Red Hood: Outlaw #45 – Scott Lobdell, Writer; Paolo Pantalena, Artist; Arif Prianto, Colorist
Ray – 5/10
Ray: It’s been a long time since we got an issue of Scott Lobdell’s extremely long-running team book, Red Hood: Outlaw, but it seems the run is coming to an end with #50 per comments on social media.
Will Jason be spun off into another team book, or get a new creative team? Time will tell, but the bigger issue right now is how the book will come to an end. When we last left off, the core trio of Jason, Artemis, and Bizarro had infiltrated the country of Qurac to stop Jason’s old cult the Untitled from infecting the world. Captain America pastiche General Glory recruited them for the mission and is along for the ride, but doesn’t really do much except get infected and turn into some sort of tentacle zombie. That’s really the big problem with the A-plot this issue – it’s just the heroes shooting a lot of mindless monsters that erupt out of other people and yelling about what they’re doing in between action.
The B-plots are more interesting, as there’s a particularly intense battle between Artemis and the vicious Essence, who’s possessing Jason’s ex-girlfriend. The new kids are mostly relegated to one scene, where their new instructors Monsieur Mallah and the Brain look over their profiles and assess their potential and their threat level. Ma Gunn and these two misfit villains are fun, but the new kids have never made much of an impression.
The highlight of this jam-packed and jumbled issue is the art by Paolo Pantalena, which makes a big impression particularly in a couple of double-page spreads. Towards the end there’s a huge change in setting that reveals the identity of the final villain of the series, which might hint that Jason’s old cult has major ties with a former Teen Titan who hasn’t appeared in a little while. This book has gone on so long that I’m sort of excited to see how Lobdell pulls it all together, but he’ll need more focus than Red Hood: Outlaw #45 shows.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.