Thursday, October 20, 2011

Red Hood and the Outlaws #2


What Happened Previously: (Former dead Robin) Jason Todd a.k.a. the current Red Hood saved Roy Harper/Arsenal with the help of Kory/Starfire. They relaxed at Jasons' safe house on the beach. Fans lost their cool when they learned that Kory had sex with Jason then proceeded to have sex (not within the same time period) with Roy. Jason gets a call from a friend named Essence (who no one else could see), she asks him to investigate the reappearance of "The Untitled" since the All Caste that was supposed to stop it were murdered. Upon arriving he mourns the loss of a woman killed then takes aim as he's attacked by those killed.

Story Title: "Shot Through The Heart--And Who's To Blame?"

Thoughts: Although I was looking forward to this issue I did feel pretty tense reading it because of previous online reactions. I kept thinking "are people going to be pissed with this"? They might be but if they are it's likely because they already formed a opinion of this book. No, what Kory is going through isn't explained yet although Jason does think that she is hiding from the world. She seemed happy enough last issue to be on Earth although she knows people don't want her here. I think it's being implied that she's "hiding" from her other friends and not being as public about her appearances as she used to be to keep off the radar. Kory very pointedly does not travel with the guys either time they go by plane. She also covers up more when their in a limo, I assume because it's a fashionable outfit. The only thing showing is her face, legs and hands.

The most she flirts or mentions anything in a sexual way is when she misunderstands Roy thinking he's using a different sort of slang for Jasons' "buns." Which BTW are impressive in a totally human way. Roy and Jason are actually more sexual in this than she is outside her outfit and a couple mentions of her fling with Roy last issue. I don't mean that in a "they got the hots for each other" sort of way although I suppose you could make a case for Roy crushing on Jason if you wanted to. Kory certain thought he was checking out Jasons' rear. At one point Roy tries to bring something up after Jason shoots down the team idea. The way it's phrased has me wondering if he's asking for a threesome or they had one and refuse to talk about it. Whatever the "300 pound gorilla" in the room is. Kory snaps with Jason likely because Roy keeps pestering them but overall she's very Kory in this. I especially like her laying a comforting hand on Jason when he's grieving.

Jason does make it clear that Kory is not his girl and is free to be with whoever she wants when Roy nags him about it. They have a fun chemistry as Roy won't shut up and Jason quips back. Jason flirts with a flight attendant and I have to say I found it adorable. (The only problem being the panel when the flight attendant leans over to talk to him. She sounds like she's trying to be playfully professional while flirting. You don't do that but leaning over in an empty seat.) Yes he's a flirt but like Roys' "a you" comment last issue it seems Jason doesn't really see himself that highly. He thinks how cute the lady is but it's a good thing for her that their never meet again. When Jason discovers she slipped him a napkin with her number he's startled. The vulnerability displayed really adds to the small touches Lobdell adds to his character growth as well as playing into how Winick wrote him as letting the woman make the move.

Apparently Kory and Roy followed Jason after he found them together. Which was a little confusing but not really important to the plot. He's a bit annoyed with them although he tries to pretend he's not getting fond of them. There's really a lot of growth for Jason within this as he admits that he doesn't have the desire to kill like he used to. Taking down zombie versions of his teachers upsets him. It's a moment that you have to wonder if he also feels for them because he knows what it's like to come back, he even refers to them and himself (prior to the pit) as zombies. When it's over Jason shows them the respect he didn't in the flashbacks.

After learning that the Red Hood saved a village Roy even comments that Jason has a soft side. Granted I think he would have saved people regardless but nice to see someone noticed his efforts. There's also a lesson from his teachers of letting go of his rage that actually shows a real attempt to lead him on the road to redemption that many writers failed to do *cough* Countdown *cough*.

There's new information about the boys. Roy confirms that he doesn't have a good stan
ding in the superhero community. We learn for the first time in text how Jason currently gets his money and the trouble it brings. Confirmation that Jason came back from the dead before going into the pit. The issue ends with Jason accepting Kory and Roys' help.

Did You Notice?: The cover art covered up Jasons' area which was rather eye catching before. You have no idea how hard I'm trying not to make a joke based on his codename.

Roys' baseball cap seems to show that he's anti-Superman. Or at least mad because no one in the JL returns his messages.

The electric wings Jason uses, perhaps a nod to Nightwing having glider wings and now Tim using them. They don't look like the others.

LOTS of information on Jason starting with a link between Lost Days as Talia bringing him to the All Caste to train.

