ART: Kenneth Rocafort
Welcome to the first post of coverage for Red Hood and The Outlaws. Like many titles I don't regularly cover here, I've been reading about Jason Todd, Roy Harper, and Koriand'r since DC's 'New 52' relaunch. When I originally made decisions about what to cover for "The Endless Reel", I decided against RHatO because it technically stands as a Batman-related title, and I didn't want to overload myself - or readers - with Bat-related material. Of course, after seven months of reading the increasing odd exploits of these three non-team-members, it's pretty obvious Jason's connection to Batman simply serves to set a base for his personality and place in the world. And so - coincidentally enough - does this issue of Red Hood and The Outlaws serve as a set-up t next month's tie-in to the "Night of the Owls" event.
Scott Lobdell's work on RHatO is similar in both style and scope to Dan Abnett's Resurrection Man. Both titles are about fun, comic book-y issues that (may) eventually tie together, but mostly stand on their own as well. This month, Jason, Roy, and Kori go after Suzie Su, a new character created by Lobdell who has a history with Jason that ended with Jason killing everyone in her father's gang. Seeking revenge, Suzie wakes up out of the coma Jason put her in years earlier and takes a wing of the hospital hostage until the Red Hood shows himself.
Suzie is being treated in a hospital in Gotham, so when she wakes up and takes hostages, Jason & Co. are forced to travel to Gotham as well, giving them a reason for being in Bruce Wayne's city on the night that the Talons attack. It's definitely a little forced, having the Outlaws show up just in time to help Batman and the others contain the Talon insurgence. But seeing how far removed Red Hood and The Outlaws is from the regular Bat-canon, it makes sense to use a rather unsubtle means to bring Jason and his team to Gotham.
The flashback cameo from Red Robin was great and was a fantastic way for Lobdell to create a more cohesive world between Teen Titans, Superboy and Red Hood and The Outlaws. In events that took place about a month prior to the confrontation with Suzie Su, Jason and Tim meet to bring each other information. Jason informs Tim about "Wonder Girl", and Tim give Jason the info about smugglers coming into Miami (from RHatO #1!). Seeing Lobdell make connections between his three titles for the 'New 52' is awesome, and it's something DC has needed for a while.
Next month, I'm sure I'll have a whole lot more to write about than a 'prelude' issue, so don't miss out on the coverage for "Night of the Owls".