Red Hood: Outlaw #42 – Scott Lobdell, Writer; Paolo Pantalena, Artist; Arif Prianto, Colorist
Ray – 7.5/10
Ray: Following the Outlaw Academy story that saw Jason training a host of new supervillains while Artemis and Bizarro were lost in the timestream, things are back to normal in Red Hood: Outlaw #42.
Well, mostly normal for this motley crew of antiheroes. There isn’t much of a plot this issue, just a lot of characters interacting as we see the whole cast of the series interact for the first time. Well, almost the whole cast – Roy Harper’s absence is obviously felt. The best part of this issue is that Jason gets to act like the complex, flawed figure he is for a change. His scenes with Artemis where he discusses Roy and how he feels about Wally actually show some real character growth for the former murder-happy vigilante. The same goes for his conversation with Ma Gunn, as she confesses to her deception about his father. Jason seems almost a little too chill this issue, which makes me wonder if the other shoe is about to drop.
Lobdell’s portrayal of Bizarro continues to intrigue me. Although the flawed clone has lost most of his intelligence, he seems to have maintained his wisdom – he meditates and his broken-english quotes seem oddly profound at times. Doomed, who is in a similar situation with his intelligence going in and out, seems to be forming a bond with him.
The new kids continue to be the weakest part of the series, as they mostly hang around in the background commenting on what’s going on. Babe-in-Arms seems to have nefarious plans for the DNA of her teammates, but the character is so odd that it’s hard to take her seriously as a villain. The ending showing more turns for the Jason/Artemis relationship is handled better than I expected, but I was never really sold on their potential romance. Overall, the best part of this series is the ragtag found-family vibe which seems to be having a good effect on Jason.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.