“Big Tent, Bigger Dreams”
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Tyler Kirkham, Arif Prianto
Hurrah! It’s the first annual of Rebirth’s Red Hood And the Outlaws! The birds are teaming up; Nightwing and Red Hood. Together, they’re always a blast. Their sibling rivalry is adorable, (while Damian Wayne responds differently to his adoptive brothers: violent) Dick always thought of Jason as his little bird. This issue highlights dramatic and fun aspects of their relationship, because what is the fun about being in the Bat-family without drama?
The writing is delightful; I find Lobdell’s characterizations believable. Instead of making it a “versus” thing (like everything likes doing these days), he built strong communication, teamwork, and a decent superhero story. Jason welcomes Dick with genuine happiness, as do the rest of the Outlaws.
The title “Bigger Tent, Bigger Dreams” combines both their lives. Grayson’s past is immersed in carnivals; a bigger tent extends out to a bigger family. The Outlaws, are by extension, his family. The setting takes place in a circus, perfect and fitting for each member. Symbolically, we have the strong woman (Artemis), the strong man (Bizarro), the acrobat (Nightwing), and a wicked target shooter (Red Hood). The members of the carnival are just as welcoming as the gang.
Bizarro’s short-lived romance was adorable, and 100% worth reading this issue.
I recall Kirkham’s art from New 52 arcs. I always adored the innocence in his characters. He has the talent of drawing a “genuine good-guy” face. It’s usually how I recognize his style. I enjoy how both Jason and Dick mirror aspects of Bruce Wayne, both physically and mentally. That brooding expression (tragic eyes included), modest body language, and then with in suit, their arrogance shows.
Innocence in his artwork:
The colors are gorgeous. The shading of the skin carries at least a dozen soft colors passing a peaceful atmosphere. This isn’t a fast paced issue. Prianto’s soft blends complement the warmth conveyed within the story.
Great annual! I’d recommend to pick up this issue if you’re a collector and a fan of Lobdell. It’s a wholesome issue, a good break with all the disasters going on in the edgy DC Multiverse. Artemis and Bizarro are solid! She’s witty and charming, and so is Bizarro. It’s filled with good chuckles. The bat-boys could always use some peace and happiness. Nice work, Rebirth!
Images courtesy of DC Entertainment