RED HOOD AND THE OUTLAWS #3

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[ BARGAIN TEENS
There once was a team called ‘The Outlaws’. Whom people presumed were riddled with bad flaws. Kory was the tart – Roy was the fart – and Jason was someone who sold rickshaws. A team that has been presented to you, now, by Writer: Scott Lobdell; Artist: Kenneth Rocafort; and Publisher: DC Comics in December 2011.

So what’s the story morning glory?
‘Cherished is the Word I Use – To Destroy you!’ is basically a duel tale, in which: (1) ‘The Outlaws’ impregnate a secret realm to investigate where ‘the Untitled’ currently are, so that they can then enact revenge on them for killing Duca and her clan. And (2) An ‘origin titivator’ of sorts, where S’aru – the protector of this ‘secret realm’ – consumes and observes the Outlaws ‘cherished memories’, and ‘houses’ them until they can return from there trip away.

Overall, within ‘the realm’ sequence, Roy, Kory, and Jason, battle a giant monster, before they come back with a token signifying where ‘the Untitled’ are – a snow globe of Colorado. Whereas, with S’aru, he ‘witnesses’ – Kory’s troubled memories of Tamaran – Roy’s harsh encounter with Killer Crock due to his past defeats – as well as a warm experience between Jason and Bruce (Batman) Wayne, from his time as Robin. 

What is the most memorable sentence spoken in this issue?
I really liked the last panel in the last but one page, where Bruce surprises Jason and says to him ‘Taking a night off once in a while isn’t a crime, Jason. So, what are you watching?’ [refereeing to the television program he is idly perusing].

Was the story any good?
Yes – the story was just great in my eyes. Personally speaking, I liked how writer, Scott Lobdell, set up the pretext to this issue within the first couple of pages, so that we – the readers – could then relax and enjoy the rest of the tale next. Moreover, the ‘back and forth’ way that this comic book reads in, is not as distracting as some of ‘the others’ I have read. I found that the overall pace of these transitions did fit in very nicely within the arc of this tale.

However, the only slight niggle that I had with this yarn, would be that the ‘Roy origin segment’ - because it does appear slightly more aloof than what we know about him previously - just a tad off kilter.

Was the art any good?
Straight away, I could ascertain how much effort artist, Kenneth Rocafort, put into his line-work within this issue. Now, for me – as a semi-budding artist – I really did appreciate how his detailed rendering of the ‘secret realm’ and ‘creature caricatures’, have a sanguine quality about them – almost as sharp as the story itself.

Though, on the flip side of this statement, Kenneth’s humanoid caricatures do share a similar ‘pointed quality’ – that is starting to make their facial expressions pretty uniform.

What is the best thing about this issue?
OK, I hold my hands up, I am a Bat-fan, and I did like Jason’s past encounter with Bruce quite a bit. Truthfully, it showed that Jason still feels a lot for Bruce – even though he told S’aru to ‘keep’ this memory.

Ha! Who are you kidding Jason? Yourself, me thinks, huh?

What is the worst thing about this issue?
Now is it just me, or does some of this ‘alternate mumbo-jumbo’ feel a bit contrived to you? Honestly, I am conflicted. Because on the one had, I like that there is a team with some sort of connection to ‘the other’. Whilst, on the other hand, I am not too sure about the execution – feels a tad forced to me – almost as alien as that monster whom ‘The Outlaws’ battled in this issue.

What do you guys and girls think? Is it a hit or a miss?

If you could sum up this issue in a phrase or saying, what would that phrase or saying be?
Bob Dylan said it best in his song – ‘The Times, They Are a Changing’.

If this issue were a movie, an object, or a piece of music, what would that be and why? 
OK, in review, I felt that this issue had a number of things that just jumped out at me within a blink of an eye, which made me compare it to the Beatles classic ‘Nowhere Man’. They are both surreal in tone, reflective in content, dynamic in execution, and personal in prose.




What do you think would have made this issue better than it was?
Hmmm? This is a difficult question to answer. I like the dual story concept – I like the ‘origin snippets’ that have been splurged – and overall, I like the tale by in large.

However, if I could massage this issue a bit myself, I suppose I would have made the ‘realm sequence’ a bit more like a journey rather than a battle – as we all kind of knew that the gang wasn’t in that much peril, huh?

Final thoughts...
Scott and Kenneth have really upped their anti with ‘The Outlaws’, and I hope that this trend can continue – but only if they don’t feel the need to retro-con everything half to death.

Well, the only things that was a ‘bit off’ for me in this comic book, was the ‘Roy origin tweak’, plus the way that the ‘alternate segments’ did not appear to gel within this story arc yet.

Still, shows promise. 

Marks out of 10? 9