Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artists: Adam Pollina and Pete Woods
This annual finally delves into the fates of Bizarro and Artemis, who disappeared back in Red Hood and the Outlaws #25. They fell through the quantum doorway Bizarro built almost a year ago. Fortunately, Lobdell has almost the entirety of the issue focus on the two of them.
The issue begins with a prologue and focuses on Jason and the decision he made at the end of Red Hood: Outlaw #36. These few pages give us a lot of information. Pete Woods did the entire prologue art and colors and it looks astounding. Jason has longer hair in this issue. It’s almost the length it was back in #25, and I think that makes his new costume look so much better.
Woods also plays with lighting really effectively in this prologue. Jason’s very first-panel appearance sees him entirely shrouded in shadow as we see him from a distance. His face becomes bathed in light as he gets closer and pulls off his hood. Jason exudes warmth when the light is on him. The juxtaposition of light and dark in regards to Jason highlights his personality and his struggle for balance.
The bulk of the issue is about Bizarro and Artemis and what they’ve been up to since their disappearance. I missed seeing the two of them, and it was refreshing to see that dynamic back. Red Hood: Outlaw has been a fine story of Jason, but I feel he’s at his best when he’s around people who know him.
Lobdell does a good job with character dynamics this issue, especially with the Dark Trinity. The situation that Bizarro and Artemis are involved with during the book was really intriguing, and I wish we saw more of it. Adam Pollina did the art for the main issue proper and having two different artists really illustrates the differences between the worlds that are shown. Since the pair is on a slightly different Earth, it really strengthens the issue to have the slight differences between similar characters.
This was a great issue, but I really feel like it had a few pacing problems. Most of the issue was set building up the situation that Bizarro and Artemis currently are in. Unfortunately, the end shows a very quick resolution without really much setback.
Overall, this is a fine issue. I want to see what’s going to happen in later issues. Lately, the Bat-Family has been put through the wringer. I’m hoping that Jason’s life will start to turn around. I have hope in a reunion of the Outlaws soon.
This is a great payoff for longtime fans of Red Hood and the Outlaws.