Written by: Scott Lobdell
Art by: Kenneth Rocafort
Colors by: Steve Firchow
Letters by: Troy Peteri
(Getting into spoilers for Red Hood: Outlaw #37 from the jump.)
Bringing in a new artist on a project is always a non-starter for me. However, Kenneth Rocafort’s Red Hood — with the mask on — is pretty damn good. Jason Todd still has the sleek build he always should, and that’s consistent in the issue — which hasn’t always been the case of late.
The only problem I have with the way Rocafort draws Jason is what he looks like without the mask on. His face looks noticeably different when he’s fighting his new students as opposed to the flashback when he meets Dr. Shay Veritas.
Now, that could be a product of the colors, because if you look at the page right before the flashback, his face looks similar. But that’s the lone exception throughout the issue.
Speaking of the colors: I am not a fan. Red Hood’s story is dark. It doesn’t matter if he’s operating in the daylight or working with kids, he has a permanent shadow cast over him. Steve Firchow went too bright here.
As it pertains to the story, I’m not really feeling it. I get why Jason would take on a role like this. he even spells it out. Scott Lobdell has stayed on-brand with the character, but he’s at risk of venturing too far in the wrong direction.
Lobdell has done well enough with the character in the past that he’s earned the benefit of the doubt and this storyline is, of course, part of a larger DC Comics event. But I hope he shows signs of bringing back the old Red Hood this series. Because I don’t think I’m alone when I say, I miss the guy who used to grind Batman’s gears more than anyone.
Last thing regarding Red Hood: Outlaw #37: the variant cover is sick. There have been some outstanding Red Hood variant covers — maybe the most consistent good-or-better variants out there — and I definitely don’t mention them enough. Excellent job by Philip Tan, Marc Deering and Jay David Ramos with this one.