Written by: Scott Lobdell
Art by: Dexter Soy, Veronica Gandini and Taylor Esposito
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: November 9, 2016
There has been no greater Cinderella Story in Rebirth than Red Hood and the Outlaws. Scott Lobdell has taken a book that was mostly ignored (when it wasn't getting ripped apart) and turned it into something that people are now clamoring for. It's about time that people open their eyes to what a great character Jason Todd is, but there is a bit more to it as well. Lobdell is taking his time introducing his "Dark Trinity" and is using the space to establish not only his characters, but the bond between them. I'm not talking the usually bonding stuff here, but actually showing why Jason would care about Artemis and Bizarro, but also why they would want to be hanging around him as well. It's all really good stuff and constantly makes me wish this was one of the books that came out twice a month. So, do I keep wishing that and does Scott Lobdell keep giving me what I crave? Let's find out...
The issue opens with a continuation of Red Hood and Bizarro "working things out". The narration goes between Jason and Artemis, who is watching the whole craziness, and Scott Lobdell continues nailing both of their voices. However, just because he has their voices down doesn't mean what they have to say is all that interesting.
I have loved every issue of this book since Rebirth started, but this issue is just okay. Artemis continues her quest for the Bow of Ra while Jason tries to bond with Bizarro. Both end up being dead ends...at least for now.
Jason does get Bizarro to calm down and they even have a bit of a tender moment while Artemis uses the opportunity to got snooping around for her Bow. However, the part that pushed the story forward is all Jason and Black Mask.
Black Mask spends a lot of time telling Jason about his upbringing and also his plan for Gotham domination. While Jason tells the reader how similar the two of them are, there wasn't any point that I thought Jason would actually cross the line with Roman. While that takes away one half of the tension, the part of wondering just how much Black Mask knows about Jason is in full effect.
After finding out that the Bow of Ra is nowhere near (Artemis looks so upset), we also find out just how much Roman knows...spoiler: It's a lot. The issue ends with Black Mask still offering Jason a place in his new Empire, but when Jason declines, Black Mask...thanks him?!? Yep, he thanks Jason for all he's done so far, but especially the work he did with one backwards villain in particular. The cliffhanger page is pretty cool, but also a bit sad for Bizarro fans.
I said it above, but this was a down issue of one of my favorite series in Rebirth. It wasn't without big moments, but I think I just want to get this whole Dark Trinity together and on the road to adventure already. I have enjoyed the Black Mask angle up until now, but the whole thing is starting to drag.
I still love Dexter Soy's art. It looks so good, from Roman's BDSM look (Jason's words, not mine) to a hulking out Bizarro. It's a shame that there wasn't more action for Dexter to really show us his stuff, but what we got was still awesome.
Bits and Pieces:
It was bound to happen eventually and this month we get a down issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws. Scott Lobdell gives the reader some big Black mask developments, but that doesn't completely shake the feeling that this first arc is starting to drag a bit. I want the Dark Trinity together and I want it now!