What I like to call DC’s most unlikely team, Jason Todd, Roy Harper and Starfire make up the Outlaws. The story so far finds Jason (Red Hood) facing secrets of his past, Roy (Arsenal) face to face with a far physically superior opponent, his chance to show off he is not just a guy with a bow and arrow. Starfire finds herself powerless and for the first time as fragile as a human. Left to depend on her friends to help her survive Crux, who will stop at nothing to take out his alien vendetta on her.
Written by SCOTT LOBDELL; Art and cover by KENNETH ROCAFORT
With Jason going one-on-one with the ancient evil known as the Untitled and Koriand’r barely able to crawl to his side, it’s up to Roy to stand alone against the monstrous threat known as Crux!
To start I’d say to really enjoy this issue you should have read the previous issue, as everything that happens is really the continuation of something that must have started in the previous issue. That said I still enjoyed the read. Jason Todd, or the Red Hood is fighting an Assassin of the “Untitled” an ancient race as old as man. Apparently this assassin killed Red Hood’s Mentor, a member of another ancient race called the Al-Caste. I am not a fan of either of these names for an ancient powerful race. A few things I found interesting about Jason’s part in this issue are, him sporting two swords, obviously magical in nature. That was really cool, Kenneth Rocafort did a great job making that fight and the way Jason wielded those blades look awesome. I actually hope he keeps them. Also during the fight, the assassin and Jason find out this was a set up, possibly to break this treaty between the ancient alien races. The Untitled he was fighting even denied killing the mentor, and yet they kept fighting. I don’t understand that, they both seem to come to realization but proceeded to battle. Considering how that fight ended I still find myself baffled.
Onto the giant flying lizard or dragon called Crux. So this guy is prejudice against aliens. His parents were victims of an alien crash, so he then volunteered for experiments that made him a weapon against alien threats. An ok premises but poorly executed. He wasn’t visually exciting at all, I kept thinking Killer Croc with wings. The whole issue he didn’t feel like much of a threat either, I was wondering just how did he beat Starfire in the previous issue? Here he was getting his behind handed to him by Arsenal and his arrows. Not that Roy didn’t prove he has some cool tricks up his sleeve, I applauded his every move from how he helped Starfire, to how he took down Crux (Twice).
Starfire’s return to power was visually very cool. Story wise I was thinking “too convenient” She was way too aware of how it happened. It also felt like Roy was cheated by this, essentially it was saying how he took down Crux would have killed them also had her powers not returned to save them all. I did not like that. Roy could have handled it.
That all said I do like the direction this issue takes Red Hood and the Outlaws. The outcome of Jason Todd’s fight with the Untitled puts him under fire by an angry mob and he makes a run for it. He meets up with the team and I like that feeling that they aren’t the heroes at the end of this, they are Outlaws. The people don’t understand what they are doing because what they are dealing with are enemies that shouldn’t be enemies like Crux, or secret races and societies that have had a million plus years practice at remaining a secret. That is going to be the best part of this arc because wherever they go they are fighting an enemy that is able to make them look like the villains. I also loved that we got a glimpse back at Jason’s past, and were shown his anger, over his death at the hands of the Joker and Batman for not avenging him, then the part where he is coming to terms with that. I think it’s going to be a constant struggle for him and I find it fascinating. Now that he put himself in the middle of this extremely old civil war I wonder how the Untitled will use this against him. Also what were the Al-Caste hiding from him? This issue succeeded in giving me enough mystery to want to follow further.