Red Hood and the Outlaws: Scott Lobdell, Kenneth Rocafort, Blond, Dezi Sienty
Another of the Night of the Owls crossover issues. I was two ways with this issue. I was both excited to see Jason and his cohorts rip the Talon a new one (because, c’mon, realistically how would a Talon fair against Starfire?), and I was bummed that they were including this title in the crossover. Part of me wanted Jason to steer clear of involvement with Batman and all that. Part of me thought he couldn’t care less.
But, of course, he has a bat symbol on his chest.
Now, the huge plus-side to this ish is the involvement of Mr. Freeze. The first Mr. Freeze appearance in the New 52 - but not the last (DON’T miss the Batman Annual!). So, because of that, Rocafort is given design authority over the classic, dome-headed villain. And I have to say, high-school-fauxhawk aside, he looks pretty badass.
It’s the Talon that looks weird. I can’t decipher his crazy outfit. The other Talons all seemed to be based on some kind of theme, but here it looks like Rocafort - who’s normally an extremely gifted artist - blended too many elements of ninja, samurai, and Tusken Raider into the design here for the Talon.
Beyond that, the Talon’s dialog is atrocious. Also Jason’s. I absolutely hated how Jason “deduced” that the Talon was a Haly’s Circus recruit simply because the Talon ran TOWARDS a Haly’s Circus billboard. TOWARDS! The Talon didn’t stop and give the billboard a reminiscing kiss. It simply happened to be decaying in the general area the Talon ran. Jason’s NOT a detective. That’s the wrong former-Robin you’re thinking of there, Lobdell.
There are, however, a couple of things I DID like about this issue. I loved Rocafort’s icy art, and Mr. Freeze’s helmet effects. VERY cool (pardon the pun). I love how the Talon, someone who’s basically come back to life, was able to have a heart-to-heart with Jason, another character who knows what resurrection’s all about. I like that kind of irony, that kind of genius pairing of characters. I also like Roy’s humor in this issue. Pretty well done, there.
But the dialog is still super lengthy in moments where it has no business being more than a few syllables. And there are a couple of pages where Rocafort’s stylish, avant-garde layouts look like they’re wasting a LOT of space. I’d like to see more filled in so that I’m paying for more art when I’m buying these issues.
Red Hood and the Outlaws #9, the verdict: While I think it’s unrealistic for Jason to jump into this whole event, there are a couple of cool moments in the issue. Though, unfortunately, it doesn’t totally redeem the ish as a whole. I’ve thought this series was good fun so far, but I have a feeling this one was supposed to be more serious…but it wasn’t. Or…it was too much. Or…SOMETHING! I just don’t know anymore! There were a couple big downfalls in here, and it’s unfortunate.
(Photo Source: DC Wikia)