Red Hood and the Outlaws #24 – Scott Lobdell, Writer; Dexter Soy, Alisson Borges, Artists; Veronica Gandini, Colorist
Ray – 6/10
Ray: Reading this final issue before the big 25th issue, it’s hard to believe that Scott Lobdell has been writing this title semi-consistently since 2011. With brief breaks for runs by James Tynion IV and Will Pfeifer, that’s one of the longest runs in recent DC memory. Red Hood and the Outlaws #24 is the final chapter of a long story that set up a smarter Bizarro and a Jason Todd who seemed to be going straight, but both of those plots come to a tragic end here. Unfortunately, at least in one case, it feels like a massive waste of potential and brings up flashbacks to another, far worse recent DC Comic. The issue opens with a segment featuring an Outlaws team that could be – the core three, plus new members Starfire, Arsenal, and Creeper (plus the tiny Pup Pup, Bizarro’s imaginary friend). They fight evil as a unit, and even pull Jason back from the brink when he’s about to kill the Joker. This, of course, isn’t real – it’s all a simulation being watched by Bizarro as the last remnants of his intellect disappear. I’ve got to say, of all the stories in this title, this one managed to be genuinely affecting.
Soon, though, we’re on to the real world and it’s not nearly as compelling. As Bizarro’s mind slips away, so does his control of the fortress he’s built. Artemis breaks into the base to try to stop it from self-destructing and crashing in the middle of the city, killing thousands, but finds Bizarro barely able to speak coherently anymore. The more important subplot, though, involves Jason as he tracks down Penguin. Jason is in a rage over finding out that his father didn’t abandon the family – he was sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit as part of Penguin’s conspiracy. He ambushes Penguin at a big public event, and proceeds to shoot the criminal in the head, leaving him in critical condition. This, of course, enrages Batman and sets up a big showdown between them next issue for the anniversary. It also tosses years of character development out the window, and while it’s not as egregious a decision as Damian’s decision to shoot Black Mask, it’s still a boring and predictable turn of events. Every time this series seems to be gaining momentum, it always slips away soon after.
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.