Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Red Hood and the Outlaws #2 Vol. 2

We left off with an introduction to another lead and the promise of a fight. BTW not reading the preview was killing me.


When you think about Jason having another team it's natural to compare it to his previous one. Now it's too early to get too in depth but we can comment on how he met the members. Jason met Roy Harper when they were both sidekicks. Koriand'r saved his life. They were understanding and that allowed him to open up. Their meetings were under positive circumstances with someone being saved. When Jason meets Artemis when he's under cover and the two are prepared to take the other down.

Instead of continuing where we left off the story picks up with Artemis thinking of her past. How she was always told she would be the champion of the Amazons. When she choses a weapon Nephthys thinks she hasn't earned yet Artemis is cast out. Back to the present she and Jason talk a little instead of just starting a fight. Since Jason is still acting undercover he claims Black Mask is his boss which doesn't sit right with Artemis especially since she thinks the weapon is the bow she wanted. Something which can do a lot of damage. Knowing he can't talk himself out of this he attacks.

Artemis isn't impressed with men with guns. The power she shows is impressive and happily Jason still has an ace up his sleeve. Just the fact Bruce admitted they can't be the strongest or fastest is great. Even better is the fact Jason took his advice about being prepared to heart which saves his life. He feels bad about it since Artemis thought she was saving the world. Before he can decide anything he gets applauds from Black Mask who's impressed. BM assures Jason that Artemis got bad Intel as the weapon on board has to do with genetics.

Getting back to her feet Artemis attacks again. She has decided that "the Red One" and her aren't quite finished. Black Mask men decide to do something by shooting at Artemis which Jason tells them to leave to him. It winds up getting the two of them alone together and she tells him to drop the bad guy act. After she's a bit rude he confesses he's working for Batman...sorta. Methods are discussed and Artemis think his plan is sound. She believes she wasted enough time fighting him and accepts his "surrender."

Their friction continues as Black Mask takes the cargo away. Our Amazon isn't great with social niceties and gets the two of them onto the cargo. The find a Superman clone on board.


I loved the reaction Artemis had over the bow. That's a pretty iconic weapon for her after all but the lot to this one sounds amazing. This explains why she doesn't have one with her too, she just wants that particular one.

The fact that Lobdell had the two talk things over before battling really impresses me. Many of the current bat writers seem to dumb down Jason and would likely see Artemis in the same light. The fact that both try to settle things peacefully was a nice bit of insight into their character that avoids the unfair cliches both had suffered. Their actually pretty civil during the exchange. There's a real sense of fun with Jason trying to get her to back off since he notices she didn't have bullet deflecting bracelets. Instead she uses her huge axe which honestly made me grin like mad. I did wonder if the lack of bracelets was supposed to be a Bana Mighdall thing but the fact this was acknowledged and wasn't a disadvantage was amazing.

I suspected Artemis would see Jason as fragile I just didn't think she say it. At least not at this stage. Her first impression of him, writing him off even after she discovers there's more to him, was pretty much how I pictured it. She doesn't even know what he's capable of yet. Remember how Jason didn't like the team thing at the start of the first volume? Now he's suggesting them working together and Artemis is the one against the phrasing.

Jason's reaction to Black Masks' praise and remembering Bruce saying the same thing was a small but excellent moment. He tries so hard to prove his worth, to be part of something and feels like he keeps failing.

I really enjoyed the interaction between Jason and Artemis. He was respectful (except for the princess remark although it was responding her "fragile" remark) and she completely underestimated him. They both had a good showcase for their abilities and Jason won because he prepared. Artemis was overconfident and realizes he didn't kill her when she was vulnerable. Her pondering whether he's an idiot or there more going on is another touch I like. Artemis would assume he's an idiot first but she has enough experience to know there's a chance there's more at work than she knows.

In fact she's able to catch clues like Jason using his body to shield hers from harm. He claims he's a bad guy and is that what he really thinks? She wants to know what rules he playing by claiming that a cop wouldn't let Black Mask get away with the things he's doing. How much does she know because from what we've seen Jason has let BM get away with maybe one thing.

