Red Hood: Outlaw #49
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Paolo Pantalena
Inks: Danny Miki
Colors: Arif Prianto
Letters: ALW’s Troy Peteri
Covers: Dan Mora; Phillip Tan & Sebastian Cheng
Editor: Ben Meares & Ben Abernathy
Publisher: DC Comics
This may be one of the saddest issues of this book ever, which is honestly saying something. Jason and the Outlaws win against Trigon, with some seriously unexpected help, but the losses? Are a bit too high.
In the previous issue the past and present collide, literally, as Jay, Kori and Roy come in with the assist as the current Outlaws desperately try to close the door to Trigon’s hell while still giving Bizarro enough time to get the hell out of dodge. Fortunately Bizarro beats the breaks off of Trigon, accidentally killing him. Unfortunately, that now means that Biz is king of Trigon’s hell.
And there’s no coming back from that…
This issue is heartbreaking, between seeing our original Outlaws, young, happy and as carefree as those three ever could be; Saru realizing just how huge his screw up was and what he has destroyed; Isabelle’s brief return and losing Biz, I spent most of this issue both loving the callbacks and crying. It’s a beautiful, brutal end to this arc but I feel like the fallout for the team, especially for Jason’s mental health, will be felt for years to come.
Paolo Pantalena and Danny Miki give us some pretty damn dynamic artwork and clearly have a healthy, ahem, appreciation for the assets of the whole team. Though I’m still not a huge fan of Pantalena’s facial work on the ladies as, beyond the actual coloring of their hair and eyes, they’re all the same face. We’re dealing with four different women of different ethnicity (and planets!) who all look alike. It’s just so…common. Especially as it’s clear Pantelena knows how to draw different facial features on men, since every single male character has distinct faces, even if they’re similar in age.
Still, the artwork doesn’t detract from the story and enhances it as a whole and Lobdell delivers a touching, emotional ending, amongst all the explosions and chaos.
4 Portals out of 5