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Review Brew: Red Hood – Outlaw #44

Much better…

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Paolo Pantalena
Colors: Arif Prianto
Letters: ALW’s Troy Peteri
Editor: Harvey Richards; Ben Abernathy
Covers: Paolo Pantalena & Sunny Gho; Philip Tan, Marc Deering & Jay David Ramos
Publisher: DC Comics

It’s all coming together in this issue as the Outlaws work with General Glory, at his absolute rah-rah most, to make sure the people of Qurac actually have a chance at free and fair elections without The Untitled, or anyone else, interfering. All the players are on the scene as we see Isabella in Qurac for work a week after her encounter with the Blood Blade and her unknowingly picking up Essence as a ride along. The good news? Jason is getting back in touch with Ducra’s teachings on exactly how to use his abilities to sense and destroy supernatural threats. The bad news? The Untitled have changed tactics and are more dangerous than they’ve ever been before.

The continuity I love is in full force as we get some flashbacks to Jason’s time with the All-Caste, specifically with Ducra who I will always adore for being the one parental figure in Jason’s life who is written consistently: a hardass who loved him, encouraged him to be the best he could be while also not taking his shite or holding him to some sort of impossible standard. We also get some quality bonding time between Biz and Jason, Faye’s quest to find non-psychopaths to teach Generation Outlaw butting up against her past as criminal mastermind and Artemis brutally taking on the patriarchy. It’s a fun issue that opens up a lot of paths forward for The Outlaws and company while also showing how much Jason, Biz and Artemis have grown in their time apart. The wounds of how they were separated and the fallout afterward haven’t healed but they’re getting there, slowly but surely.

On the artwork side, thanks to Paolo Pantalena, all is forgiven from the shiteshow of the previous issue.  While not perfect, I will never understand the need to give all women tiny noses and big lips regardless of their racial background, the overall work is pretty damn good with dynamic fight scenes and the quieter moments between Biz and Jason, and surprisingly Jason and Glory, given just as much emphasis.

With Jason taking The Untitled’s newest scheme as a personal affront, potentially gaining a new ally as Glory begins to realize everything he’s read about Jason isn’t what it seems and Essence getting closer things are heating up.

4 dye jobs out of 5

PS: We need a Justice League Dark crossover with this book. John Constantine and Jason Todd snarking at each other for several issues while battling supernatural evil is the thing dreams are made of.

PPS: Someone appreciates Jason ‘Thick Thighs Save Lives’ Todd’s… assets. Ahem.

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