Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual #1
If for no other reason this is an annual worth picking up for Scott Lobdell’s take on Nightwing and Red Hood’s relationship. Since Rebirth the theme has been their relationship is much closer to brothers than Robin and Robin II.
To get the two together, Lobdell comes up with a simple and workable explanation — the circus is in town and Red Hood needs Nightwing’s help. The Outlaws will need it as the former KGBeast is heading to town looking for a hidden weapons depot. I dug how Lobdell tied this issue to an earlier storyline in Detective Comics.
This is an annual so it’s not deep with no real strong ties to ongoing storylines. But sometimes an annual just having a cheap throwaway story is enough. Especially when it’s this much fun. The Outlaws help Red Hood get over much of his communication issues with Nightwing and get a taste of circus life. Lobdell works in a nice circus-theme subplot for Bizarro.
Tyler Kirkham handles the art here. Besides falling into the same trap as many artists in making Nightwing and Red Hood look too similar, his work is solid. Kirkham has gotten the opportunity to draw many of DC’s heavy hitters and his well rounded experience is helping him overall. There’s still some weak spots with panel layouts and staging action sequences, but his work definitely shows signs of improvement.
Is this a must-read? No, but for fans of Nightwing and Red Hood & the Outlaws this was an enjoyable and well paced read.
Rating: 8 out of 10