James Tynion IV and Julius Gopez’s run on Red Hood and the Outlaws is drawing to a close, and issue 26 offers several outstanding moments that brings the arc to a climax. The plot continues to thicken as Tynion delivers huge surprises in the story as well as emotional scenes between the team of heroes.
The story that Tynion is delivering is a great one, and this issue was probably his best thus far. It’s truly great to see a writer continue to up their game with each and every issue that they write, and that’s exactly what James Tynion is doing here. He is proving that he has the ability to write outstanding comics without the guidance of Scott Snyder. If Tynion continues to deliver in next month’s finale to this arc, he will solidify himself as one of DC’s premier writers.
In “Remembering”, we see Jason Todd come to understand what, and who, he is meant to be. His recognition that his past made him the man he is, and that he and his friends truly are heroes, are two key moments to the development of his character that drive home the big points Tynion has been focusing on since the start of his run. This issue was the payoff for the development Tynion has been fostering, and it was executed incredibly well.
Gopez delivers a couple of thoroughly enjoyable pages in the issue, especially the double spread page where Jason’s memories come flooding back to him. Art like that is awesome to see, and is undoubtedly complimented by the work of the colorist Nei Ruffino. Gopez’s other success was in his startlingly evil, extremely green rendition of Ra’s Al Ghul.
Gopez’s art seems to be all over the place at times. For the most part, it’s a strange system of rectangular panels that never quite fit together and seem very disorganized. The artist occasionally throws in some interesting and exciting pages here and there, but those said pages could not outweigh the chaos caused by most of the paneling. Also, the final large splash page feels over the top and out of place. Comic books, in general, have the tendency to end with large images to entice the reader and end the issue with a bang, but that method does not always work. In this instance, the creative team failed to deliver a believable, exciting image of Jason preparing for battle.
The issue has several successes that will hopefully lead up to a fulfilling finale to Tynion’s story arc. An emotional, exciting story mixed with mediocre art ends up being a pretty darn good comic.