Alright boys and girls, it’s time for another DC comic review. I’m still playing catch up, so let’s get straight to my ratings on the number 2 issues.
DC’s “New 52” Issue 2
Green Lantern – 4/5
Green Lantern Corps -4/5
Green Lantern: The New Guardians -4/5
Red Lantern -4/5
Batman And Robin -5/5
Batman: The Dark Knight- 3/5
Detective Comics – 4/5
Superman – 4/5
Action Comics -5/5
Wonder Woman -2/5
The Flash – 4/5
Justice League -5/5
Nightwing – 4/5
Suicide Squad -5/5
Red Hood And The Outlaws -4/5
Now that the ratings are out of the way, I’m going to do something different and review a comic that has not gotten my “Best Of” criteria. It’s one of the brand new titles, Red Hood And The Outlaws.
Sidekicks going anti-heros…how cool is that? I say it’s pretty amazing. Since the release of the animated film Batman: Under The Red Hood, Jason Todd has been gaining a following of fans. That’s kind of surprising for a guy that was voted by the fans to be killed a few years ago. But thanks to a retconned DC universe, the former Robin is back, armed to the teeth with a take-no-prisoner attitude and a few deadly weapons.
He’s not alone. Joining him are two former teen heroes: Arsenal(Formally Speedy/ Red Arrow) and Starfire.
The whole first issue is introduction and serves to establish each character’s personality; Jason is the detached brooding protagonist, Arsenal is the clingy wannabe best friend/ comic relief, and Starfire is the alien that views us from an outside perspective. All in all, a fun team.
This issue focuses on their relationships with each other. But, of course, it shows how The Outlaws fight crime. They make sure that when crime goes down, it stays down…with a few bullet holes…and maybe an arrow through the throat for good measure.
I love this team.
You have two former sidekicks who had a hard past: one with heroin and the other with…you know, death. You also have
an alien princess who has no idea about human morality.
I wasn’t around when Arsenal was addicted to drugs or when DC set up a 1-800 number to vote whether or not Jason Todd would die, but I’m with them now and loving the anti-hero perspective. And yes they all live up to their anti-hero label. There has not been an issue when a “bad guy” hasn’t died.
Also, I’m going to say that this is a title for a more mature audience. First, you have the violence that is in each issue. Then, you have Starfire, who basically stays half naked throughout both issues.
The second issue sets up the story arc, following Jason Todd as he retraces his steps from the beginning to figure out why he was resurrected. A few witty remarks and a flashback later, the team is surrounded by zombie warrior monks. Violent showdown time, with Red Hood chopping through people like they were butter alongside Arsenal shooting arrows and Starfire blasting…I guess…fire.
Violence sells and I’m buying.
Maybe it’s because I really don’t know much of the backstories of all these characters, but I have no idea where the current story is going. That excites me. It’s been too long since I’ve read a story that I haven’t been able to predict the ending. I’m usually pretty good about guessing what is going to happen, but with Red Hood I have no idea. All I can say is that this is shaping up to be one of my new favorite comic books. Sex, violence and adventure: what more do you
need out of an anti-hero type comic?
My favorite thing is the artwork. It has a roughness about it that I absolutely adore. It’s mostly in the gritty inkwork of Kenneth Rocafort that makes this book stand out amongst the rest of your average super-team book. It makes it look like the world is dirty and pockmarked. And something about Arsenal wearing a domino mask and a truckers hat just tickles me pink.
Nothing makes me happier than new material and not the same regurgitated stories that we all know. I know I’m beating a dead horse since I’m rooting for the underdog, but old sidekicks getting their own book? Fantastic. Characters that were thrown to the wayside by their former audience have a chance to shine in this new series.
Plus, if you’re a Batman reader, I suggest buying this book because it deals heavily in the Batman/Gotham story. That should be expected with a former Robin leading the way.
Do you think that these sidekicks turned vigilantes deserve their own book? Do those of you that have read it have any predictions?