Red Hood: Outlaw #35 – Scott Lobdell, Writer; Pete Woods, Artist; Rex Lokus, Colorist
Ray – 4/10
Ray: Jason Todd’s long journey to this point has given him a variety of partners, many settings, and a lot of see-sawing from good to evil. Now he’s in charge of the Iceberg Lounge in Gotham, seemingly embracing his destiny as a criminal mastermind but also holding his arch-nemesis Penguin captive. There’s a lot of weird personal stuff in Red Hood: Outlaw right now, including a reunion with his former girlfriend Isabel, who knows most of his dark secrets and tries to get him to embrace his better instincts. He also has a complicated relationship with his muscleman Wingman, whose identity was a mystery until he was unmasked and revealed to be…some dude.
Jason’s now hired him as a bodyguard, but still seemingly doesn’t know his real name. What an odd subplot. There’s also the former villain Suzie Su, who has come to work with Jason along with her sisters and is trying to get him from following down a dark path again.
That dark path would take him back to the All-Caste, the mysterious supernatural cult that he trained with, and his former lover Essence. This subplot dates back to the mostly forgotten James Tynion IV run on the title, one of the few times Lobdell wasn’t writing the book.
Essence is now out for revenge, but she’s not much of a villain. She rants a lot, but ultimately her motivations are vague and her attacks are more by the numbers than anything else. She wields a powerful cursed sword and impales Jason, but because of the complex nature of his character, it backfires and leaves her trapped in the sword, just another trapped villain in his secret prison. But another of Jason’s secrets comes back to haunt him as he returns home to find Penguin released – likely by Bunker, who discovered him last issue. Red Hood: Outlaw #35 is not the worst issue of the series, but it continues to be an odd run with no real defining ideas.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.