It’s Bizarro vs. Red Hood and Artemis as Black Mask has mind controlled the Superman clone. Will Red Hood’s bonding with Bizarro help and most importantly, is it good?

Red Hood and the Outlaws #5 (DC Comics)

So what’s it about? The summary reads:

“DARK TRINITY” part five! Red Hood and Artemis team up against a rampaging Bizarro—and it’s a race against the clock to save him—and the city—from Black Mask’s mind-controlling techno-organic virus!

Why does this book matter?

Dexter Soy has been delivering some of the most unique layouts in this series you shouldn’t miss; he’s also drawing quite a good looking book to boot. Scott Lobdell meanwhile, is slowly building towards a team that, thanks to all the bonding and meaningful interaction he’s given them, could be one of the best off-color superhero teams today.

Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?

Love this POV full page spread.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #5 is an intense and well paced issue that balances action with thought provoking Red Hood captions. Scott Lobdell has built towards this triumvirate coming together and it’s a beautiful thing to see as it’s complex and rewarding to those who have been reading along. Red Hood for instance, takes blows from Bizarro yet realizes the punches are coming in less forcefully due to the kindness he showed him in a previous issue. That’s right, Bizarro is pulling his punches out of affection. Artemis meanwhile, was supposed to scram from town, but clearly is back because of the affect Red Hood had on her. Black Mask is doing his bad guy thing evil and kill happy, but all together the heroes are holding him back.

This issue also reveals mysteries from way back in the beginning of the story, ties well into Red Hood’s allegiance to Batman, and delivers some awesome action. It’s a satisfying issue on multiple levels.

One of those levels is Dexter Soy’s pencils which are detailed and gorgeous. A full page splash of Artemis punching Bizarro for instance, is action packed, exhibits the impact delivered/taken and has a fantastic, “Wham” to enjoy too. You get the sense that Artemis and Bizarro are incredibly strong which makes Red Hood’s planning all the more important. Speaking of which, Red Hood looks badass; there’s not a panel within where he doesn’t look cool. In one page for instance, he pulls up to shoot Black Mask and Soy draws some wicked water splashing off him to convey the speed in which he’s taking aim.

It can’t be perfect can it?

Let’s be honest, Black Mask isn’t the most compelling villain and in this issue he’s definitely more “evil bad guy” than a developed one. He wants to kill Red Hood just because and based on his motivations he’s probably going to be defeated easily. There’s not much about him that’s interesting since he’s your common evil villain. He’s certainly entertaining when he’s angry, but there isn’t much character there.

You won’t like him when he’s angry.

Is It Good?

Red Hood and the Outlaws #5 is a great issue that’s action packed and well paced. It’s addictive reading and a real page turner you shouldn’t miss. If the team already puts the “fun” in dysfunctional — I can’t wait for more.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #5 Review
Gorgeous book that's very good at showing kinetic energy in its actionKey moments for Red Hood to reflect on the situationBizarro vs Artemis is great
Black Mask continues to be nothing more than an evil dude for evil's sake
Reader Rating 8 Votes

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