, our boy is back in order and goes off to join Red Hood on getting answers from the one man on Earth who knows more about Starfire than anyone else, the bat dragon looking Crux. Okay that's enough recap, let's check this out.
Our issue begins with Red Hood infiltrating Arkham Asylum posing as a doctor with one of those hologram disguises that the Bat Family seem to just love using, but after he lets the name Crux slip, our genius monster discovers his ruse. Now this part was legitimately scary. Just like that, Crux broke through his restraints and using Jason as a sledge hammer breaks through the wall of Arkham. Jason is knocked out and Crux flies off with him after talking about paying him back for what he did to him........... Maybe this wasn't the best plan in finding Starfire.
Almost immediately I find out I don't know shit because when Jason comes to, he's inside his alien ship that he confiscated from Crux in the first place and we see that Crux has now shifted back into his human form of Dr. Simon Amal and while sporting Red Hood's clothes that he found, he gives Jason a great big hug.....................Huh? Now this is funny as hell to me, after the Outlaws stopped Crux and got him thrown into Arkham, his therapy sessions actually worked and he's cured of all his rage and xenophobia and is actually grateful to Jason. Because he used Killer Croc's, Man-Bat's and Clayface's DNA to transform himself into the dragon monster that he was, he is able to concentrate and turn himself back to his original state. It's about this point in the exposition and normally I use exposition as a dirty word but here it's really enjoyable and funny because Jason is so bewildered by what he's seeing, but it's about this time that Roy shows up and after getting quickly disarmed, joins in on the "Holy Shit, Crux Isn't A Bad Guy" realization. The only reason he stayed in Arkham and put on his whole "I'm A Monster" persona is because he wanted to use his many P.H.D.s to pay it forward and try and help other patients at the asylum. This is quite the twist and man did it come out of left field for me. This is so enjoyable to read because of the shock that our Outlaws are faced with when realizing that Crux wants to help them find Starfire and even takes the lead by firing up the ship and taking off.
In the end, we find out that Starfire wasn't too keen on the truck driver kidnapping her and we come to a scene where the police are investigating a truck fire where they found a shit ton of syringes, but after being threatened by a sword wielding maniac, who suggests they drop the case; it looks like people aren't going to be finding out about alien drug trafficking. What happened to Starfire you ask. Well we see her in the jungle chained up and passed out, but after coming to and fighting off a jungle cat that was sniffing around we see that she is there by choice because when she breaks her chains, she uses her powers to fuse them together again............. So this is some kind of detox situation, but it looks like rehab is going to have to wait because out of nowhere Starfire's sister, Blackfire shows up and even though she seemed really grateful when the Outlaws helped her out many many issues ago, it seems that the reason for this reunion is all about Blackfire murdering Kori........... See that's why I don't talk to my family........ They'll always try to kill you when you chain yourself up in the jungle.
That's it for Red Hood and the Outlaws and man, did this issue come out of nowhere and knock it out of the park............... it being my expectations because I haven't really dug what we've been getting lately from this title. I love Lobdell's dialog and it looks like we're getting back to the fun that he brought when he originally wrote this series and adding Crux in as a good guy just blew me away. I really hope that Crux continues in the series and actually becomes one of the Outlaws because it would add a new, interesting dynamic to the team. Definitely one of the best issues of Red Hood and the Outlaws that I've read in a long time, not including the last Annual because that Christmas Special was just gold. R.B. Silva continues on art this month and while I'm not a fan of the way he draws Jason without his helmet, his almost cartoony style works really well for this title and I hope this creative team stays together for a long time because this issue was just so much fun.
Bits and Pieces:
If you're not reading Red Hood and the Outlaws then you're missing out because this issue brings the title back to form to what it was when the series started. Great characters, great dialog and just really fun interactions and situations. Honestly, my opinion on this title had been dwindling but after reading this, I'm back on the Red Hood and The Outlaws trolley and I suggest all of you do the same. Just a great issue that I hope continues in this direction.