Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Red Hood/Arsenal #1

Two of the Outlaws start their new book and might find a new direction in life.


Much like the start of RHATO it begins with Roy only he's in higher spirits. Sure he's feeling a little lonely but it's not as bad as getting ready to be executed. He's on a job now trying to help out Tara Battleworth a powerful woman from Washington. The problem is...Battleworth won't talk to Roy, she wants to talk to his "boss" the Red Hood. Since Jason isn't there Roy just lets her know her current meeting isn't going to end well and she should leave. She hangs up on him and continues with the exchange for a C.I.A. agent. Since Roy was right the bad guys change the plan leading to kicking ass. At least until someone else mentions how odd it is to see him without Red Hood. This distracts him enough to not get to the senator in time. 

Battleworth gets used as a hostage forcing Roy to lower his weapon and the senator shoots the hell out of him. Also like the first issue Jason disguises himself as an old man. Before it sounded like Roy didn't know where Jason was but Jason makes it sound like Roy decided to strike out on his own after the "break up" with Kori. Roy claims he just needed time to himself which Jason counters so does Kori. They get to keep the briefcase of money for what they did with an offer if they want to go legit. Jason doesn't want to but Roy knows he can talk him into it. Which he does.

Overall: The humor and timing was well done in this issue. I like that Jason not only defended Kori but that he understood both her and Roys' thought processes. This puts him in a fairly mature role since he looks out for Roy and points out he's not acting reckless. At least not in this case. Roy has had these ideas in RHATO like stopping the terrorist plot that didn't impress Jason. I did like that Red Hood was seen as a big name and that while it annoyed Roy he didn't get overly pissy over it. I did think it would be cool to see the Outlaws redeemed some in the eyes of the law so this idea does have merit even though the Heroes for Hire thing is something I'm waiting to see play out. 

The art worked well in conveying the more visual jokes as well as the action scenes. Fortunately the colorist also has corrected the coloring on Jason's uniform. It looks better than it did in the Sneak Peek.

I liked seeing the character development between the guys. Roy wouldn't have been this distant in RHATO but is because he feels rejected. Likewise Jason knows his friends didn't leave because of him and makes sure to watch Roys' back. This time he's the one telling him to stop feeling sorry for himself. Excellent issue, the best comic I've read in awhile.

Did You Notice?: Jason shot one guy 27 times?

Say What?: Not that I expected much shared canon given the direction of Starfire but Roy claims not to know where Kori went. In the Starfire Sneak Peek she asked him where she could live. So he'd at least have an idea what she was doing. Still it's sad that he doesn't know where she went which makes it sound like she's avoiding her friends.

Guys stop using you're names and nicknames in front of the government lady!

I guess Roy likes his FBI file since he didn't erase it just changed the details a little.


  1. Was fantastic isn't it?

    We were promised a "romcom with action" and Lobdell keep his word.

    Is very interesting to see the parallels to RHATO's 1st issue that Lobdell put here (Jason helping Roy, the disguise) and how different are the reactions of the boys to them. Both Roy and Jason have come a long way since then.

    I liked Battleworth, because despite being billed as a hugely powerful negotiator she's still gets baffled at the boys' actions, creating a nice foil. It helps that she's very reasonable.

    The art was great, Medri's style blended perfect with the tone Lobdell was aiming for and he added some really impressive panels (like the red and black one) that made the issue a visual treat.

    The best thing though, is that the issue has been well received for the most part, giving a bright outlook for the title's future.

    The critics and naysayers keep being as enygmatic as ever, since people who was expecting a pre N52 Roy for some reason, to those complaining about queerbaiting in the dynamic of the boys'.

    Different strokes I guess

  2. I did enjoy it from a meta standpoint.

    I like Battleworth to and hope she sticks around or at least appears more often. It sounds like she'll go away after they find their footing. To have someone in power see them as more than Outlaws and offer more is oddly refreshing. Mostly because they get crap from most heroes.

    Medri was great, I laughed outloud at Roys' phone image and like the movement he gave Roy. I'd like to see Jason do more Robin like moves in the future but pretty solid.

