Last week saw just one Rebirth one-shot hit although some of those ongoing titles are maintaining some pretty impressive consistency at the same time like Detective Comics, The Flash & Nightwing…..but lets see what the new kid on the block offered.
Red Hood and the Outlaws: Rebirth #1
Written by Scott Lobdell
Art by Dexter Soy
Coloured by Veronica Gandini
Lettered by Taylor Esposito
Red Hood seems to have always straddled that fine line between hero & villain and with this Rebirth one-shot to get the ball rolling Lobdell takes us back to the very beginning to introduce Jason Todd to Batman. That may be a story that’s been visited & revisited time and again but this time around there’s a definite air of something more meaningful and it’s a clear setup to help the reader actually give a crap about who the man is behind that Red Hood.
Batman’s introduction is suitably foreboding as he overshadows Jason during their first meeting/confrontation and while Batman’s cape seems to supply just as much of the darkness to the page as the night itself, the relationship between the two is much lighter, natural and more tangible than it has been before. Mentor/taskmaster Batman actually has a softer edge to him to almost become a father figure and the fact that Batman cares about Jason means we’re just as open to feeling the same.
That was all in the past though and we’re soon reminded that they both exist on opposite sides and the difference in how they think brings them face to face as it has done time and again. A run in with the Batman, the cops & the mayor sees Red Hood’s status change in Gotham City but even that feels like a ruse when given the time to take stock and see what’s really going on. The flashbacks to training, battles an ultimately Jason’s downfall as Robin at the hands of the Joker are dropped into the story at just the right time by Lobdell and I’m sure he has silenced some of his critics with this latest foray with Red Hood.
Artistically Soy manages to grasp every aspect of what these two characters represent in the DCU regardless of whether that’s in or out of their crime fighting persona’s. This results in a complete look for the Gotham City across the pages and the characters within it all just seem to fit in perfectly with what we’d expect. Gandini’s colours & Esposito’s lettering all adds to that effect too and the creative team as a whole have helped create one of the best Rebirth issues so far. Engaging through it’s mix of action and heartfelt relationships between Jason & Bruce it leaves the Red Hood with the best possible foundation for the series to come…….roll-on issue #1.