the_mighty_monarch's Red Hood and the Outlaws #16 - Family Matters review

What An Archer Can Do

Despite this issue's many problems, I actually enjoyed it. This mainly can be chalked up to Arsenal. I've been a fan of his ever since The Rise of Arsenal (imo an unfairly hated miniseries); and that's increased tenfold since the appearance of two Roys in Young Justice. Arsenal really steps up in this issue, acting like a leader, getting the rowdy Teen Titans to fall in line without just yelling or swinging around superiority, and a nice deep exploration of his tragic past. Arsenal shines really brightly in this issue, so Arsenal fans should enjoy this.

Arsenal also demonstrates the full scope of his talent with his observations about the metahumans, and theirs about him. One of the things that garners respect from them is the realization that, if he's been a hero for years relying on nothing more than a bow and arrow, he MUST have some skill; which leads to a second epiphany about Red Robin's bravery and upbringing in the dangerous streets of Gotham. But on the other side, Arsenal points out to the readers, in an inner monologue, that metahumans tend to be more brash and overconfident due to their powers, and it's what helps him keep more collected during this issue and plan things out with confidence.

There's a lot of interesting side things here, like some kind of shared secret between Starfire and Solstice, and a look back into Arsenal's past interactions with Killer Croc, who we haven't really seen much of since the New 52. Scott Lobdell provides us with one of the better interpretations of Killer Croc, like the one we saw in Joker's Asylum. The Killer Croc who isn't a complete monster, but made one by society more than his physical deformities themselves. I actually felt something for him, and definitely for Arsenal. I'm looking forward to more exploration of Arsenal once this arc is over, and in next month's DC Universe Presents. But these interesting asides are led into very smoothly, while there's others that are completely random setups for future stories down the line. At one point the story jumps over to St. Louis Missouri to show Dr. Hugo Strange at a book signing; NO connection to ANYTHING else we've ever seen in the series thus far. And later we jump to a page where Deathstroke prepares to take a contract to kill the Outlaws. No lead-in, and a slightly off portrayal of Deathstroke. But again, these two events are so wierdly disconnected from the main story it's just awkward.

There's a couple of interesting moments with members of the Teen Titans, once again Kid Flash kind of hogs the spotlight, but also Arsenal notices a lot of talent and potential in Bunker; but ultimately the plot for this issue is pretty flimsy. Joker had an unnatural amount of foresight in the Teen Titans issue that led into this, yet here his planning is at an incredibly bizarre balance. There's no way the Teen Titans alone could've found the cure for the Jokerized hobos, that was a wild technological leap by Arsenal. Did Joker have the ridiculous foresight to know the Teen Titans would team up with the Outlaws? That's even crazier than everything he overplanned in Teen Titans. Yet he had to know they'd find them because he left scribbles and a bomb; and yet while he accounted for Kid Flash's speed in kicking up the dust, he clearly didn't when it came to the bomb and then the day is saved.

In Conclusion: 3.5/5

The artwork is okay, the Teen Titans come across like a bunch of rowdy assholes when just last Teen Titans issue they displayed respect for Batgirl, and the story is just filled to the brim with forced convenience and odd tangents. But Arsenal gets mad respect and character depth, so it's not all bad.

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Other reviews for Red Hood and the Outlaws #16 - Family Matters

    Disappointing 0

    This has been a very good series, and I have really enjoyed it, but this issue is disappointing. Scott Lobdell has done a brilliant job making this series very fun, but there have been a few imperfections along the way, and a few disappointments.PlotThis issue sees Arsenal (Roy Harper) lead the Teen Titans, along with his fellow Outlaw, Starfire in rescuing all the people infected with Joker Venom. The only problem is that certain members of the Teen Titans aren't overly fond of having Arsenal b...

    9 out of 9 found this review helpful.

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