Lobdell returns to the book but will he fall into the same pitfalls as the last two writers?
NOT SO NEW SPOILERS AHEAD
I like the narration on page one and I don't. On the one hand this is the first time Jason's really sounded like himself in this title since Lobdell left. The only thing I don't like is Jason saying/thinking (whatever narration boxes are supposed to be) that Roy's got the "imagination of his once alcohol drenched brain." Yeah the point is to say Roy's ideas are a little crazy but it feels a little too mean to mention past addictions like that. What I like about Jason's thoughts (we'll just call the boxes that) is that it feels like he still struggles with this friend thing. Not that he doesn't like it just that he feels like he needs some space. He doesn't care about Roy's plan and Roy's trying to impress him.
We get another new detail about Jason which is that one of the reasons he doesn't respect terrorists is that he sees them as bullies rallying behind a slogan. At least supervillains do their own work. I gave this some thought and yeah that line of thinking does work for Jason's character. He's someone that always had to work hard and usually does it without any help. The only such insight into the leads I recall the other writers adding was Tynions' work. I think I made my feelings on that interpretation clear.
I guess this is also the first time Jason has killed in awhile as it's been unclear for some time. Also unclear if Jason was just joking about the nuke not being a bad thing. Naturally this is a job for Kori. Much to the boys amazement she literally kicks it. While she stops it from actually exploding Jason thinks how they differ since he would seek vengeance against the slavers that tormented her if he had been in her position. Having stopped DC (Washington that is) from blowing up the man in the hologram Roy had interacted with is furious and demands information on the trio. I'm not sure how I feel about this guy, I'm not even sure what he is. Sort of a old cyborg?
Once their all on the ground Kori celebrates by kissing Roy who tells her that they have to be sensitive. Since Isabel left Jason's alone but Kori doesn't buy it. She flies up to Jason to deliver a kiss much to Roy and his confusion. When Jason asks what's up she tells him that its a reminder that he's never alone. The three of them have each other. Although Roy would have phrased it differently he agrees. Jason appreciates it because he never had many friends before. The tender moment is cut short as their knocked out by a magnetic pulse. Before passing out Jason catches a glimpse of someone--Crux--who hasn't been seen in awhile. Not since #7 I believe. Waking up Jason tells Kori and Roy that no one took them prisoner since they have their weapons.
Actually it wasn't Crux but rather Man-Bat who apparently works for Shade. He shrugs off them stealing the ship, wishes they hadn't gotten involved in fighting terrorists and asks for help. Something crashed into a space station and they want Kori to tell them what it is. Ray Palmer tells her the message is for saying she is their final hope. They give her a moment alone but something inside the vessel causes her to scream and rush off.
Overall: I think the last time I got a comic with RB Silva was Superboy. The art is good I just think it misses showing when things happen. Like Roy behind glass with his arrows then suddenly dead bad guys with no glass around. He actually looks pretty sinister in the last panel. Although extra credit for showing Jason putting the helmet back on for a better transition. The art duties go back to Sandoval and it kind of threw me off to see the different style. I'm still not thrilled with that version of the helmet.
I was hoping for Crux but this makes the previous arc gel better. This was a decent issue, not Lobdells' best but certainly an improvement. I did wonder what ticked people off about this issue and I still wonder. The cover I already heard about but I thought there was a problem inside. I do worry given what's been stated in a interview and solicits that the story will go in a direction I fear. Kori is supposed to have some secret Bob Harris told Lobdell about that shocked him. Then Jason and her are apparently going to get hooked on drugs. I also wonder if any of that or a possible relationship between them will lead to the Futures' End tie in. I hope not.
But back to the issue there wasn't anything that really upset me even if a few things irked me a little. I especially enjoyed the scene where they bonded to let Jason know they were there for him. Since a lot of readers online seem to see this group as a threesome and Roy as having a crush on Jason his reaction was hilarious. Honestly I saw images of the kisses and editing of speech bubbles (only to cut out sections) and the comments act like Roy is totally down for a three way. He made it clear in this that he didn't approve of Kori phrasing it to sound like that and said they were all going to their own beds. You know Lobdell knows about the shipping but I would have thought he would have teased it. Still, none of the leads were useless which was a plus.
Questions Raised?: How did Jason pop out of the terrorist guise in his own costume? I know he's capable of doing that like most bats but the art doesn't show how he did it. I see no mechanical suit or illusion. Just in his costume in the next page finishing the sentence he said in his last panel in disguise.
What did Jason do to get so many agencies mad at him? Was it something we've seen or something not shown? Jason claims he's mostly innocent. It also seems the title IS what people call the group.
Roy really thinks it's a good idea to refer to Jason by his first name in the field?
Did anyone see Jason take his helmet off? Seriously not much time has passed since he was Bruce's Robin. Wouldn't someone make the connection?
What is the deal with the hologram Roy talks to? Is it a old character? Is it racist like Roy says? I can't tell in the art but if it's new isn't Lobdell saying his character is racist?
Say What ?: Jason mentions maybe killing Joker, Penguin or Poison Ivy when comparing them to terrorists. In UTH he says he'd be fine with letting people like Penguin go compared to Joker. Poison Ivy feels so-so, normally I'd say she wouldn't be on the list either but Jason did say terrorist disgust him. Ivy is a eco-terrorist, right?
The nod to the internet and users. #ahem#
More confirmation on the state of Kori and Jason's relationship. Jason said he had a chance to be with her but they decided to just be friends. Normally the friendzone comment would annoy me since that's not who Jason is. Friendzone is usually used by guys that complain that a girl won't go out with him and are frustrated by it. The reason I'm not upset here is because he said they both decided to be friends and he's happy for Roy and her.
Did You Notice?: No face on the helmet but a bat on Jason's buckle.
The images on the screens of the Outlaws are from last issue.