REVIEW: Red Hood/Arsenal #1

It’s another spin-off from Red Hood and the Outlaws. Starfire #1 was pretty good, so how did her two former male teammates wind up?

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Red Hood/Arsenal #1 brings Red Hood and Arsenal back together again for a new adventure. I really like the dynamic between the two characters, as being friends who constantly one-up each other. In the new DC paradigm, the two have even more in common with them both being the wayward sidekick.

Anyway, the new series has the two of them being reunited at a hostage exchange. There is a lot of action, a few nice fight scenes rendered by Denis Medri along the way. By the end of the issue, the two decide to start working again and we have the new series.

Scott Lobdell writes the characters well, and I think that Arsenal is going to get pushed a bit more to the upfront. Now if he’d only lose that silly hat!

Red Hood and the Outlaws #36

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I’ll admit, I don’t remember what has happened in the last few issues of Red Hood and the Outlaws. I’m getting old; what can I say. The issue starts out with Red Hood having just taken out a whole buildings worth of thugs and his narration is about him taking the Venom (the same super-steroid that Bane gets his powers from) and just kicking ass. As he exits everything is on fire and he finds Arsenal’s quill.

Arsenal is getting dropped off at a hospital by Starfire. He’s severley burnt over most of his body but she’s not sticking around. A barely conscious Arsenal gets visited by both Red Hood and Green Arrow in their civilian gear. They have some awkward conversation about what has happened and Roy is barely coherent. Before they wind up getting into fisticuffs in the hospital, the mystical warrior Essence that Red Hood has known for a long time shows up to tell them that Roy will fully recover. Red Hood leaves to find Starfire, and Green Arrow and Arsenal have strained conversation, since they are former best friends and all.

As this goes on, Starfire goes to Poland to take some alien drugs. So I guess she’s the junkie and not Roy in this reality.

Future’s End: Red Hood and the Outlaws

8c_372191_0_DarkDaysThe whole concept of this series has really connected with me, with Red Hood, Starfire and Arsenal doing their own version of super heroics around the New 52 universe.

The story pretty much deals with what happens to the group in the friends, and basically none of them wind up being friends anymore. Starfire goes back to her home planet of Tamaran to take the throne, rightfully. That seems to be at the root of the break up of the group, as both Arsenal and Red Hood were at one point romantically involved with her. It’s just like Nikki Sixx used to say; chicks equal trouble.

Since then, Arsenal has attempted to become a higher profile super hero. At one point he was a member of the Justice League and took Green Arrow’s spot. I assume Green Arrow died, since his Future’s End special had a headstone on the cover. That didn’t work out to well and he’s back on his own.

Red Hood has wound up becoming a lethal vigilante ala the Punisher. This has put the two at odds with each other; they are no longer on speaking term. The rest of the issue has Red Hood plotting the deserved murder of Global Broadcasting head Morgan Edge, who has been involved in some highly evil organized crime.

Scott Lobdell does a great job with these characters and it’s a compelling story. I like how it’s all contained in a single issue. Great stuff all around and that’s why this series is currently my favorite monthly published by DC.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #31

ImageThis is a series that I’ve been picking up every now and then. To be honest, I’m not up to date with the book, but the fact that it has the lead characters fighting with Lobo gave issue #31 the potential to be awesome in at least my mind.

We’re joined in progress on some alien space station and Lobo is standing victorious. He has defeated the Outlaws and is ready to unleash some sort of over the topic, only-in-comics type of weapon that will turn the planet earth into a black hole.

Why?

Lobo goes on a rant about how destroying the planet would be great for his business, especially since there is some sort of Rann/Thangar war brewing. Luckily for everyone on the planet, Arsenal brings his A-game, breaks Lobo’s war machine and sends him to the other side of the galaxy. It’s back home for the Outlaws.

Who cares what is up with them, but the ending teases the long-awaited bad-ass Lobo versus the New 52 Lobo. Hot damn.

Red Hood: Lost Days


Former Robin Jason Todd was pretty much known for one thing: dying. This Dick Grayson-replacement didn’t seem to resonate well with fans; they hated him to the point that the majority of fans called a 900 number in 1988 to make sure that he died at the end of the A Death In The Family storyline.

Well, maybe he wasn’t that hated. The final vote on whether he would be killed off was 5343 to 5271. But what made comic readers more upset was how he was brought back from the dead. Violating any sense of scientific (or science fiction) laws of physics, Superboy Prime’s punching his way through the cosmic walls to get back into the DC Universe proper wound up resurrecting Jason Todd. Don’t ask…if you think too much about it, you will be driven mad.

What Judd Winick attempts to do in Red Hood: Lost Days is explain what the newly reborn character has been doing since his resurrection. Jason was discovered and taken in by the League of Assassins; Ra’s al Ghul is intrigued by how he cam back from the dead while his daughter Talia wants to take care of him, as she is a connection to his beloved Batman. After he becomes enraged that Batman never avenged his death, Talia winds up bankrolling his new obsession of training to kill the Batman.

The complexities of this story all revolve around the relationships between these three characters. Talia is obsessively in love with Batman; she took Jason into her custody, as she knows that the revelation that he was alive (and pretty murderous) would destroy Batman. Unfortunately, she has wound up arming and funding Jason’s quest of killing the Batman. Things get weird romantically between Jason and Talia, with the two getting intimate. Apparently obsessing over Batman is an aphrodisiac. Unfortunately, Jason finds out that this budding romance–and all the training Talia is providing–is just meant to be a distraction to sidetrack him from his plan to murder Batman.

But as vengeful minded as Jason is, he literally can’t pull the trigger. There’s a scene where Jason is waiting for Batman to get in the Batmobile so he can detonate a trunk full of explosives. But he just can’t do it. This scene reminds me a lot of when Batman first met Jason years prior, as a kid trying to steal the tires off of the Batmobile. Jason attributes his hesitation to wanting Batman to see who killed him, but really it’s that he can’t bring himself to do it.

By the end, Winnick establishes that Jason’s death and subsequent rebirth have left him pretty emotionally unstable and sets the tone for what the character would do and did in later appearances.