Red Hood and Batwoman have a bad case of the Mondays! With hulking gray assailants closing in, can Gotham’s worst finest make it out in two pieces? Find out in Red Hood and the Outlaws #29.
Last issue was a low point for this series. With some substantial plot holes and the sort of humor-but-not-really that marked Red Hood/Arsenal, it just wasn’t my slice of pie. This installment still has some of the funny-man missteps, but overall, it’s much more readable. Some of the jokes land, the plot makes more sense (it’s dead simple, which is just fine), and we even get some flashes of what I was enjoying in this title before.
It isn’t great, though. Batwoman’s inclusion just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me—and the inclusion of another Gothamite makes even less. The main draw of this issue is the near-constant fighting and Jason’s grisly takedowns of the Grundy-esque “Mondays,” which is okay for a time, but can’t sustain this book for much longer if the rest of it doesn’t pick up.
Woods’s storytelling is excellent, though. There are moments in each of these issues where a panel or two isn’t crystal clear on what’s happening, but apart from those isolated incidents, it’s all good. I know some of you don’t like Woods’s aesthetic at all—especially following Dexter Soy—but I enjoy it, and I really like the way Lokus colors his work. I’ve generally liked Woods’s art a lot less when he isn’t coloring it himself, but not so here. I’m not sure if perhaps the two collaborated more closely than Woods has with prior colorists, but this is definitely a good match.
Peteri’s lettering technique is fine, but on a stylistic note, I hope that—if he sticks around—he finds a different dialogue font. This one’s weight is a bit too heavy at the point size he’s using—at least for my eyes—and it gets a bit tiring reading through the book. I do enjoy his SFX, though.
All-in-all, this Underlife arc feels like a bit of treading water. There are exciting things to come—I’m sure of it—but I worry that the book might be bleeding readers in the meantime—that when Lobdell gets to whatever big thing he has cooking for the inevitable reunion of Jason and his friends, there won’t be anybody left to enjoy it. Or that the book won’t last long enough to get to the reunion at all. Here’s hoping I’m wrong!
- You enjoy the work of Pete Woods. His stuff looks really good here, and he’s got a good coloring partner this time around.
- You want to see who was behind all of the nonsense in the small town that tried to kill the Red Hood.
- You wondered what became of that FBI agent Jason saved.
Red Hood and the Outlaws #29 isn’t a return to form, but it is more enjoyable than last issue. Woods’s artwork looks great with Lokus on colors, and the visual storytelling executes the simple plot quite well.
Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with an advance copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.