Review of Red Hood and the Outlaws #16

RHOODO_Cv16

“So what is your plan, Arsenal?”
“I don’t have one.”

***Contains Spoilers***

This is issue is good example of what happens when you combine good writing with attention deficit disorder. I know that I have been critical of Scott Lobdell’s writing in the past, but aside from a couple things (which aren’t bad) I thought this was a great issue. This issue featured the great team-up of the Teen Titans and the Outlaws, minus their respective leaders. Despite some initial friction the two groups of misfits actually end up working together rather well. It was nice to see Roy rise up to a leadership role, something that Jason usually muscles him out of. Roy’s leadership skills really are an untapped resource. A resource I would like to see used more often. James and I were talking and the idea came up that Roy could leave the Outlaws and join the Teen Titans in an advisory capacity.

There were several things that happened in this issue, some made sense, some didn’t and some came out of nowhere (not N.O.W.H.E.R.E., just nowhere). As I mentioned earlier Roy and Starfire worked well with the Titans. I liked Roy’s comments about super-heroes and how they can become overly reliant on their powers. It is an interesting observation. Heroes like Green Arrow, Batman and the rest of the Bat-Family have no powers and therefore have to keep their guard up. Still, Roy’s self-doubt got to him a bit. I think Roy could be a really great hero if he could get over that. In the old DCU he was a member of the Justice League, in the New 52 he is on a team of rejects. I would like to see Roy rise above his self-doubt; he has great potential to be a good leader.

Roy’s self-doubt brought us our mandatory RHatO flashback. Seriously there have only been a couple of issues without a flash back. We see Killer Croc giving Roy a place to stay while he detoxed. We first saw Croc and Roy back in Red Hood and the Outlaws #3(an issue almost entirely made of flash backs). I would like to see more of that story. Killer Croc is the last person you would expect to see go out of his way to help someone, especially a hero. I also think it would be interesting to see Roy run into Croc in the present. Did they part as friends? Was it one of those “next time we meet we meet as enemies” things? On an artistic note, I think I like Green’s version of Croc as opposed to Rocaforts; its a little less croc and a little more killer.

There were two other scenes that cut away from the main story. I assume they are meant to set up future story arcs. It just seemed funny because you are reading about Roy and Bunker fighting the “jokerized” horde and you turn the page and see that Hugo Strange wrote a book. Then, it’s back to the fighting like nothing happened. Then we see that Deathstroke has set his sights on Red Hood and the Outlaws. I understand that they want to set up the next arc, but I think it would have worked better if the Hugo Strange and Deathstroke scenes had both been at the end. The Hugo Strange page, especially, just through off the flow of the story.

Overall this was a really good issue. I didn’t really like the way Wonder Girl was drawn. It is hard to say exactly what it was; she just looked off to me. The rest of the art was great. We also get the notion that Solstice has a secret and Star fire knows what it is. Maybe this will be explained in Teen Titans, or better yet maybe this will lead to another Teen Titan and Outlaw crossover.

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