What is this all about?
Here we have our first Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual. I think of annuals as filler stories to hold readers over, to some degree, that’s basically what they are. Sometimes they’re good, and sometimes they miss the mark. This was a fairly light week for DC so naturally, it’s the perfect time to throw in a couple Annuals (Supergirl had one too). This week in Red Hood we get to see a new type of dynamic duo. Spoilers ahead.
Dick Grayson joins our merry band of outlaws to stop the Russians who are plotting something that Jason can’t quite put his finger on yet. The issue starts off on a yacht with Dimitri, a man with a sour taste in his mouth due to the fact that Red Hood humiliated him at one point. He is seeking out the Beast (formerly KG Beast) in an effort put an end to Red Hood. The Beast crashes in on the yacht, literally killing everyone except Dimitri, and then says “you wanted to talk, so talk!” Did I mention the Beast’s left hand is a machine gun with a machete attached to it?
We join our heroes at a….I bet you can’t guess it….a Russian circus that is touring here in America. They hired Jason, Artemis, and Bizzaro. Jason had a lead on a Russian plot that brought them here and he’s trying to find out exactly what’s happening by working as a circus act. It felt a little silly reading it, and even more so that he called Dick Grayson to help. Of all the things the Outlaws have been through, he calls Nightwing for this? Alright, I’m okay with it. After Dick amusingly joins the circus as “the world’s clowniest clown, Flippy Flop” and Bizzaro getting to make out with the bearded lady, our group finds themselves face-to-face with the Beast. It’s funny now that I actually type out that last sentence.
Nightwing and the Outlaws defeat the Beast and he is arrested. So there you have it. Jason and Dick worked together to save the day, thus strengthening their brotherly bond which used to be more abusive than brotherly. But hey! They love each other and it’s portrayed in a sweet way.
This was an alright read. Annuals, in my opinion, are hit-or-miss. This felt more silly/fun than a serious story. But that’s okay. The artwork is really good I had to give it a 10 for a few reasons. It’s colorful and also dark in all the right places, the action scenes are super detailed, the characters are drawn fantastically, and there are no lazy panels. The artwork is in line with my favorite style of comic book art. Pick up this book if you want to see Dick Grayson as Flippy Flop the clown as well as some seriously good artwork.
Reviewed by Justin Swenson
Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual #1
Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by Tyler Kirkham, Arif Prianto
Published by DC Comics
Release Date August 30, 2017