Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual #1 Review and *SPOILERS*

Brotherly Love

Written By: Scott Lobdell
Art By: Tyler Kirkham, Arif Prianto, Taylor Esposito
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: August 30, 2017

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

It's annuals week and that means that I don't have a lot to say before this issue because while I would have liked to continue our Smarty-Pants Bizarro story, instead we're about to jump into a one-off that takes place before Red Hood and the Outlaws #12, featuring Nightwing!  Yeah, that sounds like fun and it's so much fun that I just want to point out here something that might not interest anyone but me, but we do see Artemis have the Bow of Ra here and that doesn't really jive with how the normal Red Hood and the Outlaws stories have played out........... but since this issue is a lot of fun, I just wanted to point that out here so I don't have to interrupt the fun for a continuity nitpick......... Well, that and because I didn't have a lot to say at the beginning here.  Let's check out this Annual.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins with Russian bad boy Dimitri getting a hold of the former KGBeast, who's just going by Beast now so that he can take revenge on the Outlaws for making him look like a turd sandwich earlier in this series and once that's established, we move on to Gotham, where Dick Grayson is watching in disbelief as Jason Todd and the rest of the Outlaws have become circus performers.  No, our heroes haven't decided to take on a new profession, they're just undercover since the Russians have come back to Gotham and the Outlaws have traced their movements to this traveling circus.  As for Nightwing's involvement.......... Well, he was a circus performer back in the day and Jason could really use the extra help, but as this issue shows, he really just wanted to spend time with his pseudo big brother......... Which just warms the damn heart and really made me enjoy this issue for the time it spent showing the strained, but loving relationship between Dick and Jason.  

So yeah, this issue has everything you'd want in an Annual issue, Dick telling Artemis stories about a young Jason during his early days as Robin, Bizarro macking on a hottie bearded lady and Jason being emotionally vulnerable in Dick's presence.  All of those warm ooey gooeys don't last though because we have to get to the story at hand, no matter how much we just want to hang out and see these characters bond and it's when this happens that the issue starts falling flat to me until the end because after finding out that Beast had set the Outlaws up to unwittingly find him, the fight is on and on and on until all of our Outlaws are down and looking like they're about to be killed.

In the end, Nightwing shows up and allows our heroes to get the upper hand on Beast and knock his vodka loving ass out........ Which is a really cool moment, but all's well that ends well and as we close this issue out, Jason and Dick seem closer than they've ever been and Bizarro is in love with a bearded lady.

That's it for this issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws and while I loved Tyler Kirkham on art, even though I'm a Dexter Soy-fanatic on this book and loved all of the personal moments between our heroes and their guest star Dick Grayson, the book seriously started taking a nose dive once Beast entered Gotham at the end and we were forced to move away from what was making this issue great to just seeing our heroes get their asses kicked in an extended fight scene.  With that though, we still had a shit load of pages of emotion and humor that really made this Annual fly high in my mind and I hope to see more stories like this (sans Beast) in the future. 

Bits and Pieces:

While the wrap up of this Annual took away from what I was really enjoying about the book, the majority of everything we got here is why I love this series so much.  Scotty Lobdell shows that he knows these characters and cares about them a great deal with the time he spent to make sure that we saw the love in their hearts and the quips in their mouths and to add to all of that, Tyler Kirkham did a hell of a job portraying it all.  



  1. I liked this issue, but there was one that irked me. Lobdell needs to show Jason using martial arts or blades something else, I'm getting tired of Jason shooting guns that he won't aim to kill.shit reminds me of the old Ninja turtles when Leonardo never cuts anything with his swords. Other than that I liked the issue. Eric this an annual so your going to have to turn off your Continuity Powers for this issue. Great it almost like an elseworld story. But I do agree with you on the score this month.

  2. I thought it was fun for an annual. Wish it hadn't been $4.99 but I'm cheap (but bought it anyway so...)

    1. Anytime Nightwing shows up, I'm in! He's better here than in his own book, but the $4.99 sucks...I'm cheap too!

  3. I think this actually takes place before the 'Who is Artemis' arc. Artemis is happy and flirty because she hasn't had to kill her sister again yet, and Bizarro isn't deteriorating.

    As nice as it was to see Jason and Dick being brothers, Artemis seemed uncharacteristic. I kinda think she was flirting with Dick to get info on Jason.

    I can't believe Bizarro is cooking, he must mess up the ingredients.

    1. You could be right, she does just mention Akilas death, but that could be Artemis just talking about the first time she killed Akila with wonder woman and the second time she did it with the Outlaws. Plus we never saw the Bow of Ra this Issue.

    2. Looked like she had it when they were fighting KGBeast

    3. Just reread the fight with kgbeast, and it starts out with Artemis summoning her Axe which is ok, but then if you watch the panels the Axe transforms into a sword, Then transforms into a now with a flaming arrow. I don't think Lobdell has ever shown Artemis Tranforming her Axe, I think this might be a choice made by Kirkham. So I still think the Continuity Kids powers of observation were half right.