The set up for the lines works too as it highlights a spoiler Lobdell revealed in an interview about Artemis being older than she looks. Otherwise what's shown so far would have use believing she's not that old since there's an emphasis on her wanting the bow since she was 16. So you'd likely think it's not that long.

Black Mask claims there won't be any more secrets between them. I'm doubtful for a few reasons.

1) How has Jason earned his trust? Taking out Artemis doesn't prove anything.

2) Black Mask has been acting oddly with Jason. He expected him in the limo and was okay with him having his own sense of honor.

This implies he wants or needs something enough from Red Hood that he's willing to overlook things. Something he can't get from anyone else. A connection to Batman? Possible but we don't know how much criminals guess about that working relationship. No one seems to hassle him over it. According to Lobdell we may get a better idea why Roman acts this way next issue.

Not much to say on Bizarro other than he doesn't look like himself yet.

I promised to give a yea or nay if there were any other clues to my theory in this issue. Yes, I see more clues and if I'm wrong then this is just a big coincidence because it keeps coming up. I'm not sure if I can post one of them online without giving it away. I don't know, whenever you have a theory it seems obvious to you but it might not be to others. I don't want to spoil it if it's true but at the same time I don't want to come off like I'm just saying it for the hell of it. If it's wrong I'll probably post an entry so we can laugh over it. Now it's just a question of how long I should wait. An arc or two?

Questions Raised?: Artemis notes that Jason didn't try to kill her when he could have. Why didn't Black Mask try? Was it because he knew Jason would be against it?

What was Jason planning when Artemis comes at him with a giant axe and he pulls out a knife?

There are two bits that are cut off. Where Artemis suggests Jason doesn't know Black Mask as well as he thinks he does and Jason saying he's been wrong before. Are both hints at things to come? Or in the latter's case are we going to get specific example?

Where did Artemis get her Intel?

Say What?: I'm glad that Lobdell mentioned how odd it is for a warrior that worshipped the Egyptian gods to have a Greek name. The real reason for it was that the writers wanted to link Diana and her by having them basically being named after the same goddess. Diana being the Roman version. Here Artemis believes it should have clued her in that something was off. That it was a lie, given Diana being connected to truth I adore this take.

Props to Lobdell for bringing back more of Jason's Robin past by having him admit he doesn't like fighting women. Seeing women get hurt was something that deeply bothered him during his time as Robin. Sure it doesn't need to be said and he has defended fought women before. But Lobdell hasn't overdone this trait or made it come off wrong. Jason knows she's an Amazon and can handle herself but even still. He suspects she has good intentions so he doesn't want to even risk harming her. This continues as Jason doesn't aim to kill her even though he knows it'd be hard to anyway.

Every once in a while Lobdell brings out the kid/Robin traits with Jason. "I knew it!" Feels like one of those moments. Like he's not just pleased that he was right but letting Artemis know she doesn't have to spell out something he knows.

Jason made he mistake of calling her princess. I'm on the fence about him saying that unless he was trying to rattle her. Since this was after she calls him fragile I think that was what he was trying to do. All it did was piss her off which makes total sense to me. We might not have all her new history with Diana but I don't think she'd be fond of that.

The axe, "Mistress", responds to Artemis' call. That's awesome.

Artemis telling Jason he's not good enough for the JL...considering how they treated her this is amusing. I'm also fond of her comparing herself as the wind and him as a bird. Not just the arrogance of that statement but for her to unknowingly call him a bird as its a nice Robin connection.

Just Artemis stating flight eludes her and being bothered that something is wrong with her metaphors made me smile.

I used to read some Egyptian mythology books but I couldn't recall what Nephthys was connected to and thought it was death. Nephthys is said to be a protective goddess that symbolizes the death experience (in some entries she is connected rebirth too), representing divine assistance and protective guardianship. She's also linked to the air and could turn herself into a bird which makes Artemis metaphor more curious. I have to find my books to be a hundred percent sure as not everything matches up. Still I find it curious that Artemis has her in her origin especially given Jason's past.

Did you Notice?: Artemis has half of a gold star in a red box for her narrative box. I had wondered if she would get an arrow.

I never liked how easily Jason's helmet breaks but this is one of the few times I could buy it.

Are Jason's sleeves getting pulled back higher?

Artemis has sais too. How many weapons is she packing?

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