Red Hood And The Outlaws #8
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Kenneth Rocafort
Colors: Dan Brown
Letters: Taylor Esposito
Covers: Kenneth Rocafort; Guillem March
Editors: Diego Lopez; Alex Antone; Marie Javins
Publisher: DC Comics
Artemis is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters within the DC Rebirth universe and this issue gives me even more reasons to love her. Scott Lobdell has taken a character who, up until this point was just a rival of Diana’s, and given her a bit more depth. Yes, we’ve seen Artemis and the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall before, but here we see more of their day-to-day life and it’s an interesting contrast to (and mirror of) the Amazons of Themyscira. Their lives are a bit harsher but their strength and loyalty are very much the same. Which is why, when tragedy strikes their nation, it is utterly devastating.
Lobdell does a great job of balancing Artemis’ back story and mission with her growing relationship with Jason. The brother-sister dynamic they have is never more on display than when they take on a bar full of bad guys. They work together seamlessly, watching each other’s backs – in more ways than one – in the midst of teasing each other relentlessly. It’s a fun dynamic and distinguishes this relationship from the one Jason had with Kori while at the same time paying homage to it.
Unlike the previous issue the artwork here is up to the writing. Kenneth Rocafort and Dan Brown’s work is vastly different from Soy and Gandini’s, favoring a rounder, more fluid style and brighter palette but the attention to detail and dynamic use of movement is what I’ve come to expect from a Red Hood book. What’s interesting is their Jason looks his age in a way he hasn’t in any of the other BatFam books. Here Jason looks like what he is: a barely grown man, in some ways still a child, but with the skills of a killer. Yet, thanks to how their art matches up with Lobdell’s writing, he’s still got the sass, intuition and smarts to match the Jason we’ve seen before.
Overall this is a welcome return to form after the previous issue that was wonderfully written yet not that great to look at. Five out of Five shapeshifters.