Written by: Scott Lobdell
Art by: Dexter Soy, Veronica Gandini and Taylor Esposito
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: October 12, 2016
I have really enjoyed Red Hood and the Outlaws since the beginning of Rebirth. I'm not sure that having it as a monthly book has increased my anticipation for each issue, but I know that when we get to the week it comes out, I can't wait to dive in. Of course, seeing Bizarro at the end of last issue made the wait even harder so I'm going to put the small talk on hold and jump right into the issue. Was it worth the wait? Let's find out...
The issue starts with a quick recap of the situation and a glimpse into the mind of Jason Todd. The sitch? Jason and Artemis are staring at a Superman clone. Pretty big and pretty cool. The glimpse is a continuing narrative of Jason not being the best Robin of all-time and we see here that started on day one.
While both of our "heroes" don't like the idea of Black Mask getting his hands on a Superman, he suddenly arrives and puts them to sleep...really, he even undresses Jason and tucks him into bed. Creepy!
When Jason wakes up, he finds Sionis and the two continue their game of cat and mouse that I'm still not sure they are both playing. Seriously, Black mask is either the smartest or dumbest villains in the DCU right now...the problem is, I'm not sure which!
We then get the beginnings of Bizarro's origin. It's the creation of Lex Luthor, but he believes it has been destroyed. When the order was given to end it, Sionis swooped in and snatched it up. Pretty clever Lobdell, even with Lex's Rebirth makeover, you get your (Bizarro) cake and get to eat it too!
What happens next is a cool bonding moment between Jason and the clone he hasn't really even met yet. As Bizarro is removed from his chamber, Jason has some PTST of being resurrected after that whole Joker incident and it's easy to see the similarities. That synergy continues as Jason tries to comfort the clone, even as Black Mask threatens to write him off. Writing him off would have been the humane thing to do as we see Black Mask's plan to make the clone more Superman like.
The issue then goes back and forth as Jason talks a bit with Artemis, goes and buys a toy for Bizarro and has dinner with Black Mask. We learn that Artemis is busy playing the long con to get the Bow of Ra, Sionis is clueless as to Jason's connection to Batman and Jason had an awful childhood.
The issue ends with Jason trying to show Bizarro that it's okay to be your own man and while it looks like Bizarro is all for that, it also looks like he might kill everybody around him because of it. The Dark Trinity is not quite a Trinity yet, but if Bizarro doesn't kill Jason or Artemis, I think we will be there real soon.
Scott Lobdell has given fans another good issue. It's setup with a pinch of history and topped off with a little character psychology. Really, it's just as much a Jason Todd issue as a Bizarro one and that is fine with me. Since the book is only out once a month, it can be easy to dump on the pacing as "slow", but I think Lobdell is setting things up nicely with almost every page being meaningful to the overall story.
I love Dexter Soy's art and it just keeps getting better as the series progresses. I was not a huge fan of the gimp looking Black Mask when I first saw it, but the way Soy draws him has made me a fan. His Artemis is kick-ass and Bizarro already looks awesome. What I'm saying is that this issue looks great!
Bits and Pieces:
Red Hood and the Outlaws continues being one of my favorite Rebirth titles and we haven't even gotten the full Outlaws up and running! Scott Lobdell and Dexter Soy make this book so much fun to read, even when the story itself is far from lighthearted. The only thing I'd change about this book is getting it twice a month!