“Who is Artemis?” Part 2
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Dexter Soy
Colourist: Veronica Gandini
Cover: Nicola Scott
Trapped in Qurac, the dark Trinity is still separated and having to face each other’s fall backs. Spoilers!
Artemis is forced to re-connect with an old foe and partner, while Bizzaro is practicing his skills as a hero, something he isn’t well known for, and Jason is challenged by his past. Each hero is struggling to deal with their (to have it lightly put) baggage. Scott Lobdell has done a beautiful job writing these characters. Displacement is a common theme between the three, whether displaced from family or society. Even though we’re still in the character development stages, the writing keeps you on the edge with every issue. I’ll start with each narrative.
Artemis is on her quest to find the Bow of Ra, but she’s finding herself back with her friend/foe, and Amazonian sister, Akila. I still question their relationship…I mean, they’ve got to be more than friends?
This queer-coding is significant and this is my interpretation so far. There is no confirmation of Artemis’ sexuality yet, although Akila’s love surpasses friendship; “This is about more than us.” Although team members can use words to unite each other (e.i. in Trinity‘s series, Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman say “us”, but not like this), Lobdell’s choice of expression is really interesting for the two.
“Artemis, my love. You have returned to me. And nothing will keep us apart ever again.”
Okay, I’ve got to voice this, they can’t be labeled as just friends. Artemis surrenders her ego in front of Akila, and thus begin their mission to stand side by side to attain the Bow of Ra.
Bizzaro’s story doesn’t fill up many pages, but Lobdell is brilliant with developing his character without the ability to have his thoughts and emotions studied. Bizzaro leads the citizens through Qurac smashing a pathway through the mountains. Each action is genuine and has a heroic moment. I appreciate a hero coded with learning disabilities characterized like this, as opposed to earlier versions of him.
On to Jason Todd. Red Hood has been kidnapped and imprisoned near the place of his death as Robin. Jason, I’ll give three reasons why you’re amazing: Bruce Wayne, Artemis, and Bizzaro. Friends ground you, and I have belief they join Jason’s battle with his demons. As much as I hate my favorites suffering, I appreciate inclusion of psychosis and breakdowns. He suffers from hardcore PTSD, and it deserves attention. Honestly, a small part of my heart wanted Jason to bat the Joker with that crowbar, but shooting the Joker through the heart works. After all, using the least amount of energy is one way to take down something this evil. He isn’t deserving of Jason’s time and strength. Oh gosh, what a satisfying moment.
Dexter Soy’s art echoes each movement. The lines on each face convey struggle to curiosity to love. Veronica Gandini’s color combinations capture the locations. One can absorb the colors, the skies of Qurac feel like photos of Arabic lands, gorgeous and engulfing, and at times, hyper-realistic. It’s one of the aspects why this series is one of my favorites.
I’m so excited to see them working as a team. Thus far, we haven’t delved into their combined psychological and physical compatibility, but I’m certainly anticipating it. The levels of displacement and societal challenges is what I’m most intrigued by, although I am not sure if this was intentional. What I mean by this are the levels of challenging identities such as sexuality: Artemis to Akila, neurological disability: Bizzaro’s character, and mental illness: Jason’s PTSD. They are relatable and I’ve heard positive reactions from fans, and the representation had made them feel included in a world of heroes. This, the art, and the indulgence of Jason’s “revenge” is why I give such a high rating. A series easily to immerse into, Red Hood and the Outlaws #10 is one to humble your collection.
Images courtesy of DC Entertainment