Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Red Hood and the Outlaws: Rebirth #1 Review


It'll Surprise You

Written by: Scott Lobdell
Art by: Dexter Soy, Veronica Gandini and Taylor Esposito
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: July 27, 2016

This is my first crack at reviewing a Redhood title as Eric has always been the resident expert when it comes to Jason Todd.  I have read and enjoyed Red Hood in his various books in the New 52/DC You, so it's not like I am a newb or anything.  However, if Scott Lobdell does his job, it shouldn't matter if I am a veteran reader or someone fresh off the boat who just happens to stop at a newsstand and grab Red Hood Comic for some reason and then read it instead of looking for an apartment or a job.  So, did Lobdell do his job and is there anyone out there looking to employ a middle aged man with no real skills who will work for a ham sandwich?  Let's find out...


The issue opens "Years Ago" as we see a young man in a red hoodie stealing the tires off of the...Batmobile?!?!  I guess that would be more shocking if we haven't seen it before, but I always love seeing it.  What am I talking about?  Well, it looks like Scott Lobdell is using his Rebirth issue to go back to where it all began and give the reader the origin of Red Hood.

I don't know if I've been beaten down by other Rebirth issues trying too hard or I just love this origin story, but I liked this one right from the start.  I love how nice Batman is and how can you not smile as he eats fast food in the cape and cowl?  The answer is, you can't!  This scene also has the big line in the issue when Batman tells Jason, "You just have to give people a chance...They'll usually surprise you."



After seeing the awesome progression from street urchin to Robin, we get the the present where Jason is pulling off awesome motorcycle stunts, looking badass as the Red Hood and possibly shooting cops.  It leads to a little street meeting with the Mayor that also leads to a one-on-one with the Dark Knight.  Awesome!

Okay, throughout this whole part, I was wondering what the fuck was going on.  However, it wasn't the angry confusion I usually walk through life with, but an exciting confusion where I was hoping what I was seeing wasn't really happening.

The fight ends with Red Hood besting Batman (again, awesome!) and getting back to his meet and greet with the Mayor.  Again, things get good confusing when it looks like Jason straight up executes the Mayor and whether it was real or not doesn't seem to matter when the whole thing is broadcast of the evening news.  The court of popular opinion is now in session.



Jason is watching as well and when the bartender (or course he's in a bar) mentions the Joker, we get back to This is Your Life.  Joker + Crowbar + dynamite + Batman holding a dead Jason = a very familiar scene that I still love seeing.  Afterwards, we start to see what Lobdell is getting at here when Jason is approached by a False Face Society goon who asks him to join their little gang.

The picture comes further into view when Batman visits Jason and we find out he didn't exactly kill the Mayor or the police, but is still a badass.  A badass who can get into places Batman only wishes he could.  I'm not talking about the Water Buffalo Lodge here.  The issue ends with Jason throwing the "give people a chance" line in Batman's face and one last look back at Jason at his happiest.



I know that some people will pish posh this issue as retread, but I liked it a lot.  What better way to get everyone up to speed by showing us how it all began while setting the seeds for the Rebirth.  Listen, I wanted to see Bizarro and Artemis as much as the next guy, but am happy with what we got and am excited about this book.

I have always been a Dexter Soy fan and I like the look of this book in general.  I actually like the present day stuff a whole lot more than the flashback stuff which bodes well for my future enjoyment.

Bits and Pieces:

Longtime Red Hood fans won't be getting much new information here, but I think everyone will enjoy starting everything fresh and new.  Yes, this is an origin story, but it also shows where Red Hood stands now and I'm excited to get everything going.

8.0/10
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31 comments:

  1. Seems like just the same dull take as before. Jason whines a bit, gets into a fight, and narrates non-stop. The flashback is a retread, but characters show very little logic. Bruce just adopts a random kid off the street, and Alfred has no problem making him into another Robin?

    Weakest Batfamily book of the week, this one is.

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    1. I only the flashbacks as Jason thinking back at what happened which is why they don't have to be "complete"...just setting up his relationship with Batman before moving on. I actually liked this because it's more straightforward than most Rebirth #1s...not sure if you've read every single one, but they haven't all been stellar.

      As far as Bat books this week, it's not fair to throw a Rebirth #1 in with books already involved in their actual Rebirth runs.

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    2. Its not that he just takes some kid off the street he saw the potential in him it takes balls the try to tier jack the batmoble and then swing on thebat himself as for Alfred it is pointed out in the dialog that bruce decided after training jason extensively that he was ready to be robin Alfred just ya know did what butlers do and brought him his clothes

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  2. I really like Dexter Soy's artwork. The origin retelling was just enough that it didn't feel like overkill. The scene with the mayor was great. At least I don't have to deal with Roy Harper and his stupid nickname for Jason (Jaybird). This is Scott Lobdell's opportunity to tell the stories he's been waiting to tell with an all new duo for Red Hood to work with. It will be interesting to see how Jason and company walk that thin line between hero and villain in the coming months. So yeah, I"m on board.

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    1. I agree with you. The artwork takes the cake here.

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  3. This was.... just kind of mediocre. It started off solid, but the present day scenes were just stuffed with the usual "tell, tell, and don't even bother showing" style that Lobdell does all the time. And then there are all the daddy issues, the "I'm so jealous of Dick" issues (which is hilarious on a meta level), etc.

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    1. To expand, the entire plot was dumped on the third to last page. Most of it was just spent on "awww Batfamily" moments that have been done repeatedly before.

