Red Hood: Outlaw #33
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Pete Woods
Inks: Rex Lokus
Letters: ALW’S Troy Peteri
Covers: Cully Hamner; Lucio Parrillo
Editor: Jamie S Rich; Rob Levin
Jason Todd has lived a lot of lives: from street rat to Robin to Chosen One to Prince of Gotham. All have left their mark on him, for good and ill, and Jason has always made an impression right back. One of the more interesting groups that Jason has interacted with is the All-Caste: a group of warriors monks who trained a young Jason Todd in their ways at Talia al Ghul’s request. What neither she, they, and especially not Jason expected was that he would be their Chosen. This title comes with its fair share of responsibilities, however the main and most important one, is that Jason wields the All-Blades: mystical blades able to dispel supernatural threats, powered by the soul (and sometimes blood) of their wielder. It’s a power that only Jason has and one that hasn’t come up in the last 2 years…until now.
Meanwhile, Penguin is still being kept as Jason’s pet bad guy while Jason and his crew run the Iceberg Lounge, and frankly, run it well. Jason Todd, legitimate businessman, is a good look on him and watching him infuriate both the Bats and Gotham’s underworld by not only keeping everything on the up and up but slowly dismantling Penguin’s empire legally is extremely satisfying. It’s honestly more than Bruce has ever been able to pull off in getting Penguin, and all those associated with him, shut down in Gotham for good and knowing he’s stewing about it on a gargoyle somewhere gives me almost as much satisfaction as it must give Jason. The fact that Jason’s employees genuinely care for his well being and will put anyone who comes at him all the way into the paint is just icing on the cake.
The art this issue is back to Pete Woods’ signature goodness (though we still gotta work on giving all the Su Sisters ethnicity) and the action scenes are top notch. The clash between Penguin’s backup forces and the Su Sisters is a thing of beauty: each conflict is clear, in some cases hilarious, and wonderfully done.
Overall this issue does a great job of tying Jason’s past to his present while opening up some new mysteries. However, the fact that the old mysteries of just where the hell Artemis and Bizarro are or who is behind the push for Jason’s return to Gotham, haven’t been resolved continues to be the elephant in the room.
Four Beers out of Five
Red Hood: Outlaw #33