|By Mike DePalo|
We come to the conclusion of the first arc of Red Hood And The Outlaws 7 months into the New 52. "Conclusion" might be the wrong word, we may have just completed the first leg of a long journey in a title where nothing has been as it seems. The in-your-face-loud-mouth archer is desperate for friends. The hot alien in a bikini is a Battling Buddha. And the killer vigilante from Gotham might just be a tribal warrior and humanity's last best hope from the forces of darkness. And who really is the big-bad is still up in the air... a lil' bit.
The other thing we see from Lobdell is a Red Hood who might be growing beyond his hatred of Batman. Or at least a Red Hood that knows the end of the world stuff is more important than schmucking with the Bat-Family. A Red Hood that keeps his eye on the ball. No spoilers but bare in mind, Judd Winick had Jason close that zippo lid instead of igniting a gasoline covered Joker in Lost Days. And that was about highlighting that the character of Jason Todd was not about a better world but about revenge. Fast-forward to this month's issue and it's surprising how good a bad boy can be.
Would you have believed it if I said this 6 months ago? Me either.
But that's the thing about this comic, written by Scott Lobdell and pencilled by Kenneth Rocafort, it requires a bit of faith and keeping the long game in mind. What has begun here was not just the first story arc of Outlaws but rather the end of the beginning of a saga- the story of the millennium old All-Caste and the Untitled, the teacher Ducra and her students, Jason Todd and Essence, and the roles everyone has been set in, because of their own choosing, or otherwise. It's your good ol' fashioned biblical Doomsday stuff, mixed in with some giant megalomaniac green bat-dude, that steel-jawed James Bond-esque nuclear bomb smuggling submarine commander, Roy's crocodile AA sponsor, and a fat lady Yakuza boss straight out of a Tarantino movie for good measure.
Oh yeah, after that: outer space.
As always follow us on Twitter: @RedHoodOutlaws
And join the biggest convention of Red Hood fans on the net here: