Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artist: Dexter Soy
Colors: Veronica Gandini
Letters: Taylor Esposito
The war between the people of Qurac and the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall, wages on. After being shot out of the sky by the Bow of Ra, Artemis discovers her best friend Akila is alive. Red Hood gets captured by General Heinle, while Bizarro looks for both of them while protecting civilians.
Though there were action sequences, this wasn’t the action packed story we have become accustomed to with the series. Still, this was a solid issue that is setting up a big war that will include all of the Outlaws. There wasn’t much Bizarro in this issue but he has become the best thing about the series. He truly is the lovable oof, similar to the Hulk, but not nearly as mean. I just caught up on the series, so expect to see my thoughts on the current story arc as a whole.
Since Akila had become the godly warrior Shim’Tar, I wasn’t too surprised to see her resurrected despite being killed off by Artemis. The mystery of her return is explained which I am happy to see. The last thing I want is for this story to drag, but writer Scott Lobdell has done an excellent job with pacing since Rebirth. With only a few issues, he was able to portray a strong bond between Artemis and Akila - with some not so subtle hints at romance. I love what Lobdell is doing with this offshoot Amazon group. Artemis is becoming a favorite character of mine, but the same could be said about the rest of the Outlaws under this creative team.
I wholly admit to being too jaded when it comes to Batman characters and stories. The Bat-Family is my favorite thing about comics, so I’ve seen it all when it comes to them. Jason Todd continuing to struggle with his death at the hands of Joker didn’t do anything for me. It’s been years and I need some acceptance from Red Hood, in the same vein of Batman moving on from the death of his parents, which has happened. Though it’s always great seeing Joker pop up, even if he’s just a figment of Todd’s imagination. The most important part of his story this issue was discovering that dictator General Heinle doesn’t actually have the Bow of Ra and that Artemis is being lied to.
I say this for every review I do for Red Hood and the Outlaws, and I’m going to say it again: Dexter Soy is going to be a superstar artist very soon. I see him on the same trajectory as Jason Fabok, who I loved seeing his take on Batman before being moved up to the big events. Soy’s style is exactly what the Big 2 publishers look for in an artist. Every character he draws looks fantastic, and he passed the most important test, drawing a cool looking Batman.
This whole creative team has knocked it out of the park with this series. I’ve never been big on Scott Lobdell but he’s proving me wrong because his character development has been perfect. Lobdell is building this team from the ground up, unlike the previous incarnation, and the effort shows. Despite this being a slower issue, this series continues to be one of the major highlights to come out of Rebirth.