Red Hood and the Outlaws gets off to solid start
Scott Lobdell is clearly well suited to handle an entertaining Red Hood title. The verdict is still out whether that extends to the rest of the Outlaws. Until then, it’s best to just sit back and enjoy Red Hood’s solo outing in a team book.
The Outlaws already seem like an odd collection of characters. Bizarro and Artemis hardly seem like natural fits for a team-up book, which is part of the intrigue of the title. After devoting the Red Hood and the Outlaws Rebirth chapter to resetting Jason Todd, it seemed a given Lobdell would immediately start getting the team together.
Instead, Lobdell is patiently letting the story unfold. The original title never managed escape the feel of it being about a trio of randomly tossed together characters with nothing better to do. To his credit, Lobdell is taking the time to create a sensible reason for this Dark Trinity to become a team.
It helps that Lobdell writes a snappy Red Hood. The Batman family ‘outcast’ was never as good as Dick, as smart as Tim or a direct descendant like Damien. He’s the never good enough member of the Robin clan and Lobdell has given him a sturdy chip on his shoulder. Hood might have an excessive attitude, but from that perspective, he’s a very relatable character.
This issue largely focuses on Red Hood infiltrating The Black Mask’s gang. Black Mask is in the midst of a major power play and Red Hood will need all his talents to put down Gotham’s new kingpin. And maybe get some teammates in the process. Black Mask is a fitting adversary for Red Hood so it’ll be interesting if Lobdell makes him the long term series villain or just the initial foe.
Dexter Soy’s art fits the title’s noir-ish feel very well. Veronica Gandini’s colors are a strong compliment with the grey and red tones in the flashbacks making a nice contrast to the current day events.
So far the journey has been worth the ride. Whether the destination will be worth it is still unclear, but so far this is yet another Batman family book that is solidly delivering.
Rating: 8 out of 10