Red Hood and the Outlaws 21
James Tynion IV, Julius Gopez
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
This series is really struggling to finds its footing after the departure of series writer Scott Lobdell. The inconsistent artwork of Julius Gopez and the boring “just going through the motions” storytelling of James Tynion IV are really starting to wear on me as a lifelong Batman reader and reluctant fan of Jason Todd and his merry band of misfits. Yes, this series does have a few things going for it, but I’m beginning to wonder if almost all of my hopes for the future are simply based on my nostalgia for the (recent) past.
This issue features, well, pretty much nothing new. And that’s my biggest problem with the series post-Lobdell. We’ve been getting the whole “Professor Hugo Strange is being manipulative and sneaky” plot building for issues and the whole “Ra’s al Ghul’s League of Assassins are bad asses and want Jason to join them” routine for the last couple as well. I get it, Tynion. So stop “telling” us that Strange is evil and Jason’s destined to be a bad guy again and actually start showing us. Outside of a randomly-memory-free Jason trying to find himself (which, let’s be real, was more interesting when he actually knew he was a prick) and Roy and Kory being former heroes-turned-vigilantes-turned-whiners, this issue offers up nothing new to the so far very forgettable Tynion/Gopez run. And that whole updated look for Bronze Tiger? Don’t even get me started on how asinine he looks in this comic.
But the lack of compelling character development and bottom of the barrel artwork isn’t enough to kill this comic completely for me. No, because at its core, this title still has quite a few things going for it. The first being that I know for a fact that James Tynion IV is a good writer. Perhaps this just isn’t the best fit for him. The second being that I know for a fact that Jason Todd’s story is far from over, even if this title might be destined for cancellation. And the third being that eventually, we’re going to have a moment in this storyline (which yes, is taking forever to go anywhere) that features Jason either joining the League of Assassins and disbanding the team, Jason turning against his true nature and actually becoming a full-blown hero (or at least an anti-hero), or, finger’s crossed, something even better. So yes, I’ll be continuing to read this comic. And hopefully I’ll look back a little less harshly on these beginning issues of this creative team’s run. Hopefully.
My Rating: 3/5