Red Hood and the Outlaws: Rebirth #1 review

Outlaws Rebirth features strong character spotlight on Red Hood

While Bizarro and Artemis are the new duo joining Red Hood we don’t get a peep out of them. Red Hood and the Outlaws Rebirth issue is focused on resetting Jason Todd aka the Red Hood and his role in the Bat family. On that front the issue delivers. There’s no mention of Starfire, Joker’s Daughter or even longtime running mate Arsenal. For readers of the previous incarnation of the group, this issue almost feels like writer Scott Lobdell is sweeping that run under the rug like it was a Grant Morrison X-Men run.

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Red Hood revisits his past while moving forward with a new agenda putting him in conflict with Batman. For a Red Hood solo series this was a fantastic starting point. A long-term mission is clearly established, Jason’s personality and major character footnotes are smartly introduced. By the end of the issue, Lobdell lets readers inside Jason’s head clearer possibly than ever before.

You couldn’t ask for a better jumping on point to this new direction of the Red Hood. The big problem is Red Hood and The Outlaws is a team book. His new teammates – Bizarro and Artemis — don’t even make a cameo. Given the nature of Red Hood’s mission, Bizarro and Artemis make for particularly unlikely allies, but we’ll have to wait for the series kickoff to watch that come into play.

Even if there was no interaction between the trio, Lobdell should have worked Bizarro and Artemis into the issue to some degree. As it stands it’s hard to imagine why Red Hood would need them or why DC isn’t just doing the Red Hood title Lobdell is clearly capable of handling.

Red Hood and the Outlaws Rebirth 1 page 5

Dexter Soy’s artwork is an interesting anime meets noir style. That’s further aided by colorist Veronica Gandini limiting the Jason flashbacks to grey and reds. It’s hard to gauge how this title will be, but the foundation is set for what could be a pleasant Rebirth surprise.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Image Credit: DC Comics

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