Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Red Hood: Outlaw #41 Review

About A Boy

Written By: Scott Lobdell
Art By: David Messina, Rex Lokus, Troy Peteri
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: January 1, 2020

Class is in session with Red Hood: Outlaw now that our hero has seen Bizarro and Artemis back from an alternate dimension, but it appeared as if they didn't come back happy because in the previous issue their first act was to knock Jason Todd out.  Beyond that though, The Block seems to be on lock down as Shay Veritas can't be found, while a gaggle of her clones builds some ominous machine and Devour found some creepy boy walking around the complex.  Yeah, there's a lot going on in this book and hopefully this issue makes it all more interesting than it's been.  Let's jump into this issue and check it out.

Right away this issue feels weird as hell because it keeps referencing Red Hood Annual #3 from July, where we were first introduced to the baddie of this book, Vessel.  Ya see, this kid has the ability to talk to the dead and Jason wanted to know if he could get in contact with Artemis and Bizarro, which he couldn't, leading our hero to believe that his friends were still alive.  It was a nice moment from a weird Annual, but here it seems Vessel was kicked out of Red Hood's school because Shay Veritas and him believed that Vessel couldn't be controlled and now the boy is back for revenge........  and with this information....... "See Red Hood: Outlaw Annual #3"......  All the information we're getting about Vessel is really coming from this issue and his power set is even different here than it was, talking about how he has Deadman's power, which he uses to control people's minds it seems....... which doesn't really make much sense.

Yeah, this issue is really off and doesn't make much sense in anything that it's trying to do, but the big deal about this issue beyond a boy we really knew nothing about, who's are big bad here is that Artemis and Bizarro are back and with their return also come Ma Gunn and Pup-Pup...... The Ma Gunn aspect actually adds to what we're going to do with the story going forward, but it felt odd that Artemis seemed to know what Jason was up to in The Block with the kids, no one asked why there was a sentient stuffed animal there and Jason never asked what happened to his friends.  It all just goes to a convoluted plot by Vessel that doesn't go anywhere in the long run and doesn't mean anything by the end of this issue.  

All in all, I love David Messina art this issue and I'm so happy that he's on this book now, but the story is all over the place and barely makes sense when it's not fudging what actually happened previously.  None of the characters feel like themselves and things just happen randomly to just happen, not to mention that power sets are inconsistent and nothing about Artemis or Bizarro's return has any emotional depth.  This is just a weird series anymore and I hope now that these two are back that something can happen to make this series special again because right now it's just a mess.

Bits and Pieces:

While it's great that Artemis and Bizarro are back now, nothing about that actually matters this issue, while the story instead becomes about a character that none of us really know, even though the editor's notes keep suggesting a story was previously there.  I love the art here, but the story was just a mess and I can only hope that things can pick up now that Jason has his two besties back, but I won't hold my breath. 


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