Red Hood: Outlaw #33 – Scott Lobdell, Writer; Pete Woods, Artist; Rex Lokus, Colorist
Ray – 4/10
The Lobdellverse is a strange and confusing place, with its own sense of continuity and a very odd sense of time. Lobdell has been writing this property on and off with almost eight years now, with two short breaks for other writers, and he has a whole host of subplots he can pull out at any time to come back to. The problem is, for the rest of us this makes the title have a lot of strange whiplash. Aside from the occasional references to things like Roy’s death, it seems to exist in its own world. I should have been surprised to see the All-Caste return suddenly after years without a single reference, but I wasn’t at all. That’s just the kind of thing that happens here. Then there’s the ongoing plot, which has Jason running the Iceberg Lounge while keeping Penguin in a small prison in his own office. The weird parallel to Bat-kids running secret prisons, this at least allows for some fun snarky banter between Red Hood and Penguin.
Jason’s attempts to run the casino with the help of Bunker meet an unexpected snag in Red Hood: Outlaw #33 with the arrival of Isabel, his flight-attendant ex from the early issues of the New 52 run. Like I said, a constant streak of random returns from years back. She and Jason are reconnecting when the building is rocked by an explosion.
Under attack by the Penguin’s gang of minions known as The Five Aces (one of whom is working for the All-Caste), Jason spends most of the issue fighting their leader while the Su sisters battle the rest. This book is at the same time oddly ambitious and oddly senseless – it throws plot points at you fast, then forgets them almost as easily. Its characterization of Jason seems to zigzag back and forth, and the title still hasn’t done anything interesting with Bunker (although he’s a lot less stereotypical than he was in his original appearances). Just an odd curiosity of a book with no real direction.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.