Red Hood and The Outlaws Annual #1
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Tyler Kirkham
Colors: Arif Prianto
Letters: Taylor Esposito
Cover: Tyler Kirkham & Tomeu Morey
Editor: Diego Lopez; Alex Antone; Marie Javins
Publisher: DC Comics
Set before all the heartbreak of the previous issues the Red Hood and The Outlaws Annual not only reunites Dick Grayson and Jason Todd but fills in some blanks surrounding the events in Detective Comics and Batman. Jason and Dick have always had a fraught relationship, each secretly admiring the other while at the same time being intensely jealous of the connection they shared with Bruce. It didn’t help that, for the longest time, Dick was the adored only child and when Jason came along he felt ‘replaced’ on top of Dick and Bruce actively fighting at the time. This issue does a great job of showing how these men are still, in some ways, stuck in the mindset they had when they were boys. However, there is hope as throughout the issue they (with some very unsubtle help from Artemis and Bizarro) start to realign their thinking, coming to appreciate who they are – individually and to each other – now.
The artwork here is just plain fun, with guest artist Tyler Kirkham and Arif Prianto doing a great job of upholding the tone of the issue (which is a lot of fun, in and of itself) while giving each panel detail and movement that show they know what their doing. There’s one moment in particular that I absolutely loved: Jason putting on his helmet. It’s a small thing but so many artist fall down where the details are concerned and having a blink and you’d miss it moment of Jason putting on his helmet when the fighting starts is the kind of thing I live for.
A fun side issue that continues the development of the main characters and show the healing of some old wounds. Five Severed Hands out of Five.