Review: Red Hood and the Outlaws #6

by Tony Farina
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[Editor’s note: This review may contain spoilers.]

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Dexter Soy
Inker: Veronica Gandini

This represents the end of the first story arc, aptly titled “Dark Trinity.” In this issue, Red Hood and Artemis figure out how to beat Black Mask and break the mind control he has on Bizarro. Great news everyone! The answer is violence – and a lot of it. As long as Roman is focused on fighting Jason and Bizarro is fending off Artemis’ attacks, the link will fry. Good plan. I am sure nothing will be broken. At the end of this issue, Jason and Bruce hug it out and we see a future villain at work. Who is the future villain? Who knows. We only see his hands and a fuzzy LexCorp badge.

Scott Lobdell is one funny guy. I kept saying that the humor that was Roy’s is now Jason’s but really, it is all Lobdell. Everyone gets a crack at the funny in this book. Even Bruce laughs. Seriously. It is kind of creepy. I get that humor is not really why people read comic books anymore, but Gotham needs some comic relief. Part of what makes Jason the Red Hood and not Robin is that he is not like Bruce at all. He wears guns, lets people suffer, does horrible things and – most importantly – he has a sense of humor. It is real. Bruce fakes his way around in his normal life, but Batman is who he is. Jason and the Red Hood are the same people. They are angry, they are full of vengeance and they are funny. Thanks for giving us everything we want Mr. Lobdell. We can all use a good laugh and I can say that I have laughed at least once in each issue of this new run.

Dexter Soy is the perfect artist for this book. He knows how to capture the frenetic energy that pours off these characters, plus, he manages to capture the humor in just the right facial expression. His splash pages are always poster worthy and his backgrounds always have something to see. Seriously, when you are done reading this book, just go back, panel by panel, and see what you missed. Did you do it? Go. I’ll wait…Pretty amazing isn’t it?

Normally I do not spend a lot of time on the cover but seriously, take a look at that cover. Not only is is beautiful artistically, but there is so much being conveyed. Bizarro’s face is priceless. He is like your favorite nephew. You know, you love him and think he is totally adorable, but you are glad he doesn’t live with you because he causes all kinds of trouble even when he doesn’t mean to. The call back to the way that Jason becomes Robin in the first place by stealing the tires off the Batmobile is a nice touch. Great job by Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith and Dean White. That is perfect.

While I like Bizarro, I can see how he could be grating after a while. Lobdell is going to have to walk a tight rope on this to make sure his “Me not sure” stuff does not wear thin.

Batman laughs. Can people handle that? I can, but I am not sure it is for everyone.

Red Hood and the Outlaws is just what the Rebirth era needs. It is action packed. The characters are flawed. There are jokes. It is beautifully drawn and it has a ton of potential. I really wish this was a bi-weekly like a lot of the other titles.

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