RED HOOD: OUTLAW #39 & #40

It's 2020, so what better way to celebrate the New Year than by sitting down and reading the following adventure created by Scott Lobdell, Kenneth Rocafort, and David Messina? Well, it is a very good adventure, and it has all of the necessary ingredients for a fantastic January, including colorful characters, a magical mystery, and the return of a few fan favorites! Please enjoy. 

TO QUOTE Avijeet Das: “We don't meet anyone by chance.”

Not so long after he deals with a dilemma at S.T.A.R. Labs (which results in Doomed joining the team), Jason Todd suddenly receives another dilemma he has to deal with. A dilemma facing Doctor Shay Veritas, who sends a message to Jason that informs him to stay away from The Block since it’s currently under siege by an unknown enemy

But hey, Jason isn’t the type of person to obediently follow orders! So by his own accord, he decides to ignore her warning and jumps right into the fray, only to discover that the unknown enemy she’s referring to is none other than Artemis and Bizarrohis two old teammates!

So, what next? How will Jason react to this strange turn of events? Keeping in mind that Artemis and Bizarro were both attacking The Block and might not get on with Jason’s new team! Well, to find out, please pick up issues 39 and 40 of Red Hood: Outlaw today! In the meantime, though, here, have a look at this…

Overall, I rather enjoyed reading these two episodes because the artwork was great, the plot progressed at a leisurely pace, and more or less, things were a mixture of highs and lows, depending on your perspective. Well, on the one hand, nothing much was revealed about the new kids, apart from a few brief glimpses here and there which alluded to their true colors (usually happening in the middle of a stressful situation). While, on the other hand, Jason continues to be a somewhat unorthodox but effective instructor, who's able to teach the kids about their new powers and how to work together as a team. But if truth be told, the highlight of the entire book for me would have to be the return of Artemis and Bizarro, because even though everyone was expecting their return, no one expected it to be like this. So, with that said, here's my list of pros and cons for issues 39 and 40.

1) Generation O: So far, Scott Lobdell’s newest cast of characters continues to be a real treat to read. Not only because each one sports a striking design and a colorful personality, but in addition to this, they also complement Jason’s more measured demeanor by adding a 'team dynamic' that’s been sorely missing over the past few months.

2) Ma Gunn: Now, talking about things that have been missing, Jason’s grandmother, Ma Gunn, finally makes her triumphant return to this series, and this time, I hope she sticks around a lot longer than she did before. After all, Jason needs at least one regular supporting character to play off of, and with her being a blood-relative, the possibilities are limitless. 

3) Artemis and Bizarro: As much as I enjoyed reading some of Jason's solo adventures -- emphasis on the word, 'some' -- at the same time, I'm sure I would have enjoyed them even more if these two were added to the mix! Besides, Jason always works best when he has someone to talk to or interact with. Otherwise, his adventures can sometimes seem a little bland and one-dimensional. 

4) Two Artists: Kenneth Rocafort and David Messina are two amazing artists and I just loved how they each drew their respective episodes of 'Red Hood: Outlaw': issue 39 for Kenneth and issue 40 for David. Which is surprising, up to a point, because both men produce fairly different styles of art, with Kenneth’s work generally being very detailed and highly stylized, while David’s work is more character-based and rounder in tone. Nonetheless, great job all round.

5) The Bad: I didn't like the way these two episodes tied into the whole ‘Year of the Villain’ crossover event because it detracted from the otherwise solid narrative created by Lobdell. Well, despite being mostly tangential to the story being told, it still felt a bit fake, forced even, just like all of those other times this series has been pushed into a multi-part stop-gap that'll be forgotten in a year or so. 

With Roy dead, Isabel back at work, and Jason left babysitting a bunch of brats, I can't think of a better song for this month's musical match-up than 'All That I've Got', by The Used, because Jason must have been feeling so sad and lonely before seeing Artemis and Bizarro again.  

From the looks of it, The Block has turned into a fun-filled maze that's fairly similar to a Mirror House: Which is a place where not everything is as it seems because there's a whole host of surprises lurking around every corner. Surprises not everyone can get away from, wink-wink!

Comparison made. 

All in all, I'd say 'Generation Outlaw' is a fairly fun storyline to follow because it manages to blend the old with the new. But with a confrontation soon to be looming upon the horizon, who will emerge victorious from this much-anticipated battle? I mean, will it be...

  • Jason, with his wits?
  • Artemis and Bizarro, with their new looks?
  • Generation Outlaw, with their ingenuity?
  • Ma Gunn, with her age?
  • Pup Pup, with... err... what?

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

RED HOOD: OUTLAW #39 & #40 RED HOOD: OUTLAW #39 & #40 Reviewed by David Andrews on January 07, 2020 Rating: 5

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