By Garrett Hanneken
Artemis confronts Bizarro in an emotional conversation, and Red Hood goes solo to Penguin’s casino. The two stories are split up equally, but the comic mainly succeeds when it focuses on Bizarro’s personal dilemma.
The conversation between Artemis and Bizarro stood out due to the way it makes us understand why Bizzaro is addicted to the liquid Kryptonite. Rather than giving the reader a blunt explanation of Bizarro’s addiction, we are treated with an emotional understanding. The art is able to highlight and compliment Bizarro’s feelings with emotional cues such as gazing off or looking straight into Artemis’ eyes with sincerity.
In addition, having the two talk above the city lights add to Bizarro’s demeanor as he feels distant and higher than humans. This interaction between the two helps us understand that Bizarro is an isolated being, but he finds solace in his personal intelligence. To ask Bizarro to revert back to himself, a mindless being who doesn’t know better, is tough on both Bizarro and Artemis and this makes the reader feel for both sides.
Red Hood’s side of the story did feel a little weak, but it did provide a balance between Bizarro and Artemis. Red Hood was able to provide humor with his obnoxious gambling disguise, but it did little in regards to any action. I suppose I expected Red Hood to go in guns blazing since the cover shows him literally pointing a pistol at Penguin’s face (just a little nitpicky as we shouldn’t judge a comic by its cover I suppose).
Lastly, the diner scene with Red Hood felt a little out of place as he has a conversation with Alfred, but it did help put some attention on Red Hood as he wonders if he is making a difference by stalling Gotham’s villains rather than stopping them for good. Then he is confronted by Ma Gunn’s granddaughter at the diner; it all seemed a little convenient for her to find him there and recognize him. However, there is probably more to Ma Gunn’s granddaughter and her intentions rather than just simply delivering a package.
Overall, this issue may have lacked with any real action as it focuses on Bizarro’s inner struggle. But this struggle is handled well by adding emotion on both the dialogue side and art side. From here on out we can see the main conflict, Bizarro’s baleful intelligence, in recent issues start to be confronted.
Red Hood and the Outlaws #21