Review: Red Hood and the Outlaws: Rebirth #1

Writer: Scott Lobdell

Artist: Dexter Soy

Some Spoilers Ahead

You can say what you want about writer Scott Lobdell, but the reality of the situation is that a large portion of Jason Todd’s fanbase was built under his watch. It is only fitting that he guide the character into the Rebirth era and I’m thankful he did because yet another one of these one-shots made for a fine read.

Before I get ahead of myself, I want to say that a story such as this has a special place with me because Jason Todd’s Post-Crisis origin was among the first comic books I ever owned (you can now find it collected into the trade paperback Batman: Second Chances). Whether or not you are an avid Red Hood fan, you’ve been away from the character for some time, or you’re a curious new reader, you will learn much of what you need to know about Jason from these twenty-some pages: You will see his time as Robin, his death, and resurrection.

What’s great is that Jason’s origin has been streamlined in a sense. I admit they had me with his New 52 origin right up until the Joker twist. With this, you get the classic feel with a modern spin, reaffirming what Rebirth is really all about.

Not only that, we get to see the level of care Bruce has for his fellow man when he saved Jason from the street life. Just be forewarned that you may be taken out of the story just as I was when Bruce asks Jason if he’s hungry and then you are greeted by a Snickers ad upon turning the page. Seriously, it’s there.

In the present, Red Hood finds himself an outlaw once again and intends to go deep undercover in the Gotham underworld. Batman is a bit hesitant regarding this notion, given Jason’s dubious history, but allows it. That particular scene shared between the two really illustrates how different their relationship is from the one Bruce shares with Dick Grayson.

I would like to take a moment to say that Dexter Soy is a good fit for the series and his style is perfect for this darker corner of the DC Universe. Maybe it’s just me, but it kind of looks like a marriage of Greg Capullo and Ethan Van Sciver’s styles. It’s good stuff, to say the least.

We have yet to see what this book is truly made of or the formation of the “Dark Trinity” – Red Hood, Bizarro, and Artemis – but this one-shot gave me one hell of a good first impression. Plus, how can that lineup of misfits not attract your attention?


Images courtesy of DC Entertainment. 

Eric Joseph

Eric Joseph

After falling into a vat of chemicals, this fellow adopted the name "Eric Joseph." Some say he is a freelance writer, while others say he can be found frequenting conventions and nightspots in the Detroit area. Needless to say, he prefers his background to be multiple choice.