Sunday, January 25, 2015

I Fought the Law & the Law Won

Published:  November 13th, 2012
Red Hood and the Outlaws, Vol. 1: Redemption (Red Hood and the Outlaws Vol. 1 #1)\
By: Scott Lobdell, Kenneth Rocafort (Illustrations)
DC Comics
ISBN-13:  9781401237127

No sooner had Batman's former sidekick, Jason Todd, put his past as the Red Hood behind him than he finds himself cornered by a pair of modern day outlaws: Green Arrow's rejected sidekick Arsenal, the damaged soldier of fortune, and the alien Starfire, a former prisoner of intergalactic war who won't be chained again.  As a loner, Jason has absolutely no interest in this motley crew of outlaws.  So what's he going to do when they choose the Red Hood as their leader?


       For anyone unfamiliar with DC Comic lore, Jason Todd was Robin #2.  That is, until the Joker beat him to death with a crowbar!  But don't worry, Talia al Ghul (daughter of that crazy fucker Ra's al Ghul, head of the League of Assassins) threw him in the magical Lazarus Pit, which holds a liquid that restores people and can bring the dead back to life.  Only, he's quite a bit fucked up now.  Arsenal, also known as Roy Harper, was the sidekick for the Green Arrow - until he became a drug-addicted mess that even the villains wouldn't fight with.  Now that he's clean, he's trying to make it on his own, without Arrow/Oliver Queen to help prop him up.  Starfire, also known as Princess Koriand'r, has been in slavery since childhood when her sister sold her to appease the inavders that conquered their planet and destroyed their parents.  Now that she's free, Kori will never be a slave again and life will always be on her own terms.  Thrown together by circumstances beyond their control, the three must go on a mission together.  But can they become a team?  And what happens once the job is over?
       Ugh.  I just cannot even with this one.  Probably the only reason I gave it more than one star was the scene where we get to see Jason's "best" memory (I loved the cute Robin/Nightwing brother moment) and the fact that I actually kind of liked Jason, despite him deciding to have sex with Starfire, who he knows has memory issues.  And on that subject, yes she's been a victim, but man what a bitch!  She sleeps with them both and from what I got her memory issues are mostly just that she can't "be bothered" to remember who is who (though I think she's lying about that, honestly).  She even jokes about not knowing Roy's name one time, calling him Ray instead.  At least, I think it was a joke (she doesn't seem to have a sense of humor, so I could be horribly wrong).  In all honesty, yes what was done to her is absolutely horrific.  But I don't feel like she was exploited in the comics like a lot of other readers do.  I feel like she used sex as a weapon, to keep the guys from getting close to her and to hurt them preemptively.  She used it to be in control (which someone as "confused" as she purported to be probably couldn't manage).  So my sympathy is minimal for Starfire's portrayal.  Watching Roy Harper, aka Arsenal mug his way through each panel as the comic relief was painful for me (it was too much like watching the dumb guy/comic portrayal of Flash, on the Justice League cartoons).

       At least Jason seemed kind of pissed off/horrified that he was "sharing" Starfire with Roy, but good ol' boy Roy seems to think it's no big deal!  And yeah that may be the more "adult" of the attitudes displayed, but if being an adult means being a swinger -- NO THANKS.  It's not like I hate Lobdell either, because I just started Teen Titans Vol. 1 and I'm liking it so far (I didn't think I'd like Tim Drake either, after his horrible SUPER SECRET ORIGIN!).  This just didn't work for me and it's one I have no regrets about not continuing with.

VERDICT:  2/5 Stars

*No money or favors were exchanged for this review.  This book is now available in stores, online, or maybe even at your local library.*

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