Red Hood and the Outlaws #26
Beaten by Batman and cast out of Gotham City, Red Hood has been licking his wounds with former teammate Roy Harper, aka Arsenal. Still on the search of finding his missing teammates Artemis and Bizarro, Red Hood has been filling in his free time by working on Arsenal's mission on finding the head of the new underworld cartel Underlife. Now that Arsenal is in rehab, Red Hood is taking on the Underlife on his own.
The issue starts off with Red Hood dressed in his civilian clothes and sitting on an empty bus in the middle of the night. As the bus driver tells him his life story, they are interrupted by the sight of a woman lying in the middle of the road. When Red Hood gets off the bus to investigate, he discovers that the woman is Special Agent Melissa Mitchell of the FBI.
After seeing her partner murdered by a local crime boss, Agent Mitchell barely managed to escape. She’s now afraid that the crime boss will continue to come after her as she can ID him to the crime. Her suspicions are right as a group of men approach the bus, ordering that the people aboard hand over the agent. Red Hood gets off the bus instead and takes out the entire gang. When he gets back on the bus and begins changing into a new costume, Agent Mitchell realizes who he is. She pulls out her gun and tells Red Hood that he’s under arrest for the attempted murder of Oswald Cobblepot, aka The Penguin. He continues to change into his new costume and tells her that he was purposefully on the bus in an attempt to track down the Underlife. He says that instead of trying to take him in that she should consider checking herself into a hospital. He ignores the rest of her protests and gets off the bus, heading for town.
At the local police department, the police chief tries reasoning with the mob boss Larocque, telling him that he needs to leave town before FBI agents arrive looking for the dead FBI agent’s killer. Larocque tells him that he doesn’t plan to leave until Agent Mitchell is found and killed. The lights in the building then go out as Red Hood smashes through a window and proceeds to take out everyone there. Larocque tells him that he is part of the Underlife and that makes him untouchable. Red Hood responds by striking him with a crowbar. Soon, all that is left is the police chief. He tries to reach someone on his CB, but the person on the other end simply tells him, “I told you to never contact me on this frequency.” Realizing that he is now alone, Red Hood corners the police chief and tells him to tell him everything he knows.
Checking to see if Agent Mitchell is okay, Red Hood visits her at the Mairon County Hospital. He hands her partner’s FBI badge, which he took from his killers. After thanking him, she asks why he is so far away from home.
He tells her that Gotham City isn’t his home anymore, as he mentally remembers the beating he received from Batman. Agent Mitchell then tells him that it is against the rules to have a dangerous criminal like Red Hood help her on a case, but that she may be open to the possibility. Red Hood replies by telling her that team-ups don’t always work out and that the last thing she needs is the help from The Outlaw, denoting that The Outlaw is possibly his new name.
This issue introduced readers to Red Hood's new costume. As you can see, it's a bit darker and urban looking than his prior outfit. The main thing that struck me, aside from the different mask he wears, is that one of his weapons of choice is now a crowbar. As fans of the character know, a crowbar is what originally killed him back when he was still Batman's assistant Robin. Very hard core choice.
The search for the head of the Underlife seems to be a filler mission, however, knowing that Red Hood's father is still alive and has become a meta-human crime boss of his own, I'm wondering if the Underlife is really Red Hood's dad all along.
One bit of mystery though, is he still Red Hood, or is he now The Outlaw? That part wasn't really explained.
Red Hood and the Outlaws, Issue 26, Red Hood…Remixed
Writing - 5/105/10
Storyline - 5/105/10
Art - 5/105/10
Color - 5/105/10
Cover Art - 5/105/10
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