This is an Artemis focused issue, aiming to flesh out the character a bit and explain where she comes from. Scott Lobdell has been writing a great team building series, but how is this prologue issue? Is it good?
Red Hood and the Outlaws #8 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The official summary reads:
“WHO IS ARTEMIS?” prologue! As Red Hood and the Outlaws gear up for their journey to Bana-Mighdall, shocking secrets from Artemis’ past come to light! Who is this mysterious Amazon warrior? What is her relation to Wonder Woman? And what makes her quest for the Bow of Ra so personal? Answers to all this and more in a thrilling new adventure with your favorite band of misfits!
Why does this book matter?
Kenneth Rocafort takes over on pencils, which is a grittier hyper realistic style some readers will love. The real draw is Artemis’ backstory, which has had me scratching my head as far as her connection to Wonder Woman. Answers within!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Cool mirror effect.
The art in this book is gorgeous, opening with a fantastic panel of a bartender giving Red Hood guff with a perfect reflection showing us what we’re seeing via Red Hood’s perspective. The art throughout is highly detailed with a Leinil Francis Yu look that’s good at capturing facial expressions. There’s an interesting effect Rocafort uses around panels, particularly one with Wonder Woman, with colored shapes breaking off the panel she’s in. It’s a neat retro look reminiscent of the 80’s that’s quite cool.
I’m not up to date on my Artemis backstory knowledge so everything in this issue was new to me. Scott Lobdell draws you in quite well as Artemis shares her story with Red Hood over shots and shots are in order indeed. Artemis describes her peoples’ colony and how it relates to Wonder Woman’s origin site of Thistle Island. Lobdell casts Artemis’ people with an interesting mysteriousness and a dash of magic that makes it rather mystical and cool. Her people, we find out, didn’t have it as good as Wonder Woman, and Lobdell weaves Artemis’ tragic backstory into the DCU well.
You know the heroes are edgier when they do shots.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Near the end of the book Red Hood spells out how he thinks Artemis’ story ends up going which draws attention to the somewhat conventional tragic hero tale she imparts. It saves the book having to deliver on a climactic battle (which makes sense given the page count of a single issue) but reminds the reader the actual conflict Artemis faced is one we’ve seen a thousand times.
Is It Good?
Artemis becomes more fleshed out via impressive detailed art and a clever spin on an Amazonian culture. This issue is well worth a look for the art alone!