Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Red Hood and the Outlaws #1 Review

Top of the World, Ma

Written by: Scott Lobdell
Art by: Dexter Soy, Veronica Gandini and Taylor Esposito
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: August 10, 2016

The Red Hood and the Outlaws Rebirth issue was a huge surprise to me, not because it was so good, Lobdell made me love it.  He didn't use smoke and mirror, pomp and circumstance or shock and awe.  Nope, he just gave fans a greatest hits tour of Red Hood's origin story along with a pretty interesting plot seed to show where the book was going.  While I would have loved to see Bizarro and Artemis show up right away, Lobdell did one better by reminding me why I love Jason Todd first and foremost.  That's right...I'm a Jason Todd fan and am proud of it! That being said, I'm not going to give a high score because of that.  Nope, that shit has to be earned.  So, does Lobdell earn it or burn it this issue?  Let's find out...
but because of the way Scott

The issue starts out with another "Years Ago" flashback as we see Ma Gunn attack Batman while Jason Todd looks on from cover.  It is a pretty damn cool callback to Jason Todd's past that put a smile on my face.  It also, once again, showed anyone who didn't know it already, that Jason leaps before he looks, or at least he did way back when.  The scene overlaps into the present as we see Jason once again leaping through the window with Ma Gunn in his arms, but this time she is the victim and Jason is saving her life.

Saving her life from an explosion that rocks the School for Wayward Boys.  But who would want to blow up the school?  I'm sure the list is a long one, but at this moment it was Black Mask.  We then get to see why through the eyes of Ma Gunn and it's the usual tale of a crime boss making someone an offer they can't refuse and what happens when they do just that.  The big kicker of the whole thing was that while the school was empty when the bombs went off, Black Mask thought it wouldn't be.  Yep, it seems that while Roman looks like a gussied up gimp, underneath it all he's just a scumbag who doesn't mind murdering kids.  Actually, I don't know which one of those I'd prefer.

Back in Jason's "cave" we get more Batman and Robin flashbacks that show us the hows and whys of Jason's detective work which leads to him researching Black Mask.  It's a nice way to give us some Black Mask background without feeling too forced and I loved seeing the shout out to Genevieve Valentine's Catwoman run.

We then get to see his hard work pay off as he kicks ass and gains a meet and greet with Black Mask himself.  The remainder of the issue is an inside look at Black Mask and his philosophies on business, Gotham City and it's many colorful residents.  We also get a little more Batman and Robin action (which I love) and a look at just how brutal Roman can and will be to get what he wants.

After pretty much telling Jason that he will become his second in command, Black Mask sends the former Robin off to get something for him and the issue ends showing us just what that "something" is.  I won't spoil it, but this outlaw carries a mighty big axe!

This is a good issue that may not have impressed me as much as the Rebirth #1, but was still really good in it's own way.  I loved seeing Jason following all the lessons he learned from Batman, but then doing things the Red Hood way in the end.  It's a killer combination of careful detective work and over the top action and I hope that Lobdell continues showing us that.  It makes sense as Jason is a walking juxtaposition and that's why I love him.

As much as I liked the story here, Dexter Soy's art was the real star.  I liked his art in the Rebirth issue, but I am damn close to loving what he gives us here.  Everything looked fantastic and while it's tough to pick my favorite panel, it has to be the cliffhanger page that takes the prize.  Actually, it's so good that it really wasn't that hard.

Bits and Pieces:

Scott Lobdell keeps giving Red Hood fans a really good book and while I may not have liked this issue as much as the Rebirth one, that's probably because I loved the Rebirth issue so much.  Dexter Soy's art is fantastic and I am really enjoying where this book is right now and am excited to see where it will be going.  From the cliffhanger, we should be getting there sooner than later.



  1. "while Roman looks like a gussied up gimp"

    Wait, was this new? He wasn't like that in Catwoman, was he?

    1. Not exactly, but he has been like this recently and for the life of me, i can't remember the book.

    2. It was actually in the Batman book during Super Heavy story

  2. I am all-in for this series. I love Jason sitting at the computer with his feet up eating fast food. I don't know anything about Artemis though, so I hope Lobdell keeps it easy to follow.

    1. that was awesome!!! I have always loved Jason and I'm still surprised by how much I love this book. I don't think many people know Artemis so I'm hoping Lobdell will ease her in with that in mind.

  3. What a great issue this was. I found it funny when Jason was was eating some fast food while he worked. It humanizes him a lot. I can never really imagine Batman eating something tasty, only what's healthy. And I loved the Art style for Artemis. That has to be the biggest axe in comic history. Jason's going to have some fun next issue. And now we know why Bizzaro is in this book, he's a weapon for black mask. We just need to find out what Artemis role in the story is.

  4. What a great read! Had to laugh at the wine that Black Mask really really wanted to drink. Couldn't Sionis just unzip and are a sip??

  5. I read somewhere that Lobdell really plans to space things out in regards to introducing the newer characters. Other books in the Rebirth line have sort of rushed some things but since this is only a monthly series, I think this will allow the creative team to tell a good story.

  6. For Artemis showing up at the very end of this issue, I still really enjoyed another issue of pretty much just Jason.
    When Ma Gunn and Jason are sitting on the bench at the beginning, I immediately thought of Forest Gump for some reason.
    I really like how the underling yells “Boss! We got a problem up here!” like Black Mask couldn’t tell that something was going on until that moment. It was a little odd that Jason sat on Black Masks’ lap. But I did find the golf clap kind of funny.
    I loved Black Masks’ monologue about Gotham. However, there is no way Black Mask actually intends to leave his empire to Red Hood. If he does, he has to be the dumbest criminal. You don’t just let the guy, with a Bat symbol on is chest who just joined, take over for you.
    I am really excited to learn more about Artemis, Wonder Woman is cool and all, but I’d like to learn more about other Amazonians.

    1. Jim from the Future: I love Jason. In my future, this book just started a new direction

  7. I heard about Batman and Red Hood fighting, but I've been trying to avoid any spoilers!