Red Hood Outlaw #44 Review

by Carlos R. on March 25, 2020

Written by: Scott Lobdell
Art by: Paolo Pantanela
Colors by: Arif Prianto
Lettered by: Alw’s Troy Peteri
Publisher: DC Comics

We continue our journey into the mystical side of the Outlaw’s corner of the DC Universe in Red Hood Outlaw #44. The issue sets up an interesting premise but offers little in execution.  

We continue Jason and the Outlaw’s current mission with General Glory of tracking down the ancient evil of the Untitled. The story starts off with a scene of Essence protecting Isabel from an assailant to offer exposition on Isabel’s history with Jason and that Essence now inhabits her body. We then move over to the Outlaws undercover, Jason and Bizarro working out of a food truck and Artemis infiltrating as a bodyguard for a colonel. We also drop in on Ma Gunn and see that she is meeting with a deadly old flame for a position she means to fill.

There’s a lot going on in this issue and Lobdell struggles to corral all the storylines. The plot is interesting, but the pacing isn’t strong, and a lot seems to happen without much happening.  Ma Gunn’s pages dealing with her current affairs could’ve been cut as they only serve to show she is meeting with a certain disembodied brain and the amount of exposition used to reintroduce the central characters seems unnecessary at this point. I do enjoy seeing Bizarro and Jason run a food truck and love that Bizarro has a knack for that industry. I enjoy Artemis’ dialogue and think she deserved more screen time, especially amongst Bizarro and Jason. The group has a great dynamic and while we do have Bizarro and Jason sharing some panels, the book excels when all three are together.

The art in this series has been a mixed bag as of late. I feel there are portions that are well done for each issue and the same applies here. I really enjoy Bizarro’s appearance in this issue and Artemis’ sequences are awesome and flow well. My issue lies mostly in the character designs: Artemis isn’t drawn as bulky or muscular as I’m accustomed to and Jason’s expressions can be off-putting, though that’s the point of a particular scene. I do love the color work on this issue and the warmth of Bizarro’s personality radiates through his expressions and mannerisms. 

Red Hood Outlaw #44 continues the mystical mission the Outlaws are on and while it makes for a fascinating plot, this issue falls short on its delivery. There are some great scenes between Bizarro and Jason, but not much else offered.


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