Red Hood: Outlaw #38
The Year of the Villain is in full effect. With Lex Luthor giving offers of power to every big league player in the DC Universe, why has he offered Red Hood the opportunity to teach the villains of the future and what will the former Robin do with this ragtag group of evil and the new monster they’ve just found?
Scott Lobdell has a really bad habit of bringing back the worst (and best in Bunker) of his New 52 creations. Earlier in this run we saw the corpse of HARVEST, an early Teen Titans villain, Bunker showed up soon after and now we have Reiser from the six issue Doomed miniseries back as a potential new member of Red Hood’s team of trainees. There’s nothing particularly special about this issue as it’s the normal, “fight before the inevitable team-up” right before a new villain emerges.
We learn a little bit more about Devour, the apparent Korean supervillain-in-training and find that Lex Luthor saved him from being killed by doctors in his homeland. His origin story, however, feels a bit out of place and overshadowed by the explanation of how Reiser ended up in a situation where he’s eating the bodies of STAR Labs employees. The issue prior to this felt much better by introducing the team’s characterizations, but this one felt hollow. Save for DNA, a metahuman who can change their appearance and read minds, choosing to talk to Reiser instead of continuing to fight with him, no one else contributes anything to this book.
Keneth Rocafort’s art is fantastic as always and makes up for the mediocre storytelling in this issue. The fight scenes are dynamic and feel very hard-hitting with lots of debris flying and smoke rising from impacted areas. A lot of credit has to be given to Troy Peteri’s lettering, which gives the art the perfect amount of sound and distinguishing Reiser and DNA’s dialogue from everyone else’s with unique letters and text bubbles. Even the panel layouts are amazing to look at because of how sharp they are, giving the book Rocafort’s amazing personal style.
I don’t really know where the story is going here. I didn’t even mention the forgettable Bizarro/Artemis segments because that storyline stopped being interesting after they stopped the Future War in their annual. I guess it could still be a wild ride with Jason Todd and his new kids, but this issue is ultimately skippable. Not even DOOMED could save it from that.
Red Hood Outlaw #38: The New Outlaws are DOOMED
Writing - 7/107/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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