“The Life of Bizarro” Part I
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Dexter Soy
Colorist: Veronica Gandini
Twelve months into the series and it’s still so compelling and beautifully drawn, carrying one of the best characterizations of Red Hood that I’ve ever read. The previous story arc centered on Artemis, now it’s Bizarro’s turn! He’s the heart of the Dark Trinity; he carries the innocence and knowledge of a child and with this, Red Hood and Artemis are protective over the guy. He blooms the kindness of their outlawed hearts and pulls them closer.
I really couldn’t get enough of this issue, it ended too quickly (don’t they all?)
The reason why I feel that Red Hood and the Outlaws carries an exceptional version of Jason Todd is that Lobdell writes him with a good heart. He’s not as bloodthirsty or intensely eager to kill the baddies. He takes caution of his surroundings and is much cooler-headed. As a vigilante, he’s grown. We can see much of Batman’s teachings with him. Jason is still vicious, but he values his relationships. He empathizes with both of his outlawed partners.
It’s great to know that the Outlaws have a hide-out in Gotham: Ma Gun’s Home for the Criminally Infirmed. However, the scene felt slightly disingenuous. This could be the lack of depth of their relationship to this place and Ma Gun. Every hero needs a lair and a trusted medical professional, as illegal and morally questionable as it can be. I love it though, because it suits the Outlaws.
The art is spectacular, as it has been. I’m enjoying how Soy is drawing similarities from Jason to Bruce. He finds perfect areas to add dark spaces, to make each page give an impression. Gandini’s colors are chosen with care, this is a darker series and paints in a very Detective/Noir-esque tone. The brighter colors are added when scenes are more emotional, to pull us out of the darkness and remind us that it’s time to breathe. Such as the panel examples below:
Your ears might ring if this were live. Both the penciler/inker and colorist have a beautiful and firm understanding how colors can trigger action and tranquility. I’m also impressed by the fighting scenes, they were dynamic.
The trio of creators, Lobdell, Soy, and Gandini make a wicked Trinity themselves, it’s making this one of the best DC comic series thus far. I’m eager to follow Bizarro’s story. The ending was as emotional and tragic as it wanted to be (spoilers) we know he will be alright, but I hope I do get to see more of Bizarro’s interactions. I feel he has the least exposure in this series, I watch Artemis and Jason with Bizarro in adoration. They better take care of Pup Pup while he’s gone!
Images courtesy of DC Entertainment