Red Hood & The Outlaws has been a sleeper of a book for DC, and the second issue does not disappoint as we’re introduced to the second member of the Dark Trinity. Artemis makes her post-Flashpoint debut as the Egyptian-God-worshiping-Amazon and current obstacle separating Red Hood from his objective. Artemis comes across as a very different Amazon than we’ve seen from their other ambassadors to the world like Wonder Woman and Donna Troy. Though all three women are warriors, Artemis strikes a refreshing balance of common-sense and cultural awareness that was refreshing to see. Rather than a fresh-off-the-island take that would be easy to fall into, it’s clear Artemis knows her way around “Man's World” and has no qualms about bringing what she’s learned from her home to it.
As far as her interactions with Jason go and the idea that these two will ever be a team, it was a surprise. Scott Lobdell managed to build a foundation for these two characters through a surprising amount of witty, funny banter and a level of intelligence fitting Jason. Portrayed as the underdog, the All-Caster survivor played to his strengths, and that was fun to see as the titular character.
Dexter Soy and Veronica Gandini delivered strong with a number of spread pages that fit perfectly and helped to move the story along well. Soy put the shadows to work. It really makes me appreciate how fitting Dexter is for a book with Gotham as the main setting (for now) because he really does some great work with night-based backgrounds.
Veronica Gandini, again, really has the colors catching my eye and making me linger and go back to the pages. This is especially evident in the early parts of the book. Coming from a guy who doesn’t even like the color red very much, there was a lot of it here, and it looked immaculate.
I will argue that I am a bit bothered by the pacing of this book. Things seem to be moving fast, which does take me a little out of things. Black Mask, in particular, comes across as far too trusting a character to have built a criminal empire. I imagine this will be the pace of the book moving forward. It will take some getting used to, but it’s far from a book-killer.
I do look forward to seeing how Bizzaro is characterized, once he joins our heroes. Red Hood and Artemis have proven to be equal parts edgy and fun. Where Bizzaro fits in that frame will be interesting to see, but his words about his version of Bizzaro have me looking forward to the completion of the Dark Trinity.
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Red Hood & The Outlaws #2 Writer: Scott Lobdell Artist: Dexter Soy, Veronica Gandini Publisher: DC Comics Price: $2.99 Format: Ongoing series; Print/Digital