Scott Lobdell’s last issue and run on Red Hood & the Outlaws. Jason’s face is burned and is in an induced coma, see what’s inside his mind. Click the jump to see more.
PLOT: Get inside the mind of Jason Todd, as he fights for his life after Joker’s acid incident.
REACTIONS: This is Scott Lobdell’s (current writer) last issue on Red Hood & the Outlaws. For some fans, they are sad to see him go. He has paved the way for Jason Todd’s story in The New 52’s, but Lobdell has also paved ways for Starfire and Roy Harper aka Arsenal in The New 52’s. It’s a heart wrenching issue as we see Jason immobilized with facial bandages from Joker’s acid incident. For this last issue, Lobdell uses a first person narrative to reflect on all the events that have shaped Jason into becoming Red Hood.
PRAISES: Scott Lobdell brought a lot to the table in Issue #18. For the longest time, Red Hood & the Outlaws has been an adventure book since Issue #1; where the characters are always off and doing something. Whether it’s in deep space, on a mercenary run, or just chilling on the off grid beach of their home base; the Outlaws were always going somewhere and doing something. However in this issue, it’s personal for Jason as he reflects about what motivates him and drives to be who he is as a character.
Throughout Issue #18, we’re in Jason’s subconscious as he is in an induced coma. We see that he is a conflicted character, which is what we all know and love about. Lobell makes sure to address and reaffirm for the fans, because we’ve been waiting for an issue like this to get to know Jason Todd better as a character. Lobdell also makes sure to use what we love so much about him such as his impulsive nature and his conflicted character as vulnerabilities. We see this as Ducra addresses Jason’s love for his friends, “How long do you think they can live and thrive in the inferno of the rage that burns in your heart?” It was powerful statement made by Lobdell, and one that fans know all too well where the cause of Jason’s rage comes from. It’s Joker ultimately, but we all know this. So what does this mean? It’s just Lobdell reaffirming why we love Jason as a character, and it’s something that we all want to get learn more about. So, this issue is a smooth transition into a darker and more personal story about Jason and the Outlaws. Lobdell executes this very well giving us a very satisfying ending to his run on the Outlaws.
Tyler Kirkham (artist) for this issue, shows off how well he can illustrate the Batman characters. The most one can say about Kirkham’s artwork in this issue is that he’s adaptable for any Batman character. The most impressive part in this issue is Kirkham showing Jason’s subconscious environment and making the panels very personal for readers to indulge in. Kirkham compliments Lobdell very well, and hopefully the two will do more work together.
DISAPPOINTMENTS: We learn nothing new in this issue; it’s basically reaffirming Jason’s character. However, Lobdell does and did introduce the notion that Jason doesn’t feel like a hero as Red Hood. This was introduced in Issue #17, as Jason realizes that he felt more complete as a hero as Wingman. It brought up a lot of questions, and Issue #18 is where Lobdell briefly addresses this as a first person narrative into Jason’s subconscious. Ducra tells Jason that he must move on from the rage in his heart, which is a product of Joker’s actions. So what does this mean? Will Jason try to move on from Joker and become Wingman? Here’s the thing about that, Jason is awesome as Red Hood because it’s super badass and it has defined him as a hero or anti-hero depending on the reader. It would be a shame to see Jason become Wingman and leave Red Hood. We love him as Red Hood; he needs to stay as this type of hero. If DC Comics wants to change up Red Hood; they might lose a lot of fans. So, thanks Lobdell for the heads up.
Kirkham is a good artist, but this issue felt very rushed. For the most part, the lines on the characters looked like he sketched it very quickly to beat the deadline. It’s not entirely his fault if DC Comics wants to test his skills to see if he has what it takes to be an artist for them. However, one can’t overlook the sketchy artwork.
For the most part, Scott Lobdell wrote a nice transitional issue for new writer, James Tynion IV to take over. Lobdell did a good job at writing Red Hood & the Outlaws for the most part. It was controversial and fun.
Rating: 8/10, SATISFYING READ.
Check out some of the panels that I thought were cool.