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Written By: Scott Lobdell Art By: Denis Medri, Tanya Horie Cover Price: $2.99 Release Date: August 12, 2015
(555) R-E-D - A-R-S-E
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
This is a very strange series for me because I loved Red Hood and The Outlaws and while this maintains the humor and the over the top action, it hasn't really hooked me yet. One of the reasons might be because we keep switching back and forth between artists and as anyone who's obsessed with comics can tell you, if a book doesn't find a look and stick with it, readers aren't happy campers. Anyway, we're back with the artist from the first issue here and I hope I can get behind it because the art was the main reason that I had a hard time getting into that issue......... Well, that and I don't really care for our heroes' redesigns. It is what it is I guess, but before we get into this issue just let me tell you that in the previous issue Jason and Roy began working for a government "fixer" named Tara Battleworth and all seems like Pinatas and RC Cola for our heroes because they're helping people and making a shit load of money doing it. Let's see if they continue their hot streak of being gainfully employed or if they find themselves on welfare. Let's check it out.
Our story begins with Jason and Roy taking down a corporation that was backing a gunrunning organization, but I'm not sure what they exactly did because it looked like they might have just murdered everyone in a high rise building...... maybe that's exactly what they did, but I have to wonder to myself about this because it's at this point that Jason finds out that Roy made them the "Uber" of superhero-ing. You see, Roy went and bought a big ad campaign promoting them as heroes for hire known as Rent A Bat and he even has gigantic billboards advertising them. So if that's the case, I don't understand what they're doing taking out this organization because we find out that the last mission they were on was in the previous issue for Tara Battleworth and the two don't have a client yet. Maybe this is just one of Jason's "I NEED TO MURDER SOMEONE" projects and it doesn't matter. Anyway, it looks like Roy's advertising is causing some waves because now that Arsenal has outed Jason and him as superheroes, Miss Battleworth doesn't want to hire them anymore and Roy went and spent their entire nest egg on advertisements........ so obviously Jason is a little pissed. It doesn't look like they'll have to go to the unemployment line just yet though because while wondering what to do next, they get their first client.
Our heroes go off to the worst place in the world........Detroit... to meet their client and it's at this point when they sit down to talk to the client's representative that the book gets a little too silly for me. The rep tells them that their client is villain-y and then Roy and Jason take turns guessing the villain that he works for one after the other. It doesn't last long, but it just doesn't do much for the book. As it turns out, the client is Underbelly...... a gelatinous monster man, who apparently is the thought form of everything terrible and evil in the world.......... and my first thought is, we better call Pandora in on this one, but Red Hood seems to be fine taking this one on his own. After Underbelly kills his assistant in front of our heroes, Jason unloads his guns on him and Roy finishes him off by detonating an exploding arrow in his ass........ for now. I say for now because it seems like Underbelly wan't just an ugly fat man playing about being the embodiment of sin in the world and as we all know........ we're all going to sin a shit load more times before bed. So he's still out there.
In the end, Jason believes that Roy actually might be on to something with this heroes for hire nonsense because with out it they never would have found out about this Underbelly character and since he can be anywhere that evil is prominent, the two head off to one of the worst places possible.....next to Detroit. That's right our boys are heading to Gotham and our issue concludes with Jason and Roy getting their asses kicked by Jim Gordon as Batman and man this cliffhanger makes me wish that the next issue was out already because I can't wait to see how Red Hood and Arsenal get out of this one.
That's it for this issue of Red Hood/Arsenal and even though it's really simple, I think that this might be the best issue yet. Besides for that small section where our heroes get a little too silly on the park bench playing twenty questions about who their client is, this was really a fantastically fun, over the top issue that was everything that I want a Red Hood/Arsenal title to be. Then we get that awesome cliffhanger that just turned my enjoyment level up a notch. I was really harsh on the art for this series in the first issue and here we have that artist again, but somehow Denis Medri upped his game a bit here and besides for the character redesigns that I don't think that I'll ever like, I found myself really digging what Medri threw at us here. Halfway through this book though it seems like the art style and colors change a bit, but with only Medri and Horie to credit, I'm not sure what to make of this, but whatever it is, I like it and I hope it continues. Now I actually find myself a little pissed that the artist from the second issue is supposed to do the next issue because it really felt like we got ourselves into a decent groove here.......... I guess I'm just a fickle mush head.
Bits and Pieces:
Red Hood/Arsenal continues to be a great title to just jump into when you want to have a little over the top fun and this issue in my opinion tops itself in delivering everything that we've come to love when it comes to these two characters. Denis Medri's art improves from the first issue and it feels like we're starting to get something special from this creative team. Hopefully that continues in the future and hopefully we get just one artist for this series....... jumping back and forth between artists isn't doing us or this title any favors.