Let’s begin by saying this about Red Hood and The Outlaws: this series is still a tough sell for me. I said I’d give this another go though and I’m a man of my word. In my review of #7, I saw the potential of this series but it didn’t get me to love it. This issue marks the start of the ‘Who is Artemis’ storyline, so we’ll see how this goes. One of my problems with the last issue was not getting to know Artemis more in the context of the team, so this is perfect. Now here is where this gets fun. Will this story be the one to hook me? I’m game to see just what Red Hood and The Outlaws #8 has in store. On with the adventure as I begin my journey to see if I dig this series after all.
Red Hood and The Outlaws #8, I’m open to you being awesome, so please be awesome.
A lot of why I’m having a rough time with Red Hood is the fact that I am hit or miss with Scott Lobdell. I will say though, this issue does a lot in selling me on this series. For as much as I am a big fan of Bizarro, Artemis and her story hooked me. Lobdell writes a compelling backstory for her and it works overall. Even better as we learn more about Artemis, I learn more about how this series works and now I’m getting why people dig this. All it took was one page of a bartender explaining what has happened so far and I’m good to go. It’s a strong set up for a storyline and it gives me a reason to want to see what happens from here.
I’m also digging the oddball friendship that Jason Todd and Artemis have. The Bizarro one worked somewhat for me in the last issue, but Artemis and Jason play off each other well. Lobdell has that extra sparkle to his dialogue in how these two characters interact. There’s also one enjoyable bit of Jason Todd explaining his best friend from childhood that I liked too. It’s one part sad and funny all at the same time. Wow this really is working for me better than the last issue. I love that this is leading to a massive quest and it sounds like it should be a lot of fun.
There’s one other element of the book that also veers me in digging this as much as I do – Kenneth Rocafort.
I’ll add this in here, it helps that I am a fan of Kenneth Rocafort. I never could get into his work with Red Hood during the New 52; call it story disconnect. This time around however, I dig what Rocafort is doing here. The barfight that Red Hood and Artemis get into is an absolute blast to read. They’re looking for someone in the bar and hey that’s a good excuse for a cool bar fight and a beautifully illustrated one at that. Lobdell’s dialogue in the fight matches the fun so between the art and the dialogue, it fires on all cylinders. The shattering glass style layout accentuates the energy behind the battle so I like that a lot.
Call this a bonus part of the adventure as I wax on about some other aspects of the comic I liked.
It’s a well written comic overall, mostly in the aspect of it is a lot of fun. The same goes for Rocafort’s art; it does wonders for this comic in keeping you constantly engaged in the book. I do want to make notice of Dan Brown’s coloring with Rocafort’s art, the shattering glass coloring especially. It has a cool reflection effect to it with a cool faded look that gels the bar fight together beautifully. In turn that is what sets up some great looking work in the flashback sequences for Artemis. There is one especially amazing looking battle at one point that’s filled with fire and fury, the colors reflecting that intensity. As much as Rocafort’s art is strong as all get out, Dan Brown’s coloring adds such a wonderful element to it.
It’s interesting; with the last issue I could find bits I liked and in equal measure disliked too. This one is a different subject. I like what I see here. I will say that Jason Todd is still not fully fleshed out in his role here, for me that is. Jason Todd is growing on me and Lobdell does work his butt off in getting you to like him. Artemis on the other hand connected to me quickly. I like her. I’m still amazed that I’m going to be diving more into the world of Red Hood and The Outlaws but here we are. I’m as surprised as anyone else.
Now I’m glad I did this follow-up piece. It was well worth my time to give this comic another go.
Now this is the issue I would say to try out if you’re new to the series. It’s a much easier introduction to this world. I will say this has the making of a good story and it’ll be fun to see where it goes from here. If you’ve been curious about Red Hood and The Outlaws, this issue is for you. I’m happy I gave this another chance as this was a lot of fun. Now I can see why people dig this series and that my friends makes me happy.