Jason Todd’s latest journey is at its end. His secret prisoner is no longer secret, his latest band of outlaws is just about disbanded, and there’s a major line-wide crossover event that necessitates a shift in direction. See the bow tying up the Red Hood’s journey from ‘Merica to the Iceberg Lounge, in Red Hood: Outlaw #36.
I’ve read this twice, and it’s okay. I can’t point to anything too problematic in the nuts and bolts of it, but neither is there anything that gets me all that excited. Jason’s sojourn in this ridiculous new costume has always felt like treading water, so the conclusion is less daring climax and more climbing out of the pool, toweling off, and heading into the locker room to shower with a bunch of naked, wrinkly, old men.
I do like how Lobdell ties up the Iceberg thread, though the new revelation about his attempt on Cobblepot’s life will surely anger a segment of fans.
I don’t like the way Lobdell (seemingly) wraps up the Willis Todd story. It feels like a glossing over of the drama we were promised many moons ago—a sordid tale of a beloved teammate being responsible for the end of Jason’s dad. Maybe we’ll still explore that one down the line, but who knows?
The now-repetitive Year of the Villain teaser is exactly how you would expect it to be. I do like the idea of Jason working with Lex, so I’m ever-so-slightly intrigued, but we’ll have to wait and see if the implementation delivers on the promise.
Out of the Woods?
I’ve enjoyed Pete Woods’ work on this title, especially once Rex Lokus came aboard to handle the colors. I’m not sure if this is the end of the line for this team, but I would argue that the action storytelling was never clearer or more dynamic than it was under Woods’s care. If I’m disappointed in anything here at the end, it’s that the final issue is fairly light on the action that I’ve loved. There’s a cool shot of Bunker fleeing the scene, but that’s the best of it.
Troy Peteri’s work on this title has been solid, as well, though I’ve always wished for more bombastic sound effects—especially following the talented Taylor Esposito, who lettered the title for its first twoish years. While Peteri never goes quite as big as Taylor this time around, he does have a bit more variety, and I would say his work here is more exciting than it’s been on any other issue in the series so far.
- You like reading Lex Luthor make offers to people.
Red Hood: Outlaw #36 is the sigh at the end of a confused scowl. The production value is good, but the aimlessness of the past year on this title hardly set up an exciting—or even satisfying—conclusion. If you’re a die-hard Toddler, or if you have some extra scratch, it’s hardly a waste of money; but beyond that, you aren’t missing out if you skip it.
DISCLAIMER: Batman News received an advance review copy of this book from DC Comics.