Review: RED HOOD: OUTLAW #37
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Kenneth Rocafort
Colors: Steve Firchow
Letters: ALW’s Troy Peteri
Reviewer: Tony Farina
Red Hood has been tasked by Lex Luthor to train up a new band of super villains. This issue revolves around Jason learning their powers while trying to train them up.
Babe In Arms: Literally a genius baby who controls a Mummy/Zombie Mother body thing.
Cloud 9: Human female who can dissipate and turn into clouds.
DNA: Binary shape shifter maybe not human.
Devour: Human male who eat things and then project them.
Dr. Shay Veritas: Smartest woman in the world. Scientist. Friend of Superman
Meanwhile, Artemis and Bizarro are stuck in the middle of nowhere. Bizarro has grown a beard and does yoga. Really.
Few people can insert just the right amount of humor into a super hero comic like Scott Lobdell. His long relationship with Jason Todd makes everything work perfectly. We never count Jason out because he always has a zinger in his back pocket. Notice on the big splash page where the new team is introduced, Cloud 9 winks at Jason, who is “sitting” where we are sitting because we have the POV of the new team. Jason says, “Yeah, don’t ever do that again.” The way this story interacts with the reader is special. Part of that is due to the fact that Steve Firchow’s colors jump off the page.The other part of it is that Jason seems grounded and real. He is a back from the dead anti-hero who just wants to save some people and so some good. Lobdell humanizes him in a way that makes him likeable and easy to root for.
There is a lot of action here too and Rocafort makes all of these insane movements seem perfectly natural. At no point does anything that happens in this book seem unreal. There is a panel where Devour shoots a missile through Cloud 9’s head. It is both over the top crazy and perfectly rationale. Also, there art two, poster worthy splash pages. That is always a winner.
I don’t actually understand the outfit worn by Dr. Veritas. I understand it is cannon, but keep in mind, Red Hood was dead for years and that was cannon too until it wasn’t. Lobdell and Rocafort created her back in 2012 and the outfit didn’t make sense then either. She is a Doctor. The smartest woman on earth. Why is she wearing long sleeves, a cape and yet her shirt seems to be ripped and glued to her body in some way so that it just covers her. It seems a bit impractical for a doctor to need a superhero costume or that costume. Lex never wears just a loin cloth does he?
If you have not picked up a Red Hood: Outlaw book before, this is the perfect time to start. The old team is trying to get home, the new team looks to be a hot mess but what else would you expect from a band of outlaws? Plus, there are jokes, lots of action and a cliffhanger ending.