Wednesday, March 19, 2014

SPOILERS: Red Hood and the Outlaws #29

Some aliens, one of which is a Tamarean, are headed towards Earth with a job from a boss we don't get to see yet... who is probably Lobo... the old one... Anyways, their job? Well, the first part is to hijack Starfire's ship.

No one but Roy is inside the ship by the time the aliens beam down to it. Jason is outside practicing fighting against some holo-projections, and Starfire is just generally enjoying life, flying over the ocean. So while everyone is having a good time, Roy gets abducted by the aliens when they fly off with the ship, but they don't know anyone is inside the ship.

While Jason and Kori try to figure out what the hell just happened, and fighting the fourth alien who was too drunk to be on time and got left behind on Earth, Roy is sneaking around the veneration system in the ship, trying to figure out what the aliens are doing. Turns out the aliens stole the ship to launch these planetary bombs they've got. Inside these bombs are self replicating nanobots which first, wipe out all life on a planet, and second, leave a brand or logo on the planet's surface. Why? Well, seems like whoever hired these alien mercs are prepping planets to be sold, and why wouldn't you want your logo on a planet you just bought?

After fighting off the drunk alien, Jason and Kori get some info out of him, and plan to go into space in an attempt to find the ship and Roy. Kori asks how they're going to get a new ship, suggesting either Batman or the Justice League could help. But, nah! Not Jason's style... He's going to steal one from Frankenstein and SHADE.


The Good:

Fans of the series will be happy to know that this issue is a return to form in that it's just straight action-packed fun. Will Pfeifer was somewhat of a question mark coming into this, as his past work has a pretty mixed reception and he's not written any comics in quite some time, but with this first issue, I think he did pretty good. Not only was the story fun, but the characters dialogue and tone seemed right up where they needed to be, so I was ultimately very pleased... Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like Pfeifer will be on the title for long, but that's another topic of discussion. This issue also featured what I believe to be the best art this title has seen since Kenneth Rocafort left over a year ago. Rafa Sandoval's work is very bold and clean, which makes up for close to a year of underwhelming or just messy looking work done on the book. The art also avoided some of the elements of Sandoval's Catwoman work which I didn't enjoy, mainly awkward angles and absolutely monstrous protruding chins to accompany them. Finally, there were also little nods to the DCU as a whole, noting the Green Lantern Corps. current situation, and while very slight and meaningless to the issue itself, nods and mentions like that do make the DCU feel a bit more cohesive.

The Bad:

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but couldn't Starfire just have flown into space after the ship? Maybe she's not fast enough, but it does make it seem like she straight up just can't go into space without a ship. I don't know, not a big deal.

The Bottom Line:

Is this issue amazing? No, not really. But what it does do is return the book to a place many wish it never strayed from, and that's be a simple, straightforward, fun read. Preifer isn't trying to make the book out to be something it's not, this isn't a life changing story with drama to spare, it's just the Outlaws doing what the Outlaws do best, and that's entertain. Accompanied by some of the best art this title has seen in over a year, and this issue is a welcome return to form in my book.


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