Do you know what? I’ve been on so many blind-dates I think I should go and buy myself a guide-dog. Although if I don't have the money, then maybe I should pick up the following date-free comic book created by Scott Lobdell, Marcio Takara, Rob Schwager, Felix Serrano, and published by DC Comics in March, 2018. Woof-Woof! I can smell the spit now!!!

TO QUOTE Anne Held:Some women flirt more with what they say, and some with what they do.”

With the HIVE finally out of the way, the Outlaws can now kick back, relax, and spend some quality time doing all of those things they actually want to do! You know, like going out on a date, for instance, a date between Jason and Artemis! Well, I'm sure Bizarro wouldn't mind being left behind because he'd prefer to monitor the city in case they’re needed elsewhere. That said, however, do you think that this is the right time and place for these two renegades to give birth to the newest Superhero Power Couple? Or alternatively, do you think there’s more to this date than meets the eye? Either way, I'm sure this is something you’ll have to discover by yourself when you go to your local comic shop and pick up a copy of this amazing book today!

As was the case with issue 8, Scott Lobdell once again delivers a one-off adventure to serve as a brisk stop-gap between two major story arcs. This time, though, the adventure he wants to tell is something the fans have been clamoring for since the start of this new series: a date between Jason and Artemis. Although, as many of you might have guessed from reading the solicits, this date isn't a normal date but a sham, a decoy, and a ruse which acts as a cover for another larger story arc.

Don't worry though, dear reader, because if like me, you love the idea of Jason and Artemis spending some time together on one single book, then don’t feel disheartened because Lobdell is a shrewd, cunning writer that continues to tease his readers without outright confirming nor denying the possibility of them becoming a couple.

The one thing he does confirm, however, is that Jason and Artemis have finally figured out that Bizarro has changed after the treatment Luthor gave him to save his life. Surprising, I know, but at the same time, this plot-twist gives this episode a refreshing breather, story-wise, while showing us how close the trio have grown over time by the way they've reacted to this sudden revelation.

Lobdell also add's a new antagonist to the mix, an antagonist that seems to know way too much about the Outlaws and will definitely upset Bizarro’s newfound intelligence since he's trying to disrupt his plans. I'm sure discovering the identity of this antagonist, along with the way his actions are tied to the team, will help this current story arc avoid the pitfalls the Bizarro Reborn story arc failed to steer clear of.

The artwork for this months book was provided by Marcio Takara, and I’m happy to say that he delivers a beautifully penciled issue that works perfectly with the story Lobdell is trying to tell. Rob Schwager and Felix Serrano are both on coloring duties this month, and as a testament to their skill, they were able to seamlessly meld their styles together into a consistent whole. Well, it's no secret that I love Gandini’s work, but Schwager and Serrano’s watercolor inspired technique is beautiful to look at and a welcome change from the usual coloring style used as an industry standard. All in all, the three of them form a really solid creative-team that I wouldn’t mind seeing return sometime soon.

Even though the date wasn’t exactly what we were all expecting, that's not to say that Jason wasn't happy to spend a night of fun with Artemis by his side. So with that in mind, I've picked the Eric Clapton melody, 'Wonderful Tonight', as the perfect song to accompany this lovely issue.

is the term used by many magicians when it comes down to distracting their audience with a technique called, Sleight of Hand. Basically, with one hand they dazzle their audience with an act of bravado or spectacle, while with the other, they attempt to perform the actual trick. Artemis did a similar thing when she came up with her cunning plan to have some time alone with Jason, without worrying about upsetting Bizarro or letting him know her true motives.

Lobdell has found his groove for this months adventure by delivering a lighthearted story that manages to move the plot forward without the flaws that hurt previous episodes. Paired with a very talented art team; you have an issue that simply can’t be missed, whether you are a fan of the series or not.

*** This review was brought to you by Adan, Comic Lad Extraordinaire.

RED HOOD & THE OUTLAWS #19 RED HOOD & THE OUTLAWS #19 Reviewed by David Andrews on March 13, 2018 Rating: 5

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