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    2. But the batfamily aw moment ithink is a driving point going forward jason proving he is not what bruce thinks of him i mean your not wrong to say its be done alot but still thisdamn kid cant get on that painting in the manor lol

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    3. It seems like those moments are the only things that Lobdell can do with Jason, and they're only effective when used as a contrast of present circumstances. I have a sinking feeling that when RHATO #1 comes around, it's back to the whining and moaning and spouting of awful one-liners.

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  4. This is the best comic i read this week the art was great and even though we all know jasons back story getting some of it before we head into the future is a nice way to potentially show how he has/will evolve, jason never gets a break though he has believable emotional baggage made because no matter what he does bruce never really trusts him not like he would dick,tim, or damian

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  5. I loved this issue. It's a great new beginning that doesn't retcon the heroes experience and regresses them back to a previous inexperienced version of themselves "coff coff Nightwing & Batgirl". Lobdell still manages to keep Jason moving forward from series to series. Favorite moment was batman congratulating Jason on his new hideout, which is a bomb shelter under GCPD. Jason's dialogue was also on point, he was very in character the whole issue. Dexter Soy's art is really good, I really like how he draws Jason's Helmut. This is my favorite rebirth issue so far, but I'm pretty sure they'll be people out there won't even give this issue a chance because of Lobdells name is attached to this, and they'll end up picking justice league rebirth. Serves them right for judging a book before you give it a chance.
    I agree with your score Jim 8/10
    Keep it up Lobdell:)

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    1. loved the helmet and actually liked the straight forward nature of the story.

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    2. Jason did regress. He's back to whining about how Daddybats doesn't love him enough, or how Dick always gets treated better. Soy's art is good, but it's just rather wasted on formulaic writing. Lobdell has never moved Jason forward, because he never plans his plots in advance.

      And what's with Lobdell fans always whining about the world hating them? It's like they can't accept criticism. On Reddit, some kid was trying to argue about how people who don't like Lobdell's Red Hood just "don't know how to read comics!"

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    3. No Jason didn't regress, look at the facts. Bruce wouldn't allow Jason to to do what he does if he was the way he was. As for him whining about dick, he didn't. He was proving his point to Bruce that he can undercover in a similar way Dick has, but Bruce being Bruce thinks that is a slippery slope. And that Jason might end up killing someone. Jason does things his own way, it's not like he has to get permission from Bruce like Dick had to be told to work for spyral, to disappear, and pretend to be dead. Lobdell has moved Jason's character forward, he's not attacking Bruce, he's been rehabilitating himself by finding and working with friends, and lastly by working with his family instead of against them.

      And what's with Lobdell haters thinking that people who like the way Lobdell writes Jason, means we attack online saying
      "You Don't know how to read comics". I never said you don't know how to read comics. I'm saying you haters never gave it a chance in the first place, so in your mind set, you already hated it before you read it.

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    4. I agree that he didn't regress if he had he would be a killer but lets say he regress a bit this is a rebirth #1 ment to build him up in a new way no dial a bat stuff, and honestly maybe its naive of me but i dont judge my comics on the writer if it looks good/sounds interesting i pick it up i read really shity books teen titans im looking at you and some good ones like this issue what im saying no writer is absolute at lest thats my opinion

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  6. Reading the comments this book seems to be split between loved it and hated it. I'm curious if that has to do with how people felt about the character before or when they started reading him? Personally, I started reading in the New 52 and then went back and read some trades.

    I loved the art, especially that Jason's face looks distinguishable. This issue was what I expected it to be - catching up new readers. I don't mind rehashing those bits because I like those stories too. It also sets the status quo for where the Bruce/Jason relationship currently stands.

    I thought it was a hell of a lot better than Nightwing this week in any case...

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    1. A Hell of a lot indeed Missy T. Dick has now lost his stick. That something that makes him standout amongst the EVER GROWING Gotham related heroes. I liked that he had the spy angle, hell I loved the fact that he's the only outed bat family member. But what can we do? Answer, go by Titans because Dick has a good gimmick in that book that makes him stand out, he's one hell of a leader.

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    2. Missy, you and me are in the same boat!!! I agree 100 % with you on everything!

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    3. Really, this was easily the weakest book this week. Lot of telling, and no showing, plot holes, etc. Seems like Jason is forever stuck being Discount Nightwing

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    4. The anons who keep hating in the comments is obviously just one person. Very passionate person (at least try to make your writing look different, anon). The majority seems to love it including me.

      This issue was amazing and I can't wait to see Artemis and Bizarro.

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    5. Yep...again, this issue had less plot holes and continuity errors than 99% of the rebirth #1s. My guess is anon hasn't read most of the Rebirth #1s because at this point, there is a couple things you expect out of them...tone and character setup, and this issue does a great job with both.

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    6. It's funny how you call Jason a discount Nightwing anonymous. Jason to most people is the most oppisite person from Dick. So that only proves you either don't know who Jason is, or don't know who Dick is, or You don't know who both of these characters are really like. I'm betting the ladder, Your just a Lobdell hater spends there free time Complaining about shit you couldn't be more wrong about.

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    7. Oh wow,,the fanboys on this site are bad at taking criticism...

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    8. Don't think it's criticism they have an issue with

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  7. Jason should be into S&M

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    Replies
    1. I like to think he is but just not into being picked up by guys in bars so played coy

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    2. apparently, some people interpreted him as being bi.... and some people are freaking out over that

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