Well look who has come back to Red Hood and the Outlaws: Scott Lobdell!
I suppose it makes sense; controversy and questionable depictions aside, Red Hood and the Outlaws was the best thing he wrote during the whole New 52. Superboy was meh and Teen Titans was horrendous through and through. This comic at least managed to be fun and zany at points. However, will it be that way again? Is it good?
Red Hood and the Outlaws #32 (DC Comics)
A terrorist group of some kind is heading towards Washington DC with the intent to take over/destroy everything. However, they are about to run into some trouble as Red Hood and the gang intervene and attack them. Things seem to be going well for the team when the terrorists pull a big surprise of their own.
Yeah Jason! At least be respectful and call them by their real name! What a jerk.
Let’s cut to the chase: this comic, despite its infamous writer, is fun and enjoyable to read. It wasn’t super serious or grim, going for a more silly and upbeat tone. The characters were enjoyable to watch and the comic did a good job at portraying their camaraderie and friendship (Starfire in particular seems much better here than how she was back in the beginning of the comic). You do feel like they are all friends and like each other, even with their own problems. The story is decent here with an interesting hook at the end and some of the dialogue is fine, if a bit cheesy. This is not a high art or thought provoking on any level, but it’s a bit fun in its own odd way. A real guilty pleasure if you will.
However, the writing is not without its problems. Some of the dialogue is rather clunky in areas, the story does not flow well from panel to panel at points (more detail on that later), the continuity of it is questionable at points (since when it Kirk Langstrom working for SHADE?), some characterization for the cast seems off, and there’s really not much of a story at this point since it seems to kick in towards the end of the book. Lastly, this issue in particular feels like a jumping on point, since it focuses on reintroducing the team and what they are like throughout the book. This is not really a problem, but it’s interesting to note and mention that it’s a better introduction to the cast than the first issue was.
Yes she did. Starfire is badass enough to kick a nuke and not make it explode.
The artwork, sadly, is where the comic’s real problems lie. Both RB Silva and Rafa Sandoval are artists on the book with their own separate inkers (though the colorist stays the same, the book does look somewhat consistent in that department). So yeah, when there is an artist change halfway through, it’s very noticeable. Neither artist is particularly bad here with some interesting layouts, decent looking characters and such. However, the problem both of them has is the storytelling and action. The action is iffy looking at points, looking very static or stiff. There’s barely any sense of movement or proper flow in it. The panels and pages don’t properly flow well from one another a lot of the time and you can barely tell what happened. The worst case of this is how Starfire deals with the nuke herself. You honestly can’t tell what she did in the panels where it happened and since no one describes what is going on, it only makes things worse. The comic really needs to fix that.
Is It Good?
Red Hood and the Outlaws #32 is a surprisingly fun and enjoyable comic that unfortunately has a lot of problems. Because of these issues it’s not something that can be easily recommended to most people. However, if one is looking for some dumb, but fun comic book action without anything being overly grim, this may fill that need.