It's a new beginning with characters we are familiar with. Get ready for a tiny bit of controversy as older fans might have some concerns. Reading with an open mind is the key to understanding this issue.
In some of 'The New 52' books, we've been thrown in the middle of the action without really knowing what's been going on or what history still holds. Other books make it clear where a long-time reader stands in terms of continuity of the book. The idea of 'The New 52' is to be accessible to new readers and to make the characters fresh. Red Hood and the Outlaws focuses on three characters we know, Jason Todd, Roy Harper and Starfire. The core of the characters is still there but they are tweaked in a way that adds some spice to them.
This is where you must decide what your stance on the book will be. Yes, the characters are undergoing some changes. That's over and done with. Now is the time to read the book and see how it comes across to you. As a fan myself of all three characters, some of the changes did make me cringe a little. But the feeling of fun in this book. That's what comics are about. Jason and Roy's interaction comes across as a high octane buddy/cop blockbuster movie. The action is intense and it's over the top. Jason Todd has a strong following and some might have concerns but reading him here worked for me.
What about Starfire? Let's come back to her.
Lobdell has the team dynamic down. He has the witty conversations needed to make this capture the mood the book is going for. Rocafort's art is a sight to be seen. Ever since I first saw him on Top Cow's Madame Mirage, I've been keeping an eye on his work. He gives the characters a certain level of...sexiness. We know Jason has shown signs of his viewpoint on things. And now Starfire is expressing herself as well.
With that all said, I still have to address the changes, especially with Starfire. I first started Reading Teen Titans during Marv Wolfman and George Perez's run. Of course my memory and the nostalgia will have an influence on my thoughts. Surprising, I can look past the minor tweaks to Jason Todd. The more I think about Starfire's changes, the more I'm willing to see how things play out. Am I completely happy with the changes? No. But at some levels, it makes a little sense. I've enjoyed Lobdell's writing in the past so I will see where things go. There is a lot that isn't said in this issue. We can't just jump to conclusions.
I had to give this some thought after reading. There are some changes made to the characters but there comes a time when we need to let go and just read the stories. That's what they are. Comics are meant to be fun and I did have some fun while reading this issue. Lobdell is making some bold decisions that are bound to get people talking. The important thing is to read and form your own decision. I can accept the changes and I'm curious to see where this book will go. There is some interesting hints/set up given here. Jason is proving to be his interesting old self. We don't know the full story prior to this issue. That's also part of the fun, seeing how they all got here. Rocafort's art is amazing and captures the essence of the characters. Starfire's changes are interesting but part of 'The New 52' is about change. I read the issue a couple times before deciding on my rating. It was fun, it was over the top, a good fresh start with some interesting changes that I will need to see how they play out.