Art by: Dexter Soy, Veronica Gandini and Taylor Esposito
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: January 11, 2017
Red Hood and the Outlaws is so good that it was Eric Shea's Book of 2016. Now, who am I to argue with America's Sweetheart? Nobody, that's who. I also love this book and don't think I am making up shit by saying it is a lot of people's surprise hit of Rebirth. Just think how great it will be when we finally get the Dark Trinity out and about together, kicking ass and taking names. Well, the wait is almost over as this is the last issue of the first Rebirth arc. How was it? Let's find out...
We start with an unmasked (yet masked) Black Mask putting his gun right in Jason's face and the dialogue between the two is awesome, but I give Jason props for his ending zinger. Roman doesn't get a chance to shoot as Bizarro and Artemis crash through the ceiling giving Jason an opportunity for more trash talk and a boot blade attack.
As Jason gets his ass kicked by Black Mask and more accurately, Bizarro, he comes up with a plan. Keep fighting Roman until the techno virus in him takes him down from within. It does seem like an excuse for more fighting, but in this book, I'm fine with that!
After a little fistacuffs and Jason telling Roman he's nothing like him or Batman, Black mask suddenly goes down. I know it's all part of the plan, but it still felt too sudden. It felt like after Jason said his big lines there was no more need for Roman so exit stage left. It does continue with an interesting question...will Jason save Roman or let him die? I won't tell you what happens, but I will tell you it's really neither.
Once Roman is out of the picture, his grip on Bizarro ends and the big guy makes nice like we all like. The Dark Trinity finally forms with a personal mission for Artemis and we even get a little hint at an upcoming villain.
The issue ends with some Jason/Batman interaction, both past and present that shows how different they are, but also how much they care for one another. It may not be completely necessary, but it completes a great set of bookends on the story and I loved it. Oh yea, we also get a fitting end for Black mask as well!
I liked this issue and only think things will get better from here on out. I've said I thought this Black mask arc was extended a bit to complete a TPB and seeing the quick ending for the villain may prove that. However, it will make one hell of a trade and is one of the strongest opening stories in Rebirth.
Part of the reason is so great is the art and Dexter Soy shows why in this issue. It looks fantastic from cover to cover and I could just page through it over and over. I hope that both Lobdell and Soy stay on this book for forever and a day.
Bits and Pieces:
This issue continues the fun that is Red Hood and the Outlaws. The story and art come together so nicely and it ends with the Dark Trinity ready to hit the road. Sure, the Black Mask bit ends abruptly, but who cares when you're having this much fun.