    It is? I've only read the Facebook page, the CBR messageboard and a couple tumblr comments from RHATO fans. I did see one queer baiting comment but it's for one sarcastic comment Roy makes. It's not like the whole issue was spent with them hinting at a "will they won't they" plot.

  3. Now that you mentions it, Battleworth is the first character to not understimate the boys. Everyone else either tries to aprehend them or dismiss them for some reason ot another. Tara on the other hand inmediately acknowledges their worth and tries to get on their good side. Funny, when I read the solicits I thought she would be another shady government stooge.

    Medri's work is very stilized but works phenomenally for action scenes. He has a sample page where Jason is jumping from a building. The perspective and level of detail put in the background is fantastic. An interesting thing I noticed is that for the first time since the start of the N52 Roy looks older than Jason. A neat detail that no one else has put attention to it.

    It breaks my heart that the harshest critics are aimed at Medri,

    As usual. the naysayers are the loudest but I've seen more praise than critics for the issue. Everyone agrees that small self-contained stories are Lobdell's forte.

  4. The solicits do make her sound like someone who has them under her thumb. It makes me wonder if that connection will be used with Mecha Batman. It could take time to be seen as legit but if a government agent vouches for them there's very little Gordon could do. It'd be neat to see some reactions in the superhero community.

    I know the sample shot you mean, I have it saved. It varies with artist, I recall someone who worked with Tynion that made resurrected Jason look the same age as Red Hood Jason.

    Same. I keep wondering what their talking about since I see nothing wrong with his work. Yet I see praise for Starfires' art like that's all that matters. Argh!

    True. His best work with the Marvel usually dealt with emotional moments or heroes during downtime. One shot stories. Not to say he could do more but like with DC it was obvious when the editors decided to end something. I remember hearing spoilers for one issue of X-Men and thinking it wouldn't be affected since I knew what would happen. I was. You can see some of that in RHATO like the cherished memory.

  5. Tara being a recurrent character would open a lot of doors for great interactions with the DCU at large. I wouldn't mind for her to become the Charlie to Roy and Jason's angels, so to speak.

    Looking around a bit it seems that the issue people has with Medri is that his style reminds people of a cartoon and thus is bad. This baffles me because Batgirl is being lauded by its artwork and Tarr's style is even more cartoony than the usual. In fact, it would seem more at home with Archie than DC. So yeah, haters gonna hate.

    In general the critics against the book are very biased, people loves to complaint about the caption boxes Lobdell uses but aside of making sense for the characters he's no worse than Snyder. Batman sometimes is a drag to read due Snyder love of wordy caption boxes.

    Lobdell being great for emotional moments is what it makes him perfect for Roy and Jason if you ask me. They are characters that truly shine when you focus on their mind and emotional state rather than their actions.

  6. It sounds like she'll just get them started before they begin working for themselves. Still it'd be cool if she kept turning up or spreads positive accounts of them. Unless of course she gets pissed off at them later on.

    Pretty much. Not liking the designs, fine. But there's nothing wrong with the art and it works well with the story. At least the heroes don't look like their 12.

    The caption box complaint is funny because I recall a recent comment that "everyone" uses caption boxes to explain who the heroes are. That's a petty complaint since he doesn't even write big dialogue boxes. Snyder, Tynion, I've seen both of them writing pages with them.

    I don't care what anyone says Lobdell writes the best Jason. He actually developed him in a way no one else has come close to doing. Too many writers label Jason as a street punk and write him stereotypically. Like he's crass or violent with everyone. I wish more people read how he was as Robin and not the retcons. Roys' good too but Jason has fewer writers that get him.

  7. Exactly! Lobdell is the best thing has happened to Jason. For the first time since he was resurrected Jason has a direction and has found a place on the DCU. I'm hoping Lobdell is willing and allowed to acknowledge the fact it has been 10 years since Jason's resurrection. Is amazing to see how Jason has gone from a one note villian to a legitimate member of the batfamily.

    Anyways, check Medri's gallery There's some stuff I haven't seen on his Devianart that are very impressive. The helmet designs are pretty neat and those pictures from the sneak peek really shown how much of a difference a good colorist makes.

  8. You mean like an anniversary issue? Yep, Morrison was kind of lazy with his off panel Wingman redemption while Lobdell actually earned it.

    I'll have to check it out, thanks!