‘Red Hood and the Outlaws: REDemption’review
By Brittney MacDonald, Staff Writer
Classically, Red Hood and the Outlaws: REDemption is everything any comic fan could want: it’s bold, has masterful artwork, and is filled to the brim with action. Dig a little deeper though and you might realize that Scott Lobdell’s character development leaves something to be desired.
Red Hood and the Outlaws follows the journey of Jason Todd (a.k.a. Red Hood, a former Robin with abandonment issues). Through a precarious set of events, he finds himself joining forces with Starfire, who was previously of the Teen Titans and whose nuclear powers are now seen as dangerous to mankind, and Arsenal, a former protégé to the Green Arrow.
So what could be the problem, you might ask? When I first read Red Hood and the Outlaws, I was confused: the overt sexual nature of Starfire reeked of misogyny, but despite her promiscuity all sexual encounters were initiated by her, developing a level of agency that is absent in sexist works such as Batman: The Widening Gyre. Then I figured it out. It wasn’t that Starfire is a glorified sexual fantasy, it’s that her sexuality was the only aspect to her personality. So it was bad character development, masquerading as misogyny. Then I realized that both Red Hood and Arsenal had the exact same problem, as they were both one-dimensional. Red Hood with his brooding and Arsenal playing the part of the witty comic relief. It is unfortunate, since conceptually I think this series has a lot of potential.
Artistically, Red Hood and the Outlaws is amazing. Illustrator Kenneth Rocafort does an incredible job, with extreme detail and anatomical perfection.
As much as the character development bothered me, I would have a hard time not recommending this series. Definitely worth picking up if you’re bored, but not something to invest a lot of time in.