In this issue of Red Hood and the Outlaws we see our heroes alone and divided. Jason is partly held captive, partly Leading the League of Assassins, Roy is partly at the mercy of, partly doing the bidding of the Untitled and Kori is trying to save Jason and Roy partly from their respective troubles, partly from each other.
This issue ramps up what has been going on in the last few issues and finally starts to make this conflict feel like there are much bigger things at stake. All of the characters motives feel genuine as we move forward. Jason is being told that he has been chosen as the best there is to keep the league of assassins from being defeated. Jason is trying desperately to distance himself from his past and this situation is the last thing he wanted.
Jason’s apprehension to the task is understandable not only because of his wanting to be a good person in the company of killers, but also because he cannot remember how to be the trained killer he once was. Roy, on the other hand, is trying to save Jason. Roy’s only motivation seems to be saving his friend, even if doing so could help the Untitled take out the league of assassins. Roy is very human in this issue, stuck between right and wrong. All he knows is that if he can save Jason, they will sort out the rest.
In this issue Kori and Essence fight for one reason: to advance the plot. This fight is not very long, but it’s such a clichéd plot device that it should have been avoided all together. The forced dialog and “Listen,” “No, you listen” back and forth are not compelling.
Sometimes in a book with a lot going on it’s good to have moments with heavy dialog to make sure all of your readers are on the same page. This book has three main characters and has been on the same arc for three months, as well as an annual. The readers understand what is going on, and more exposition is needless. Additionally, the dialog between Lady Shiva and Cheshire falls between annoying and downright bad.
The Verdict 4/5
Though flawed, this issue picks up speed, and the last page makes the next issue a must-read. Despite its flaws, this is a great book, and the increasingly relatable characters make Red Hood and the Outlaws a worthwhile read.