Red Hood vs Artemis (basically an Amazonian Thor). Who ya got? Is it good?
Red Hood and the Outlaws #2 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The DC summary reads:
“Dark Trinity” part 2! Red Hood’s investigation takes a painful turn when he encounters a mysterious woman named Artemis! Outmatched by this powerful Amazon, Jason’s only hope for survival is finding a common ground with his attacker—that is, if Artemis gives him the chance!
Why does this book matter?
Scott Lobdell has done a fantastic job establishing Red Hood, giving him a new mission stopping Black Mask that’s personal, and all we need now is the “outlaws” part of the title. Dexter Soy has drawn one awesome panel after another (with beautiful two page spread layouts that make this feel unique) you shouldn’t miss.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
She wants it bad.
Lobdell introduces Artemis well and without hesitation gets her into an action sequence with Red Hood. Sure, her power level is way beyond what Red Hood can handle, but in this fight Lobdell establishes why they should be working together. He also does well to characterize why each of them fight, and the values they hold too.
The cliffhanger is a doozy as well and after reading this and Suicide Squad #2 you gotta wonder why Superman-based characters are popping everywhere. Most importantly Lobdell convinces the reader Artemis and Red Hood should team up after all.
Soy continues to draw great layouts (you gotta love his epic two page spreads that give the book a cinematic widescreen feel) that remind us action doesn’t have to fit on a single page. Soy also gives Artemis a unique feel due to her body language and muscularity. She’s sort of like an angrier, less patient Wonder Woman (but don’t tell her that!). There’s some interesting use of blur too.
Guess you’re going to have to hit a girl.
It can’t be perfect can it?
It’s hard to buy Black Mask not suspecting Red Hood is a good guy when you consider how much talking they do (behind a rock even) in this issue. When Black Mask tells Red Hood there are “no secrets between us now” you have to roll your eyes, mostly because it’s unbelievable it was this easy and quick for Red Hood to get into his good graces. Maybe he’s tricking Red Hood (that might explain why his goons keep shooting at him), but as is this element is unearned and unbelievable due to the lack of build up to earn trust.
Progress wise, this issue doesn’t move the story forward much at all. It’s one long action sequence, and while it gets Artemis and Red Hood on the same page, it doesn’t do much more than that.
Is It Good?
The team is slowly getting together, Artemis is introduced well, and most importantly you’ll feel like these characters are going to be fun together.