Finally writing about an ongoing series. Took long enough!
Once I get into the swing of things, catch up on a few series, I’ll probably do posts where I talk about more than one series. But we’ll see. I know this time will be different since it’s the first time discussing Red Hood.
Before getting into spoilers, as mentioned before, Red Hood is my favorite comic book character. First read the New 52 version of Red Hood and the Outlaws and have been reading everything else he’s been in since then.
If you’re looking to get more on his back-story, you need to read Death in the Family and Under the Red Hood. He was of course the second Robin, so some may be more familiar with him them. I know he wasn’t exactly the best Robin. Probably third on the list, only ahead of Damian Wayne, though most claim he’s THE worst.
But coming back from the dead has a way of changing people.
And if you didn’t already know the blog was named after this Red Hood series . . . well . . . no you do, I guess. If you don’t know why, shame on you. But it has to do with the Trinity Rebirth series.
Alright, if you’re not caught up on the Rebirth of Red Hood and the Outlaws (issue 16 came out this week) and you don’t want anything spoiled, I suggest you save the rest of this post for another day.
Now I loved the Arsenal-Stafire Outlaw storyline, but I guess that was as well received? Don’t get that, but fine. Needless to say, I came into this series expecting A LOT. I ran through the New 52 outlaws in a flash – pun not intended.
Also, Superman’s alright in my book, I’ve never had the slightest desire to read his books. So why would I want to read about frigin Bizarro? Seemed like a terrible replacement for Roy Harper, absolutely terrible. The change from Starfire to Artemis wasn’t as bothersome, though there isn’t as much information out there about this Amazon in comparison to the others.
Despite my skepticism, this series has not disappointed. Red Hood is a bit more seasoned in this series, so he handles the relationship differently. Either way, he’s always awesome, especially when Scott Lodbell’s writing.
But his companions have been a nice change. Not that I wouldn’t like for Arsenal and Starfire to come back, but Artemis is a total bad ass. More bad ass than either of Jason’s old teammates. Honestly think it’d be interesting to see her, Red Hood and a combination or either Starfire or Arsenal.
Bizarro’s been better than expected, too. He’s obviously the strongest Outlaw of the bunch, but there’s only so much to him. I get there’s more to him than words, but that’s only so entertaining. He’s a limited character. That being said, he’s been the best he can be in those limits. The bond he shares with Jason and Artemis is what drives his every move, and gives him some depth, despite his dull mind.
Well “dull” wouldn’t be the best way to describe him, not anymore I guess, thanks to Lex Luthor and his discovery with the Kryptonite.
But know he’s got his teammates working with scum of the Earth Amanda Waller? Really don’t know how this gets spun.
But back to the whole “brilliant” Bizarro. Obviously the whole thing’s temporary, but it seems like his elaborate brain is going to get them into further trouble, even more than working alongside the Suicide Squad.
Lodbell’s clearly trying to give Todd’s supporting characters a deeper background, with an earlier stretch of books being devoted to Artemis’s and who she was before the group. Smart move by him. Starfire received similar treatment, but we’ve heard for them both fairly frequently over the years.
The story is obviously most reliant on Jason Todd though, and he’s become a very adaptable character. My one thing I want from him though, don’t turn to soft on me. We already have a great, regular human being hero who refuses to kill anyone. You’re an outlaw. Once you stop worrying about plans with Batman, you’d better get back to your ways.
Regarding the artwork and action, they’ve been strong throughout the series, the art of course having it’s own unique properties. Having read most of Deathstroke, Nightwing and Green Arrow, and starting Flash and Constantine (Hellblazer) soon, it’s amazing how art can impact the quality of a series.
Of course all these artists are talents, but certain approaches fit certain characters differently, something that we’ll get into another time.
Of the four DC titles I’ve been reading, Red Hood and the Outlaws is obviously my favorite. It’s a quick and easy read, but still has an immense amount of substance.