Red Hood and The Outlaws #4
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Dexter Soy
Colors: Veronica Gandini
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Editor: Alex Antone
Asst Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Group Editor: Marie Javins
Covers: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Dean White and Cam Smith; Matteo Scalera & Moreno Dinisio
Publisher: DC Comics
With Bizarro awake, aware and enraged Jason has to think quickly to defuse the situation before Bizarro goes on a rampage or Roman’s men kill him for being a failed science experiment. As Artemis cheers him on, (in her own, uniquely apathetic way), Jason manages to do just that, not only talking to Bizarro but bonding with him. Unfortunately this makes Jason even more valuable in Roman’s (increasingly obsessed) mind and things take a turn for the worst.
Another great issue of RHATO that builds on the previous issues but also Jason’s overall history in the DC universe. Jason’s time in Arkham and the skills he learned there to cope with his trauma come into play in a major way while his relationships with everyone are tainted by his experiences with Bruce. One of my favorite things about the issue is how it shows that Jason is very much the heart of RHATO, and not just because his name comes first. He cares for his team, even if they don’t realize that they are a team yet. It’s astounding when you think about Jason’s background and all the truly awful things that have happened to him and it’s what makes this book stand out. Yes, almost every hero in the DC universe has had some epically bad trauma but few have been through the brutality that Jason has endured on both a physical and emotional level and still find it in themselves to give a damn about the world around them. That he does is pretty phenomenal and makes the character, and the book, one of the more complex and truly heroic ones out there.
Another thing that makes this book so amazing is the artwork. As always Dexter Soy and Veronica Gandini bring the ruckus but there is a simply gorgeous scene with our three leads that will stay with you long after you put the book down. The layout of each frame, the shading and facial expressions and the physicality of each character lends weight to the words being said that takes excellent dialogue and elevates it to something beautiful.
5 out of 5 techno organic viruses.