Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hood & the Gang: review of Red Hood & The Outlaws #1

Hood & The Gang
Review of Red Hood & The Outlaws
By: Andrew Hines
     What do the second Robin, a renegade archer and a vengeful alien princess have in common?  They've all had short tenures as heroes. In the old DC, the Joker beat Jason Todd to death because the fans requested it.  He was too judgmental, forceful with criminals and generally a bad Robin.  When he came back, all of that made him a fantastic vigilante seeking justice by any means necessary.  The Red Arrow, Roy Harper is the former sidekick to Green Arrow, former Teen Titan and apparent international criminal.  This brings us to the femme fatale of the group, Starfire.  Born a princess, then sold into slavery by her sister, she came to Earth and fought crime as one of the founding members of the original Teen Titans. Forget what you thought you knew about her.  Love it or hate it, she's quite different by several accounts.

     Scott Lobdell, the writer for this title has a lot to live up to in terms of fan expectations.  All of the characters are both loved and hated for different reasons, though respected in nearly all circles.  This isn't the Teen Titans, though two of them are former members.  Both the Red Hood and Red Arrow are former sidekicks of two of the greatest heroes in the old DC comics.  There is one disappointment in regard to a character that I must mention.  Starfire, also known as Princess Koriand'r of Tamaran, is far too cold to Roy and too sexual in nature.  On the plus side, there is a new character named Essence, who has apparent ties to how Jason Todd became the Red Hood.  Honestly, with the exception of Starfire as a character, there's really nothing i would change about the book.  Nearly everything else is spot-on.

     Kenneth Rocafort is a highly talented artist, whose previous works includes the iconic Action Comics. There's really not enough I can say about Rocafort as an artist.  Unique, talented, and near perfect, he is an artist not to be trifled with.  There are only a handful of artists that get close to what Rocafort does.  He doesn't try to be edgy, dark or realistic.  He does what he does and it suits his intention perfectly.  His grasp of the human anatomy and basic physiology, human or otherwise is clear and I couldn't ask for a better artist for each of these characters.  He is also one of the few artists at home with interior artwork as he is with cover designs.  The colors were also pretty fantastic, thanks to the colorist known only as Blond.

     From what I know of Jason Todd as both Boy Wonder and Red Hood, I had high hopes for this title.  Despite a minor setback with the characterization of Stafire, both Lobdell and Rocafort met my expectations.  This deserves a 9.3 out of 10.

Here are links for those wanting to see how it came out before purchasing.
Blond's colors : http://blondthecolorist.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d4atto2
Kenneth Rocafort's artwork (cover): http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6XPw_ix8_fE/Te2De357LYI/AAAAAAAABuY/gJAus_dCscs/s1600/art.kenneth%2Brocafort.red%2Bhood%2Band%2Bthe%2Boutlaws.001.jpg


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