Red Hood and the Outlaws Annual #2

Written by Scott Lobdell
Pencils by Neil Googe and Clayton Henry
Inks by Clayton Henry and Wade von Grawbadger
Colored by Marcelo Maiolo

Jason Todd killed Penguin point-blank. GCPD and Batman are all after him. Bizarro’s intellect has finally faded away, and with that, the invisible base he built over Gotham is self-destructing. A neat parallel. Bizarro saves the day by dragging the secret base through his quantum doorway, and Artemis trails behind; but not before giving Jason the kiss we’ve been waiting for since issue #1 of Rebirth. Well, at least I’ve been waiting for it. But hey, what can I say? I’m a softy I suppose. The moment doesn’t last long because as soon as Bizarro and Artemis are gone, Batman is right there to beat the piss out of Jason, only to fail in the end as Arsenal shows up to rescue him.

Jason is with Roy (Arsenal), at a hidden crash site of a Tamaranean star cruiser getting some much needed recovery time. Not just for Jason but for Roy’s battle with alcoholism. The star cruiser may not be able to fly anymore, but it makes a nice hideout and its computers are in working order. To no avail, Jason uses the ships tech in an attempt to locate Artemis and/or Bizarro anywhere in the known multiverse.

Jason recovers and both he and Roy team up on a fun mission. Fun in that it was fun to read. Their bond with each other is brotherly. With all the darkness Jason has been through lately, it was refreshing to read an issue where he was joking around with friend and cool character, Roy.

This issue spoke to addiction. It hit home with me personally. I am someone who has seen addiction first hand, I can feel in my veins too. I’m lucky that I have always been level-headed enough to reject the desire to give in, but I understand it, and I have seen it. I have seen it take the lives of people close to me. One line that stuck out in this issue was: “The first lie of an addict….Life always starts tomorrow.” Getting that last fix is always a killer, the promise of a better tomorrow, every day, but the better never comes, and the hole you’re in becomes so deep that even attempting to climb out is scary because if you fall, hitting rock bottom (again) will hurt, possibly kill. Many give up. Even though this issue was bright and colorful, it still had this contradictory somber undertone to it. It was genius, really. Have you ever experienced something crazy or tragic, then later you and your family/friends are hanging out quietly and not talking much about what happened? I felt like that reading this issue. I know that sounds depressing, but it’s not. I felt like it was the end of something, but the beginning of a brighter life. If that makes any sense at all. Overall it was a feel good story with an important moral.

The art was fantastic and the writing was on point as usual. Believable and powerful. Will we see our outlaws back together again? I really hope so. Include this issue in your pull for the week, and stay tuned until next time in: “Red Hood, Outlaw.”

And remember, life starts now. Make good decisions. Because you can.


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