Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Short Review: Red Hood and the Outlaws #5 Vol. 2

Last issue ended with Jason being in an unfamiliar position and then having everything go south.


Bizarro under the control of Black Mask attacks Jason who can't really do much against Superman 's clone. Luckily Bizarro can't fight as well as Superman since this is all too new to him. Likewise Black Mask isn't used to controlling someone like Bizarro but thinks he can manage it. Jason knows he can stop it all by killing Black Mask but he hesitates due to Batman's rules which gives Bizarro the chance to stop him. Realizing Bizarro is trying not to hurt kill him Jason tries reasoning with him. Artemis chooses that moment to arrive to defend him.

Artemis didn't think Bizarro was strong enough to move her axe and she's wrong causing her to feel pain. She ignores Jason's attempt to team up to attack and he notices Black Mask is in pain. He asks her to try not to harm Bizarro and she states she won't try too hard which is better than he expected. The split up with Jason trying to weaken the link between Black Mask and Bizarro.

Black Mask follows Jason to his lair and they fight.

Overall:  I winced when I read the part where Black Mask taunts Jason for wanting to earn a father's love. There's so much said and not said that it's tragic. Hearing that Jason isn't as close to Batman helps explain why Jason is so determine to do this. It also makes me even more annoyed with Bruce for how he's treated his sons this year.

I really liked Jason turning around Artemis' "going to a hospital or something" bit and being sincere. He cares, is respectful and still lets her know she's annoying him. It's shows who he is as a character wonderfully and shows his growth. Jason used to be the one who didn't want to team up and now that's Artemis. While he may see himself as a loner Jason is willing to use teamwork.

Having Simon Amal/Crux reappear to help Jason is a nice touch but I think I would have preferred it if Jason was able to solve this himself. That said it's not a big deal for this story, I just don't want it to happen all the time. Jason has learned how to deal with some of this stuff from Batman. Plus Simon is mostly in the alien business although he has tampered with DNA before.

The irony of Jason facing off against someone who knows who he is was not lost on me. I've been drawing a lot of parallels from UTH and this is another one that could be fun to discuss at a later point. This also marks the first time we've seen Black Mask truly mad and it's all directed at Jason. Was he really upset that Jason didn't join him? It seems that way.

Artemis can be a badass and unintentionally humorous in the same issue. Kudos for the gag of Bizarro asking what she's doing when she's trying and failing to stop him in his tracks. The irony of Artemis only realizing Jason's plan--which he tried to explain to her--when Bizarro mentions the BM connection was great.

There's more I'd like to say but I think I'll save it for the last issue. I might do a review on the entire arc when it's over. If I do I might talk more about Jason's poetic talk of being a loner and holding himself together. I haven't had much time recently but this arc has been pretty amazing. Although one thing did pain me about this issue and that was the apparent direction change.

Say What?: Jason says he'd last three seconds against Bizarro but shouldn't he be able to do better? He's supposed to be super prepared as a former Robin.

Fifty shades of grating. I mean I get what he's saying but at the same time how does this relate to the book?

Artemis refers to Jason as the little one again. I guess it's a nickname but I was hoping for another bird name.

The line about taking no joy from harming Bizarro before admitting she does get a little joy. That right there should be an example of how she differs from Diana and why Artemis is entertaining.

Did something else mess with Jason and Bruce's relationship before the Rebirth issue? Was it Jason killing the Iron Rule?

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