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Jason reaches the end of his journey into the Underlife, but his adventures are just beginning. Meanwhile, we check in on our other two Outlaws in what/where/whenever they are! All this, plus a blast from the past, in Red Hood and the Outlaws #30.

Much better

The past several issues have been the first major slump in this title since it began, and I’ve been waiting for it to end rather impatiently. Thankfully, this month’s entry is far more readable, and far more enjoyable overall. It helps, of course, that we get to check in on Artemis and Bizarro once more. The team dynamic is what made this book magic, and getting a reminder that the team will in all likelihood reunite is a great way to up the interest.

More than that, I think Lobdell’s writing is a little tighter here. In my interactions with him, he strikes me as the sort of person who will do or say things purely for his own entertainment, regardless of whether or not there’s an audience. I can sympathize, because I’m the same way. But when these self-targeted jokes make their way into one of his books, and they don’t land with the rest of us, it’s tough. Here, Lobdell’s idea of funny—even the “eh?” gag he’s been running with since the start of this arc—tends to align more often with mine. We’re on the same page, so I like what’s on the page better.

The plot itself is also more interesting, even if we set aside our beloved Bizarro and Red Her. Obviously, Jason has caught up with the Underlife—its operations, anyway—but there are other reveals that can be explored in the issues to come, and they’re interesting enough that I want to come along for that exploration.

Art by Pete Woods, Rex Lokus, and Troy Peteri

The artwork is once again provided by Pete Woods, with colors by Rex Lokus. I said last time that Lokus does the best job of coloring Woods—besides Woods himself—that I’ve seen, so I’m really glad to see him return. Woods’s storytelling is always solid, and it’s nice when the aesthetic is on the same level, and I think this time it is. Whether or not you like his style is another thing entirely, but here, I think it’s at its peak for what it’s trying to accomplish.

Troy Peteri’s lettering continues to work nicely, too. The dialogue and narration are executed well, and though his SFX don’t go for the stylistic flourishes of his Red Hood predecessor Taylor Esposito, what he does do is solid and functional.

Art by Pete Woods, Rex Lokus, and Troy Peteri

All in all, this is a big step back in the right direction, and I’m excited about Red Hood once again.

Recommended if…

  • You’ve wanted to see where this solo trip would take Jason—I think we’re in the end game now.
  • You dig Pete Woods’s storytelling and aesthetic.
  • You read anything and everything with Jason Todd in it—I know we’ve got plenty of you Red Hoodlums out there.

Overall

Red Hood and the Outlaws #30 is a promising step back in the right direction. Jason’s solo trip was never going to be as engaging as the trio, but Lobdell, Woods, and company have given a positive spin on this leg of the journey, and I’m anxious to see what happens next

SCORE: 8/10

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