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Guest Review: Red Hood and the Outlaws #14 - Up, Up and Away... My Beautiful, My Beautiful Balloon!

Red Hood and the Outlaws #14 Review


Superman Questions the Outlaws Original Review by Johnkmccubbin91 at Comic Vine

I have been really enjoying this series for some time now and I am extremely looking forward to it's role in the Death of the Family crossover. Although it's not been the overall best series DC has going the now and that some issues have been a little poor it has without a doubt been a very fun series.

Plot

This issues sees the Outlaws getting stopped by Superman on their way back to Earth. They manage to avoid him by teleporting away from their ship but Superman isn't that easy to avoid and soon the trio have to deal with Superman who's only wanting a friendly discussion, although the Outlaws don't see it that way.

Review

This was an amazing issue and I was happy that the Superman cameo wasn't bad. I was expecting this to bee a bellow average filler to tie in the time between now and the Death of the Family crossover and after the slightly disappointing end to the previous story my hopes were even lower. I am however happy to say that I was very happy with this issue and it was better than a good few of the previous issues. Scott Lobdell's writing has baffled me as his writing on most series have been good but he's mostly had a patch where the quality has slipped and the The Culling crossover involving his Teen Titans series was very disappointing. He has however done an amazing job on Superman so far and his work on this series has mostly been good. I love how he handles the character interaction in this series as you don't just see all their separate personalities shown but you see how they see something similar in each other and how they work as a brilliant team.

Sure, But Roy Will Have to Drive
The art in this issue from Pascal Alixe was overall very good. I still preferred Kenneth Rocafort's art but since Rocafort's move to Lobdell's Superman series Alixe has been the best artist to work on this series. I'm not overly familiar with his work, but the second I opened the issue I noticed that it was the same artist that did the Superman Annual #1 which considering the story-line of this issue (which I'll talk about a little later) made him a fitting choice as artist. I enjoy his art and can't really fault much about it. He draws most of the character beautiful but the only character I'm not as keen on is Red Hood (Jason Todd). I know that his helmet in this series has meant to resemble a face showing a nose and a mouth but where I preferred Rocafort's style was how he made this feature much more subtle, whereas in this issue it's obviously noticeable that their is a nose and more so a mouth on this helmet. I know this may be nitpicking but I feel it makes the helmet look too similar to a mask and takes away the sleekness style the helmet should give. I can easily forgive this as I love all his artwork throughout the rest of the issue and like how he draws the other characters.

Superman's Appearance
Superman's role in this issue was brilliant and I loved how Lobdell made it a continuation to Superman Annual #1, won't spoil how and sorry to any one who's read the Annual and guessed. The fight that embroiled between the Outlaws and Superman was quite fun and I enjoyed how they decided to team up once realizing that their individual efforts weren't working. I especially liked how Starfire even got a wee dig in about Jason not liking working as a team. I also liked how although Superman was at ease during this fight he didn't mind trying to put an explanation mark over the fight by trying to make a statement to end the fight sooner.

I was very happy to see that this issue acknowledged the previous story-line by starting on the Starfire. I like it when series acknowledge their previous stories as it makes the timeline look less random. It also brings a good starting off point for the story as you have the other members of the Starfire Crew on-board who have no knowledge of who Superman is seeing him as something they can incinerate and move on from.

Setting Up Death of the Family
The way this issue ended was brilliant and one of the best set ups for a Death of the Family story so far. I won't go into too much detail as to avoid spoiling it but Joker makes a clear statement towards Jason near the end of the issue which doesn't only infuriate Jason but also reminds him of how Joker operates. Jason's involvement in Death of the Family is probably the thing I've most been looking forward to seeing besides the main story in Batman. Like any huge Batman fan will know Joker killed Jason in A Death in the Family which eventually lead to Jason becoming Red Hood and having no regard towards Batman's principles. I'm also looking forward to this crossover as it itself crosses over with Teen Titans. This also means that Tim Drake will also be involved and I enjoyed the hint earlier in this series toward Jason's relationship with Tim and look forward to seeing how it develops in this sort of story-line.

Final Verdict

This was a brilliant issue and one of the best stand alone issues I have read in some time, especially from DC. I would highly recommend it and the next issue can't come along any sooner.

Rating: 4/5


What I Thought

Cover - 4/5
Art - 3/5
Colors/Ink/Lettering - 3/5
Layout/Flow - 4/5
Story - 4/5
Verdict - 3.7

Overall I enjoyed this issue. The only part that disturbed me was the art. Unlike John I didn't really care for it, not only did the Red Hood helmet look strange, the armor Roy was wearing was just as odd. There were also pages where the characters faces just looked odd. Outside that it was a great issue, and tied together a few of the books. I will be exited to see the Death in the Family arc but really want to see what comes of Starfire, Superman and Helspont.

Purchase Red Hood and the Outlaws #14 on Amazon


John McCubbin is a blogger at http://imaginationcentre.blogspot.co.uk/ and a comic book reviewer at Comic Vine. The use of this review has been authorized by the original author.

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