Red Hood and The Outlaws #11
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Dexter Soy
Colors: Veronica Gandini
Letters: Taylor Esposito
Cover: Kenneth Rocafort; Guillem March
Editor: Diego Lopez; Alex Antone; Marie Javins
Publisher: DC Comics
With the conclusion of the Who Is Artemis arc we get a team that trusts each other implicitly and, more importantly, consider each other family. Which makes what happens at the end even more devastating….but I’ll come back to it later.
For now let us focus on Artemis and Jason and the mess that is Qurac. On opposite sides of the conflict between the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall and General Heinle the most telling thing about the entire issue is that, even in the midst of an all out war, the first thing Artemis does is find Jason to make sure he’s safe. It’s one of the things I hadn’t realized I needed until I saw it: someone putting Jason’s safety first. Even knowing that he can handle himself (he is Bruce’s son after all) it’s nice to see Artemis and Bizarro being so protective. Speaking of Bizarro, I cannot emphasize enough how adorable he is. His solution to the refugee crisis is brilliant and happens at just the right time to lend Artemis and Jason a much needed hand. When everything goes down and Artemis, and her fellow Amazons, realize just how blinded they’ve been due to wanting Akila back and who she was before her death it’s all hands on deck as everyone comes together to take Akila out and keep the refugees safe.
Unfortunately we don’t get to see the final confrontation between Artemis and Akila, for reasons yet to be determined, just the aftermath, something that struck me as being extremely odd as Scott Lobdell has never shied away from giving us big, character defining action sequences (see the entire end of the Black Mask arc). In fact it’s so jarring that it immediately makes me think something is up, something extremely bad at that, and the ending of the issue seems to bear that suspicion out.
Once again, Dexter Soy and Veronica Gandini pack each panel with detail and color without being overly busy. Helping to emphasize the conflict, and showing just what’s at stake on a personal and countrywide level for The Outlaws, by making each refugee and Amazon unique they help make this more than just good vs evil story. No background character or action is unimportant and, between that and the exceptional work on the facial expressions and physicality of the The Outlaws, you get a truly gorgeous book.
Overall this was a satisfying and intelligent ending to the Who is Artemis Arc, as we saw a lot of personal growth, individually and as a team, for The Outlaws. Four crushed mountains out of Five.