A new story arc starts this week in Red Hood and the Outlaws and things are certainly topsy turvey now that Bizarro is super smart. Wait what?! Could he be even more powerful than Superman?

So what’s it about?

The official summary reads:

“BIZARRO REBORN” part one! Bizarro is back and he’s better than ever! He’s stronger, he’s faster and now he’s a genius! As if that weren’t enough to deal with, things only get more complicated when the Outlaws find themselves in the crosshairs of the one and only Batwoman, who will stop at nothing to take down the infamous Red Hood!

Why does this matter?

Scott Lobdell has consistently written a solid series as he’s slowly built up the team. That slow build has made the character moments and their dynamic all the more fulfilling. Now with Bizarro going through his current ordeal — how will this affect the team? A tantalizing question to discover as it progresses.

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


Darker moody art.

This issue is plotted well, opening with a short action sequence with Red Hood and Artemis sporting some jet packs and then going into a brand new development for the team thanks to Bizarro. Avoiding spoilers here, but Bizarro does some impressive stuff with that new big brain of his that defy even time and space. It’s a development that gives this team new toys to play with and changes the makeup of the team from street level heroes to something much bigger.

Along the way, Lobdell does a good job establishing the unease a super smart Bizarro brings to his teammates. There’s a lot of highfalutin talk in this issue–Bizarro is pretty freaking smart–and Lobdell does a good job making it sound real. Heck maybe it is real science talk!

The art by Joe Bennett with inks by Sean Parsons has plenty of detail and dark undertones. There are some impressive double page layouts showing off a new lair for the team, the Bat-cave and more. Bizarro’s new tech introduced in this issue looks incredible futuristic and cool, which helps sell his additions to the team. I was most impressed with how heroic and positive Bizarro is now that he’s smart. His face is chiseled and certain, which is a much different look for the usual slow looking Bizarro.


It’s pretty unnerving to see him talk like this!

It can’t be perfect can it?

There’s a bit of a magic-bag feel to the plot of this issue. The new features of the Outlaws lair is quite something pushing the boundaries of what is possible just because Bizarro is super smart. Given other super smart characters haven’t even developed this kind of stuff it begs the question why Bizarro is so much smarter. It’s one of those issues that has amazing feats with little work put in, which can hurt the genuine feel to it.

Is It Good?

A super smart Bizzarro is filled with surprises. Am is an issue of suprises not great.

Red Hood and the Outlaws #14
Is it good?
A solid issue of discovery and invention!
Solid art throughout with some epic double page layouts of futuristic interiors
Plotted well with an action scene and then discovery
Bizarro's inventions come so easily they feel unearned
8
Good