Red Hood: Outlaw #34
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Pete Woods
Inks: Rex Lokus
Letters: ALW’S Troy Peteri
Covers: Cully Hamner; Yasmine Putri
Editor: Jamie S. Rich; Rob Levin
As a wise woman once said, “I’m a slow learner. It’s true. But I learn.” Jason Todd is the epitome of that, going from street rat to Robin to crime boss to…Prince? Each lesson learned, and title bestowed, comes with its fair share of heartache and triumph. How much the good balances out the bad is always ambiguous at best. As Jason continues to slowly dismantle Penguin’s organization it’s becoming clearer and clearer that he is towing a very thin line as his long term plans fall into place. Will he be able to keep everything balanced or will outside forces bring everything crashing down?
This issue finds Jason outside of the suit more often than in it and it’s a welcome change of pace as we see what he gets up to when he’s just being Jason Todd-Wayne. One of the things I’m truly enjoying is the return of his relationship with Isabel. A funny, intelligent, no-nonsense young lady who very much knows who and what Jason is and makes no judgements about him, Isabel is a breath of fresh air to the series. Watching the two of them slowly and cautiously rebuild their friendship, and possibly something more, is so lovely that I’m very much trying to prepare myself for it to end in tears. Especially as Jason has no idea that the All-Caste is coming for him, though why is still unclear.
It’s also nice to see that Jason is still reeling from Roy’s death and the disappearance of Artemis and Biz, though the lack of anything regarding the latter is slowly, utterly, driving me nuts.
Pete Woods, Rex Lokus and ALW’s Troy Peteri do some fantastic work this issue, with Peteri’s work in particular standing out. I don’t often speak on the lettering of a comic, mostly because if it’s done well it’s seamless with the rest of the book, but Peteri really has brought something special to this issue, and all the previous ones he’s worked on. There’s something about how he letters each character specifically that just enhances Woods and Lokus’ art and Lobdell’s words.
This issue ends with Jason heading home to one situation that I doubt he’ll find surprising – pay attention to what he says on his trip – and another that might completely blind side him. Let’s see what lessons he learns.
Four Champagne Glasses out of Five*
P.S. Until I get some resolution on the Biz & Artemis thing this book will always lose a review point. Yes. I am petty. Why do you ask?
P.P.S. My gawd Cully Hamner and Yasmine Putri love Jason Todd, the way they draw him is exquisite, if you haven’t seen the variant covers look them up.