Red Hood and the Outlaws: Scott Lobdell, Timothy Green II, Blond, Travis Lanham, Kenneth Rocafort
Now THAT’S a space cover! I love it. Paying homage, of course, to the incredible Drew Struzan, this cover even has a take on the “Return of the Jedi” logo. And I don’t know who did t he coloring on it, but it looks fantastic. Like it was either painted or that’s colored pencils. I’m impressed. The only thing that’s missing, if you wanted to go with the true Struzan style, is the story’s villain or antagonist. Either some of the Blight gathered around, or Blackfire somewhere on the cover. But I love what Kori’s doing, too.
The very first thing I notice on the first page of this comic is the change in the art. Timothy Green II comes in to handle this ish while, I’m guessing, Kenneth’s doing the Zero Issue. I have to admit my initial dislike of the art style. For one, Roy looks totally different on this first page than he does in Rocafort’s issues. In fact, he looks different than he looks later in this issue alone.
Green’s style has aged Roy and Jason by a decade and a half or so. It’s never really clear how old Roy is. He seemed very young in the Green Arrow Zero Issue, but it’s never outright stated. But we do know Jason’s age, about…even without the Zero Issues. We saw both Roy and Jason in a bar earlier in this series. That means they’re at LEAST twenty-one…assuming they’re not using fake IDs (which, Jason might be, because he’s legally dead, but he could be using the correct birthdate still). But, knowing their history, they can’t be more than MID-twenties, otherwise everything starts to fall apart.
In this issue, they both look easily in their early thirties. Now, do a lot of the characters in the New 52 look much older than they actually are? Yes, to be fair, I do see that a lot. But it still irks me. Another thing is, apparently Arsenal and Red Hood got some kind of armor upgrade since being in space, and they’re outfitted with all sorts of plates and pieces that stick off in weird places - I have no idea where this came from. Did Kori give these to them? Even the chick that was brought along has a space outfit. Did they just happen to have their sizes? And colors? And symbols?
And, last thing on the art I promise, the backgrounds are really plain. There’s no real “spaceship” detail other than some lines on the walls. Even the control panel K’Ten touches is blank. There’s nothing in this ship to suggest how you fly it. That bugs me.
The story itself is disappointing. And I’m going to spoil it because we’re almost two months after this book’s release. First thing’s first: Roy says someone tries to shoot a transporter beam at Kori so he jumps in the way to be transported to the Blight prisons and gets caught. How did he know it was a transporter beam? How did he know it wasn’t a lethal beam and would die if it hit him? One could argue that Roy knows the Blight wants Kori alive, so anything they shoot at her would be non-lethal. Great, but no one says that in this issue. No one says, “Take her alive!” or anything like that during the action scene. We only find out later.
Second thing is apparently it was part of the plan for Roy to get caught so he could rescue Blackfire. Roy was injected with a transistor so he could be teleported out when he had a hold of Blackfire. That’s okay, sure, I’ll go along with that. Then why’d it have to be Roy? Why not Kori or Jason? I like that Roy’s getting his moment to shine, don’t get me wrong, I just wouldn’t think he’d be the first choice for tactical plans of rescue. THEN, after Blackfire’s back, she and Kori apparently reconcile like it ain’t no thing but a chicken wing! Kori, on the spot, forgives her sister for what she did, as if everything in last issue meant nothing!
I’m especially frustrated when characters seem to change their minds and attitudes about really big things in their life at the drop of a hat. It makes no sense. It reminds me of the Digimon movie where the kid from season 2’s all crying and then suddenly stops, and is all better. Ugh. Really? Remember when you were all sad just two seconds ago? Now you’re completely fine? Don’t think so.
Red Hood and the Outlaws #12, the verdict: Sorry, kids, this book has way too many inconsistencies for me these days. While I’m not necessarily looking for reasons to drop books, I am looking for reasons to save money. I think it’s time to drop this book. It’s been a year, and it’s been an interesting year. But maybe I need to wait for another writer or something. I have to say I’m just not pleased with not knowing if the issue I’m buying will be one of the good ones or not. It’s not worth it to me. ‘Til next time, so long, Space Cowboy.
(Photo Source: iFanBoy)