“Red Hood, this is your life.”
Or maybe was your life would be more accurate. You know, considering S’Aru mind-wiped all those traumatic memories you had swirling around in that crimson domepiece of yours.
Does a Red Hood without baggage make for an entirely new Red Hood? What do his friends think of all this? Is it good?
Red Hood and the Outlaws #20 (DC Comics)
Jason Todd’s recovering from having “everything connected to the darkness” in the caverns of his mind erased by Street Fighter guest star baby Dhalsim… er, S’Aru. Sound ambiguous? Arsenal thinks so too. Although Jason swears that a weight’s been lifted off his chest, Arsenal thinks something’s shady about the whole ordeal:
S’Aru drops some mnemonic knowledge on him:
“Yoga debate logic.”
And then something even more heavy: He makes both Roy and Starfire experience Jason’s memories so they can possibly empathize with why the guy wanted it done in the first place. His mother’s death; the infamous Joker crowbar beating; his subsequent resurrection at the hands of Talia; and the Joker’s more recent mindfuckery with him.
Then it’s over to the Outlaws’ heads: The not so glamorous circumstances in which Arsenal met Jason for the first time during his stint as Robin. And Starfire’s not without her own set of hangups. (Or Tamaranean underboob. And no, it never gets old mentioning them, why do you ask?)
Tynion IV’s narrative in Red Hood and the Outlaws #20 is one of the more engaging ones in the series as of late, but that’s still not saying much. This issue boils down to flashbacks, filler, and setup. Not necessarily a bad thing, as it’s always interesting to see the history between Jason and his cohorts; although Tynion IV could have combined everything that happened in this issue with the previous and trotted it out as one single entity to make the pacing a helluva lot more engaging, but hey… that’s the comics business for you.
Julius Gopez’ artwork is solid: Last issue he had a tendency to make some of the characters’ faces look inexplicably grisly looking, or in Jason’s case, resemblant of Gary Busey, but no complaints this time around. It’s a shame that we couldn’t see more from Filipino artist Mico Suayan, as his covers are downright beautiful.
- Nice revelations of the characters’ motives and history together.
- Great use of color and solid artwork.
- Tynion IV imbues each character with realistic, emotive dialogue.
- Flashbacks and filler. A comic book and sitcom fan’s worst nightmare.
Is It Good?
Not terrible, but not great.
As I pointed out with my review of last issue, while I applaud Lobdell and now Tynion for trying to bring Red Hood into unfamiliar and fresh territory with the whole All Caste dreamworld business, it’s just not my bag and seems too chimerical for the streetwise character. On a good note, things look to be picking up and the story elements seem to be shifting towards more welcome territory with next issue, as it’s revealed there’s a $500 million bounty on the heads of Red Hood and the Outlaws and it’ll be interesting to see who comes looking to collect that cheese.