Red Hood: Outlaw #34 – Scott Lobdell, Writer; Pete Woods, Artist; Rex Lokus, Colorist
Ray – 6/10
Ray: I’m a bit surprised by how heavily Red Hood: Outlaw #34 is leaning on the James Tynion era of this title – notably the only time Lobdell wasn’t writing it in an eight-year history. Jason Todd’s time with the All-Caste after his resurrection and escape from the League of Assassins is a plot that was one of the most interesting things in this book and could use more exploration, and the opening segment where he faces off against a Lovecraftian demon using a magic sword to rescue captured children hints at an intriguing version of this series that could have been.
Alas, I’m not actually sure what the point of this segment is besides reminding us of the All-Caste because assassin Essence is returning to torment Jason soon. It’s just a brief opening segment, but it has more energy than the rest of the series, which is mostly just Jason doing generic crime lord things while trying to maintain some semblance of a civilian life.
I’ve talked a lot about how this book takes place in the “Lobdellverse”, where it has little connection to the rest of the universe but casually pulls back in topics from six years ago. That’s the case with Jason’s renewed romance with flight attendant Isabel, who seems unconcerned by his ultra-violent past and heads on a brief trip with him to Paris.
Of course, in classic romantic comedy style, he has to balance his date and a promise of a fresh start with business – in this case, shaking down the leadership of Europe’s five deadliest gangs with drone warfare. Wingman, the series’ biggest mystery, has been reduced to a brief voice-over scene once he was unmasked as…some dude. Bunker, meanwhile, finds out about Jason’s secret prison for Penguin and sets up a confrontation next issue. This is better than most recent issues, but it feels like a tease for a better series at points.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.