Last issue I wasn't sure if Lobdell was intentionally giving nods to A Death In The Family. This issue it seems impossible that he's not. First he had Jason save a former sidekick stuck in political red tape from a middle eastern country. Now he has a scene that reminded me so much of bit from ADITF that I had to pull out my trade to check. Although the art doesn't match too much there are similar beats. Both have Jason on a plane staring out the window as he ponders. He's in a window seat.

Both have a blond stewardess approach that gives him a non-alcoholic drink (he asks for one in ADITF only to get a coke here he gets a soft drink.) Both have him wearing a suit without a tie but what's interesting is that the colors seem to have changed. ADITF has him wearing a white suit with a black shirt. Here it's a gray suit with a white shirt. Symbolism or me reading too much into it? When asked why he's there he answers "A Death in the Family."

In the draw Jason has his dagger from UTH although he doesn't seem to carry it now.

Say What?: This is the first time it's been said that Jason returned without his soul or that the pit brought it back. Winick did play with the idea that something went wrong but never said what preferring to let the readers guess. Green Arrow also came back without his soul in the old 'verse.

How much time has passed between saving Roy to present? The caption last issue said that it has been three weeks. Which makes sense as Roys' wounds have healed. Here Roy says they were together for three days. Does he mean on the mission?

Why do so many people know his real name? That kind of links back to Bruce Wayne. Not that this wasn't a problem before. Countdown was the worst offender.

Didn't Jason get his helmet last issue? Although that would be a pain to get it and his weapons through customs.

Why does Roy wear a mask if he shows off his tattoo arms all the time?

It's been hinted at with Essence that the All Caste might be more than fighters but is Jason able to do more or see more? Neither Kory or Roy saw Essence and it's unclear if they saw his mentors' ghost. Why did the others turn into

What is the Untitled? Is it a being, a group or something like the 7 sins in Captain Marvel?

This issue was a big improvement. Like I said last time it was spoiled for me and that ruined it some. It reads so different than most of the bat books in a more lighthearted way despite them being anti-heroes and killing when needed. I recall it being said that Dick Grayson didn't become a truly great character until he stepped away from Batman to be with the TT. I think that can happen with Jason, and to an extent Tim. I was blown away but the All Caste design which is like something out of a fairytale compared to Gotham. This feels like spy movie, a buddy comedy and so much more. The characters all work well together, there's tons of plot that makes this book denser, great character development, nods to past canon and action. Glad I kept reading and yes I plan to keep reading.


  1. Looks like a much better book than the last issue. Nice detailing, makes me wanna to at least check out this when it will come out as a TPB later on :P

  2. It was. I think part of the problem with last issue was the phrasing of things that were supposed to expand Starfires' alien race but came off sounding wrong. This was fun and rereading my review I notice there are still a few things I didn't mention. I love it when the creative teams pack so much into an issue, it makes me think I spent my money well.

  3. Great review. I plan on trying to get this next week when I am on my travels. Travel season ends after this week really and I am going to have to make some cuts and that stinks. I enjoyed the first issue and from the sounds will enjoy two.

  4. Hope you like this issue. I already cut Blue Beetle and Captain Atom. Unless SS makes up for the confusing plot it's next and I'm still iffy on whether Animal Man will work for the long run.

  5. Yeah BB got cut for me and my brother cut Mr. Terrific so those are out. SS will probably be cut even though I liked #2 better a ton better than #1. I am enjoying Grifter, but it will probably be a casualty of the budget. I am still undecided about Resurrection Man.

  6. Are you still getting Nightwing? I heard that #2 wasn't as strong as the first issue.

  7. I did pick it up. It wasn't as strong, but I like the set up of where it could go. If that makes sense. I really like the character, especially after him being Batman. I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn't read it, but I wasn't crazy about something that happened in this issue. Felt forced and unnecessary (if you read reviews I am sure you know what I am talking about, if not I can give you my email and I can tell you).

    However, as I have mentioned, no more traveling money as of next month, so I have to make some cuts. I really didn't expect to enjoy Aquaman the way I did so nightwing may be cut, even though I want to know where it is going. Decisions....ugggghhhh. If only I was independently wealthy and could do whatever. :-)

  8. Yeah I heard the details. I understand, I may not get what's happening to Kory but I like the characters and trust Lobdell enough to keep reading past the first issue. It wasn't explained yet but I enjoyed the comic more this issue and hope it will be explained.

    Although I wish some of my other reads were better I'm kind of glad they weren't because of my lack of funds to support a lot of titles.