Written by: Scott Lobdell
Art by: Dexter Soy, Veronica Gandini and Taylor Esposito
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: September 14, 2016
Red Hood and the Outlaws has been one of my favorite books since Rebirth. In fact, when we had our "Do or Die Rebirth Pull List" podcast, this book easily made my list. It's already been so much fun and things can only get crazier from here. I mean, Jason Todd as part of a Dark Trinity with Artemis and Bizarro? As Homer Simpson said when using a napkin for the first time...OUTRAGEOUS! Of course, we just got Artemis at the end of last issue and we have yet to see Bizarro, so is this the issue where it all comes together? Yes or no, is it good? Let's find out...
The issue opens with a little Artemis origin. It's not really an origin for the Amazon, but more of the origin of a promise/prophecy and the continuation of her obsession with a very powerful weapon. While not everything here is given to the reader on a silver platter, it's easy to see that dark arts are at play and that if Artemis wants something, she is better off just grabbing it for herself. To that end, she is not very shy.
We then go back to the present where Artemis and Jason Todd are sizing each other up and talking a ton of trash. At the moment, it seems that they are both after the same thing, the Bow of Ra, but even Jason thinks that a weapon of that magnitude seems beyond the smaller scale plans of Black Mask.
If you like a lot of action in your books, then you will fall madly in love with this issue. Guns, axes, explosions...it's all here along with one liners, taunts and some over-the-top action movie dialogue.
After Jason gets his mask smashed and Artemis gets a bit of a shock, Black Mask tells Jason how proud he is of him and gives a little pep talk about what they are about to steal. I don't know about you, but it didn't sound like he was talking about an ancient weapon at all.
While this is going on, Artemis recovers, does a little Thor impersonation with her axe and it's game on again! When Jason pulls his punches and then actually protects Artemis, she is intrigued and the two of them become friends in need even if they aren't yet friends indeed.
While they dodge bullets, they get to know each other a little bit more and I already like them together. The key is how much I like Artemis. She is so extreme, but also has a bit of nativity to her that I love. The issue ends with an awesome action sequence that leads to the cliffhanger that gets this book ready to hit the ground running.
The key to this issue is the dialogue between Jason and Artemis. It's action movie/buddy cop goodness that I'm sure some will scoff at, but I think was perfect. It feels like Scott Lobdell is having a lot of fun here and I am too.
Dexter Soy's art is another huge reason I'm having so much fun. The action flows smoothly with big panels filled with explosions and gunfire and his facial expressions sell it all.
Bits and Pieces:
While this issue may be the last bit of setup before the series really starts going, I still enjoyed it. This book is just fun and if you can put your ideas that comics have to change the world behind you, I think you can enjoy it as much as me.